Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Exercise Induced Asthma, Series 7 gets underway and new 400m PB

Series 7 of the Hillseeker Fitness Wednesday Night Running Sessions started tonight, and with the light fading fast in the evenings these days, we are now meeting at the floodlit Sihlhölzli track (photo opposite).

I have missed quite a few days of training in the last week due to a cold that almost threatened to go to my chest, but I rested well and it passed fairly quickly as a result.  I was feeling completely back to normal when I woke up this  morning, so decided to go along to the first session of Series 7 tonight.

After a decent warm up, some drills and some short sprints we moved on to the main body of the workout.  Each series begins and ends with a benchmark test and this time Jeff chose to use 400m as the benchmark distance (1 lap of the Sihlhölzli track).  We would get 3 attempts at it, and we were free to choose our race strategy.  If we liked we could use the first and second attempts as practise and go all out on the final one or we could go all out on the first attempt and then best effort on the remaining two.

I knew that 400m should take me not long over a minute, so I decided to go all out on the first lap.  I made sure to get a good starting place on the inside lane and at the front of the group.  400m is a short distance, but if you don't pace it well, it is easy to blow up before the end.  I paced it pretty well as I was coming down the home straight with the feeling that I couldn't give it any more, yet I hadn't slowed my pace significantly since starting the lap.  I finished the 400m lap in 1 minute and 1 second, in pole position.

However, what with the highly intense effort followed by an abrupt stop, and the cold, damp air outside, my exercise induced asthma started to become a problem shortly after finishing.  The remaining 2 laps took me over 90 seconds each, and then I had to drop out of the rest of the session as I started to struggle to catch my breath, and began coughing incessantly.

Although I have had exercise induced asthma since my teenage years, it rarely causes me a problem.  So much so that I don't even own any inhalers as a backup anymore.  The only time it seems to cause me an issue is when I perform at max effort and then stop suddenly, and even then it only usually happens if the air is especially cold.  Usually as winter draws on it improves, but we have recently had a sudden drop in temperature from over 20C to well below 10C.  I think it would be a wise idea for me to go to the doctor though and get some Ventolin just in case.  I can also then use it as a preventative measure when I think that the weather is likely to trigger an attack, like tonight.  I will have to book an appointment tomorrow.

Having done the 400m in 1 minute and 1 second I am sure you can see what is coming next.  I will try to knock one second off my time and go under the 1 minute barrier very soon.  Whilst that won't win me any awards, under 1 minute is a pretty decent time for someone training for a marathon.