Monday, March 16, 2015

10 Tips to Training with Breathing Problems

Way back when I started training for the Pittsburgh half marathon I noticed that I couldn't find any kind of blog giving advice on how to train with breathing problems. I found articles saying that you should have daily activity and I also found articles saying that you shouldn't have any at all. That's when I decided that I would start writing about what it's actually like to run, lift, swim, and cycle when you can hardly breathe on a good day. Good plan.  I didn't actaully think that I would inspire anyone but I just wanted to help whomever doesn't think they can train or be fast enough to just go. Just run, just cycle, just skip if you have too. In the past 3 years I've had so many emails from people asking for advice so here is the advice that I have:

1.) Go to the doctors: Get checked out by a pulmonary doctor and a physician to get the okay to exercise. It will give you a better piece of mind too. 

2.) Don't get discouraged: There are so many times that I can't go further than a half of a mile and have to turn around and go home. That's okay. It happens, sometimes more than usual, but it happens.  

3) Your time doesn't matter: That is the hardest thing for me to understand. It really doesn't matter though. What matters is that you can safely cross the finish line. I've crossed and vomited or hyperventating. (Not my best behavior) No one needs to know your time. If you want to tell someone, go for it. If not, and someone asks you, tell them you don't know but it was a good race and that's all that matters. 

4.) Take your medicine!! I've actaully stopped doing that. The medicine I was taking hasn't seem to be working so I stopped taking it. I will be going back to the doctor about that soon. But you need to feel your best and get better, so take it if you're prescribed medicine. 

5.) Know your body: If you don't feel well, don't go. There's a huge difference from being sleepy or not able to breathe. Know the difference and know when to take a break. 

6.) Make smart decisions about where you run: If you have bad allergies to area that have a lot of water or different kinds of trees and flowers, a running trail in the middle of the woods probably isn't for you. Stick to an open park. 

7.) Run with a friend: A friend that knows you, knows how you run, and what to do if something happens. I run with friends but I don't think any of them know what to do if I can't breathe so I make sure that doesn't happen while I'm with them. 

8.) Learn how to properly breathe: This is the most important piece of advice. I thought I knew how to breathe, but I didn't. Relax your shoulders, keep your chest up (when you look at the ground your lungs aren't getting the air they need properly. Keep your head held high to the sky and just keep swimming!...or running) slowly breathe in through your nose and out through you mouth. You want to feel relaxed and not paniced. If you're paniced, SLOW DOWN! Lead from the back, it's okay.  

9.) Don't listen to music: Listen to your body, breathing, and surroundings. 

10.) Don't be so hard on yourself: You signed up for this for a reason. Have fun with it and don't be too hard on a bad run. If every run was great then you wouldn't have anything to learn from. 

Run, be free! Stay wheezy, friends. 

1 comment:

  1. Loved it. Great advice! I agree with everything. And you are so right, it is hard not to get caught up in the whole "time" thing. I'm getting better at it. Truly, I don't run races to win because I know that will never happen. I run to cross the finish line….however long it takes me. :-)