Seasonal Allergies vs Overtraining Syndrome

  • Creator
  • #22228


    I’m wondering, does anybody on here have bad seasonal allergies? For the past couple of weeks, my legs have felt heavy/dead and my knees have also been feeling a little achy. I figured I was heading towards OTS, so I cut back and having been focusing on rest for the past week but not much improvement. However, I’m allergic to grass and tree pollen, and historical pollen counts show that both have been high to very high during that time period.

    After doing some research, it appears seasonal allergies and OTS have similar symptoms. Does anybody else have any experience with this and have any advice? Or is this a stretch? I’m not really sure how to proceed with training as I don’t want to dig myself into a deeper hole if I am in fact experiencing OTS.

    I completed the 16 week skimo plan in early April and have mostly just been running a few times a week to maintain fitness before starting a trail running program.

  • Participant
    Rachel on #22248

    I haven’t had OTS that I know of, but I do get seasonal allergies pretty bad. What follows is my experiment on myself.

    I started base building Jan 1st, and for two months I was constantly about to get sick (found out I had low Vitamin D). Then right when I was over that hump in March, allergy season started up.

    To make things worse, my immunotherapy shots I’ve been getting for years just weren’t working as well as they used to, AND my allergy doctor ran out of my tree-specific serum and has had some sort of months long delay re-ordering it. So my allergy shots weren’t going to help me this spring.

    I was having to take Xyrtec 2x a day and a Benadryl in the evenings to keep the allergy cough at bay and just overall I felt like crap. I was getting desperate.

    I got desperate enough that I tried Maffetone’s Carb Intolerance test because like two people on the internet said it helped their allergies. (Also I figured it would help turn me into a fat-burning beast.) Make that three people on the internet now who say it’s helped their allergies.

    I didn’t try his CI test before because I love my avocado toast, breakfast burritos, and the occasional decadent baked good. The thought of giving that up sounded like no fun. Instead I upped my fat intake and lowered my carb intake, but I didn’t cut out anything. But finally I was ready to give it a go.

    It worked! I mean, I don’t know if it was cutting out carbs, my steadily increasing Vitamin D levels, or the months of base building, or all three, but within a few days my allergies were way improved despite the trees just getting started, my recovery improved dramatically in between workouts, and I’ve been able to stick to my plan in Training Peaks and build my volume up. And yes, it also took my fat burning to the next level.

    And even though the pollen has stayed ridiculously high since I cut carbs in late March I don’t have to take Xyrtec every day (it’s more like once every couple weeks, I can’t remember the last I took one actually.) I still use Dymista but I’m not sure I need to.

    I still have allergies, but they are way, way, way milder. Like a slightly runny nose as I run by the aspen trees that are budding. I can open the windows in the house again. If I fell off the wagon a bit the day before I notice my eyes get more watery when I’m out exercising.

    I haven’t figured out exactly which foods were causing me issues but I’m pretty sure sugar was a major culprit. I’ve felt so much better I hesitate to add things back in. Anyway I hope that might help you out. Or immunotherapy shots, if you don’t already get them. They have helped me a great deal overall and for years they eliminated my allergies altogether.

    Dada on #22251

    Hi Sam,

    I feel you too! I have also severe allergies, mainly grass. End of February/ beginning of march I get the first attack, probably from cross sensitivities. During one week my performance crashes. Before that I can easily go 1500m verticals, after that I struggle with 300m ascents. I then recover slightly and then I got hit last week again. My thighs burn when I walk up in my third floor apartment. My vertical speed at AeT dropped from 360m/h to 226m/h (I have ADS). At the moment, my HR is also elevated (78 vs 58 bpm). In summer, the more I train the weaker I basically got the last years. That’s so frustrating. That’s why I started to train using TftnA. It helped slightly so far.

    On the meds side, I take quite a lot:
    Corticosteroids + longlasting ß2 receptor antagonists
    Salbutamol (before exercises)

    But I’m satisfied at all. I tried some Cineol yesterday, and my vertical speed increased to 340m/h. I will monitor that.

    I will consider Rachelp’s approach, since I’m sincerely desperate.


    Dada on #40563

    Hi Sam & Rachel,

    Any news on how to handle the allergy related issues?

    I figured out, that my AeT (initially test with HR drift, and continously tested by using nose breathing) is fluctuating a lot on a day-to-day basis. And it gets better during the training.

    So let’s assume running.
    AeT with HR drift from December: 165
    AeT with nose breathing two days ago @ start of training: 155
    AeT with nose breathing two days ago @ end of training: close to 165

    When I include some pickups, its even getting better and I can reach higher HR. At the beginning of the training it seems that my HR is limited and even Z1 pace ia feeling very, bery hard.

    The funny thing, my FEV1 is basically not different throughout the year…

    Maybe it helps you guys.

    Best regards

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • The forum ‘General Training Discussion’ is closed to new topics and replies.