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Dealing With Allergies During Training: One Runner's Struggle

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Prepping for a big race? Don't let allergies get you down. (Photo by Blackmores Sydney Running Festival via Getty Images)
Prepping for a big race? Don't let allergies get you down. (Photo by Blackmores Sydney Running Festival via Getty Images)
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There's nothing worse than allergies getting in the way of your training regimen, especially when a big race is just weeks away. Instead of running 30 miles in a week, you're sneezing and having trouble breathing through your nose on mile 3. In worse cases, you begin to wheeze and may even have seasonal asthma. What's a runner to do?

I faced this exact problem these past two weeks. I actually thought I was getting sick with a cold because I was coughing and had a runny nose. My usual allergy symptoms, which include itchy eyes, weren't really playing a part.

I tried self-medication and I tried several allergy remedies, including Zyrtec, Claritin and Benedryl. Nothing really seemed to help. Really, I put off going to the doctor for a week too long, hoping that I would just cure myself magically.

The doctor decided that I may have a lung infection causing the asthma and the feelings of general malaise and fatigue. After five days of antibiotics, I feel much better but am still taking allergy meds and using an inhaler before I go running.

My plan for the Brooklyn Half has been destroyed by the loss of training time, and I can only hope that the next four weeks go smoothly in order for my 13.1 mile experience on May 19 to be a success.

What do you folks do when allergy season gets you down? What's the best way to train despite adverse conditions? Hit us up in the comments.