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Training to get sick?

Seems to be the new theme around here. Do a long training walk……get sick. ( by sick I mean an asthma exacerbation)

Thursday I did the second to the last of my really long training walks for the Boston and Rome marathons (18.1 miles to be exact), and now, a day later, I’m having a tough time keeping my peak flows out of the red zone. For the first time in a long time, my FEV1

actually dipped below 30%. Ive managed to hold my own by increasing my neb treatments to every 1-2 hours , but Ive been huffing and puffing just walking around my house. Funny how I can walk 18 miles one day, and then have a hard time walking 18 feet the next.

Maybe I over did it, though I’ll be damed if I know how. I felt fine during most of the walk , and to play it cautious , I even walked slower than usual and took half a dozen 3 minute rest breaks along the way. Total time to finish the walk was 4:58 . Other than the noticeable humidity in the air and the smell of fresh cut grass near Crissy field (which can sometimes set me off), overall Id say my breathing was better than average. If anything, it was my arms, legs and feet that were really starting to bother me near the end of the walk.

There are probably numerous environmental and intrinsic factors at play here that are causing me to flare-up after these long walks, but I think the reality is, my disease is simply catching up with me. My lung function and my tolerance for strenuous exercise is declining , and short of a bilateral lung transplant, there’s nothing that will change that. All the more the reason I suppose,to do these upcoming races while I’m still able.

I was asking my friend Mike how he trains for a marathon. His response was, that it takes too much out of him to do traditional mileage building and training walks, so instead, he does core strengthening ( pilates) and a few stair climbs races. Hmmm, maybe he’s on to something. Maybe that’s why he doesn’t have as many breathing flare-ups as I do. Geese, I’d love not to have to do training walks for months on end and risk dying every time I train for a marathon, but there’s no way on earth I would have the endurance or the breath to finish one if I didn’t train the way I currently do. Still, I wonder if the means justifies the end..( or something like that) Oddly, I seem to get sick after almost every training walk , but I’ve only gotten sick one time after finishing an actual marathon.

Btw, here’s a Google Map I plotted out of my 18 mile walk. I like this route because it gives you a little bit of everything. City streets, views of the bay, park paths, vistas from the Golden Gate bridge and just the right amount of hills and straight aways.
To take a virtual tour of my course, click on “view larger map”, zoom in anywhere along the purple course line and use the street view feature to see what I see when I walk this course.
Happy Training!


View Larger Map

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3 thoughts on “Training to get sick?

  1. Good job steve. I love the street view feature on google. Unfortunately they don’t offer it up here in Canada due to privacy concerns.

  2. Hey Steve,

    You’ve been doing really well since being off of the pred.

    Isn’t Google Maps awesome?

    Dang, it looks like 40% of your route is a true particulate/auto fume hell. I think Mike might be onto something with the indoor training (stair climbing). Can you do the bridge a couple more rotations and then hit an indoor track?

    Best of luck to you…

    Jay

  3. Stair climbs take less out of your friend than traditional training?

    That’s surprising. You’ll have to share with us if you decide to try it out!

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