Allergies and Running Fast

January 31, 2019

Some people have allergies which can have a severe effect on your ability to run. This is especially true for those who want to run fast. An allergy typically affects a runner when a particle from a plant or animal in the air enters the respiratory system. There is a reaction that occurs in the body where histamine is released as a defense mechanism against the particle which causes inflammation of the eyes, nasal cavities, and even the lungs making it difficult to breathe. Obviously, this can slow you down.

Allergies can be beaten.

For runners, there is another effect going on. In fact, there are multiple effects. During running your body is working to keep inflammation down so that your lungs work better and you can perform. This is good while you’re performing, but there is a downside. You end up breathing a lot more air while running and if you’re running fast you are moving much more air much more quickly in and out of your system. That air on its own is irritating without any allergies, but those particles in the air also can get embedded in your respiratory tissues. The result is that when you come to a stop and your body is no longer suppressing inflammation you have issues. Your tissues are irritated, you have more allergenic particles in your system, and your immune system is waking up to what it will see as a full-blown crisis. This is a recipe for allergic disaster.

So what can you do? Slowing down is not an option so you must treat your allergies seriously. Take an antihistamine like Allegra or Zyrtec. Use a nasal steroid like Nasacort or Flonase. Some people have found success with a nasal rinse. If you have issues with your lungs there are miraculous asthma medications that will fix that right up (ask your doctor). These are all very safe options. You can also try immunotherapy which is highly effective at reducing the effects of allergies. If you live in Russia you can get Prednisone over the counter which is a powerful drug that will fix you up but will also cause cataracts. If you get cataracts you probably will not be able to run as fast so you should never use Prednisone unless instructed by a doctor.

Don’t let allergies slow you down. They can be beaten. Keep running fast.


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