General Discussion Triathlon Talk » Wheezing during hard efforts Rss Feed  
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2013-04-07 11:52 AM


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Subject: Wheezing during hard efforts

Does anyone else without asthma have this problem?

I ran a 5K race this morning, and my breathing was awful the last mile.  People 20 feet in front of me would turn around and look because they could hear me wheezing so loudly.  I have no problem with long, slow efforts but something this fast just causes the wheezing.  It stops as soon as I stop running, which is why I'm 90% sure it isn't asthma.  But what is it??  It really restricts my ability to breathe and I could definitely go faster if I wasn't wheezing the whole time!

 

(but I still smashed my goal time!!  I am officially a fan of heart rate training)



2013-04-07 11:56 AM
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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts
I would still go get checked out. I have exercise induced asthma, and struggle on the run, but within 5 mins of completing my run my breathing is back to normal.
2013-04-07 4:28 PM
in reply to: #4690096

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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts
Absolutely have it checked out. It could be exercise induced asthma (as crazylife99 mentioned) or it could be other issues with lungs/breathing.

Have you trained for a long time, or did you just start out? If the body is not used to high level efforts (which a 5k definitely qualifies as) then you may need a bit more time to built. As long as you have a good base, you should start to add track work outs to your running. 400's and 800's are great for these types of events
2013-04-07 5:39 PM
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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts
Yes. Didn't think I had asthma, I do have terrible seasonal allergies though, and am on medication 9/12 months. But when I started wheezing at track workouts and at my HIM last year my lungs actually HURT, not my legs, I knew something was up. I tested in the low range for my peak air flow and for the first time left 5 candles unlit in that silly blow out the candles test. Now use an inhaler on bad air quality days and track sessions during allergy season.
2013-04-07 6:54 PM
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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts

Could be due to asthma. People have different triggers. For some it is exercise itself, for others stuff like dust, smoke, mold, pollen, etc., or even cold and/or dry air.

If you have allergy-induced asthma like me, you're really drawing a lot of air with those irritants deeply into your lungs when running at high intensity, and this can set off wheezing or coughing during, after, or both. I don't usually have a problem, even at race intensity, unless I have a cold (airway more irritated), the weather's extremely cold and dry, OR the air quality is really bad. Then I do. So could be worth getting checked out.  It could just be a matter of running too fast for your current level of fitness. Though if people around you look worried, that could be a sign it's not normal--I've almost been pulled from races (in polluted conditions--usually smoke from field burning) for breathing like that!

2013-04-08 8:01 AM
in reply to: #4690096


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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts

That's interesting you guys think it could still be asthma.  I will get it checked out... eventually.  My lungs definitely burned for hours afterwards, so that was kind of disconcerting for just a 5k effort.

 

I've been running for 4 years but rarely do high-speed efforts.  I would rather run 15 miles at a 10-11 min/mile pace than sprint, but I want to get faster this season!  My last 5K time was 27 minutes (in August & I took Jan/Feb off), and this one was 24:45, so I was definitely pushing it more than usual.



Edited by swimtochina 2013-04-08 8:02 AM


2013-04-08 8:44 AM
in reply to: #4690096

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Subject: RE: Wheezing during hard efforts

Getting it checked out may help, but if you rarely do high speed workouts, why do you think you can hold a high speed effort for "only" a 5K. 5K is actually a decent distance, and for most people it takes well over 20 minutes to complete. 

Assuming there is nothing wrong with you, I would work on adding some speed work. Once a week try doing race pace efforts, but broken up with a rest period in between. usually these are 200 m / 400m / or maybe 1 km or 1 mile repeats done at or near race pace. Just enough to get the heart rate up to a high level, then back off. 

My wife was always wheezing while trying to run fast, but like you did most of her training nice and slow. Adding a speed workout once a week and she now has stopped the hard crazy breathing and also getting really red in the face while trying to run fast.

I would do no more than 1 speed work out a week at this point and for no more than 30 minutes in total (including the rest period). This could be hill repeats, interval repeats or tempo runs. All are easy to incorporate and there is loads of info on the net.

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