Running with Allergies

Everything is beautiful and blooming. Temperatures finally reached into and are staying in the 60’s, the sky is blue, sun is (usually) shinning and I’m afraid to go outside….

pollen on car

I’ve written about my allergies and struggles with spring running (due to allergies/asthma and the cycle of not being able to breathe well when things are blooming) before, I complain about it on twitter and am constantly looking for (natural – non med, non living in a bubble) ways to alleviate my symptoms.

Did you know that pollen counts are higher in the early morning? Yup! sad but true. They tend to dip after 10am they so on high pollen days I try to schedule my runs for later in the day. It is not ideal because I enjoy running in the morning, running before most of the city is awake and before I’m awake enough to know what I’m doing. Starting my day with fitness, getting it done before life has an opportunity to get in the way is the way I like to roll… I also like to breathe so I do what I have to.  My suggestion, if you suffer from mild to severe seasonal allergies is to schedule your runs in the afternoon or evening. Of course you can always run inside on a track (if you happen to have access to one) or on a dread treadmill. Other suggestions… (and skipping a run is always an option to, if the allergens are really getting to you)

spring running allergies runner grass

On/Before your run

– Check the pollen count…- has a great tool and most newspapers publish daily mild/moderate/severe graphs for counts. I look ahead a few days and if one day is going to be severe/high/have A LOT of allergens I make that my rest day.

– Wear sunglasses, and yes even if it is cloudy. Sunglasses will protect your eyes from the sun (duh!) and also from pollen/allergens flying into them. Trust me, not fun when pollen attacks your eyes.

– Suck it up, pop some over the counter meds and wait a day or so for them to kick it. Try not to be like me and miss a dose or two, not fun.

– Run in the rain, or after rain if you can. This will of course depend on the weather but rain washes away a significant amount of allergens.

– Try to avoid windy days, the pollen/allergen count may not be higher but the wind will whip around things that normally would have been still.

– Skip the trail, parks, or other areas with higher concentrations of trees… if you can that is.

– If you have asthma (like me) make sure you have your inhaler on hand in case you need it.

After your run

– Shower immediately to get rid of the remnants

– Wash (if you can) or put the clothes you had on in a closed bag so that the enemy pollen doesn’t attack your home.

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Does it complicate your training? Did I miss any tips for coping?

Until next time… Run Happy!


* Check out my Virtual Runs HERE… Or register for my Memorial Day Run & or Summer Sun Set *


    I can totally relate on the running with allergies thing. Mine don't get too bad until August/September though. But I do notice some changes this time of year as well. Mornings are definitely worse, which is hard because that's such a great time to run in the summer. Those are some great tips, I found that showering immediately really makes a difference.

    Laura | 5 years ago Reply

    I have been terrible lately with allergies, this is the only reason I am looking forward to the rain tomorrow!. I find cutting out all dairy products helps me somewhat, especially with the breathing (my allergy/asthma dr suggested it years ago and I am certain it works).

    Jen | 5 years ago Reply

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