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Exercise induced asthma – a new theory

In the course of taking the same running training program that I took last year when I got my DVT I think I’ve come to a new realization about exercise induced asthma*. Before I couldn’t find any pattern and the seemingly random nature could be frustrating. Will it happen this time?

During the course Tom, the owner of the Fleet Feet in Aptos and instructor, made every effort to make sure we didn’t over-do the training. Sunday was the long conversational run and Wednesday was the speed building run with a few walk/run miles on other days to keep things moving.

Sunday also had various health and fitness guest speakers. One of those speakers was a physical therapist at Dominican. He explained that the cardio-vascular system will get to where it needs to be a lot faster than the muscles that do the work will. Also that it’s important not to push beyond what you can do. He didn’t explain where that limit was or how to find it, but he at least did say that you shouldn’t increase more than 10% from week to week.

So on the final long run this last Sunday I realized that at the slow pace I don’t seem to get any exercise-induced asthma, while when the Wednesday runs got intense enough out it came. I missed one of the Wednesday nights but I tried to make it up on a Thursday morning and as soon as I tried to push it the asthma came.

So maybe the onset of asthma is my dividing line; where I push myself beyond what I’m capable of. I know I used to be able to do more before it kicked in when I’ve been in better shape. It’s frustrating, but at the same time it’s also really satisfying to learn the signals of my body and learn where the limits are so I can begin the push to extend them.

* I also can have allergy induced asthma, but I can generally tell if that’s going to be an issue before I begin exercise.

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