Snakes and Ladders again, and a long term goal

After a promising return to interval training last weekend, I am afraid that this week the throw of the dice landed me on a square with a slippery snake’s tail and I went slithering downwards again. A week ago, I was celebrating the fact that the arrival of spring and the increase in air temperature had almost banished the asthmatic problems that had nagged me all winter. However, this morning I woke with marked constriction of the airways. My peak expiratory flow was only about half of its usual value even after a puff of salbutamol. Nonetheless because the outside air was quite warm, I decided that I would attempt a 4x1Km interval session again. In last week’s session, I had averaged 4:18 per Km while running at the upper border of the aerobic zone (mean heart rate 143). In view of my constricted bronchi, I decided to aim for 4:25 per Km this morning.

Although I was slightly hampered by the tightness in my chest and throat, the warm moist air was soothing rather than irritating, and the constriction did not get any worse. However, to add to my problems, we have had a rainy week and the woodland path was quite muddy. I found it difficult to get into a good rhythm, and I did not quite achieve my target time. My average pace was 4:28 per Km and mean heart rate was 140. So the treacherous snake was a short fat one, and I did not slither all the way back to square one.

Despite today’s minor set back, I am hopeful that I will be able to do some solid training in the near future. It is therefore time to set some goals. I will not commit myself to races in the near future, but will set a moderate paced half-marathon at the end of summer as the major target. Since I returned to training 2 years ago, I have run two half-marathons, both in 101 minutes. In both instances preparation had consisted of about 4 months of running about 30-35 miles per week, mainly at low intensity. At my age, I would expect that if I maintain a similar level of training, my pace would deteriorate by about 1% per year. However, it would be interesting to see if this year I can arrest the inexorable rising tide of decrepitude. If my airways allow me, I will increase the intensity and aim for a 99 minute half marathon in September.

3 Responses to “Snakes and Ladders again, and a long term goal”

  1. Ewen Says:

    That’s longer than I thought you’d be racing! Anyway, 99 minutes seems an achievable goal with consistent training. I hope your asthma settles with the improved weather.

  2. Paul S Nielsen-Mazewski Says:


    This note is regarding your athsma. I am a student of the College of Natural Nutrition and we have a slightly different way of looking at athsma than conventional medicine.

    From our point of view it is basically dehydration. The athsmatics body is so dehydrated that it constricts the breathing tubes in an effort to minimise further loss of moisture. You mention that you had bad athsma this winter, which was quite cold and would’ve made you loose even more moisture thru your breathe – hence the athsma attacks.

    Recommended general treatment to cure athsma is to hydrate the colon (large intestine). The colon contains most of the hystamine cells in the body because the colon is the organ in the body that regulates hydration. The colon is where dehydration is first registered in the body and it’s the colon that then decides what to do next.
    If you colon is dry it will stimulate the histamine cells to create histamine which is used thru-out the body to restruict further loss of moisture – athsma, hayfever, etc…

    How do you hydrate the colon? Drink 2 litres of water a day, avoid all diretics (tea, coffee, etc..), eat moist food, eat food that poses less of a challenge to the body (grains very challenging, i.e. they require lots of water and energy to digest = stress = dehydration).

    Also things like linseed tea which is rather gloopy substance gets a hydration message to the colon.

    You can find lots more info if you look on the College of Natural Nutrition website.

    Hope that helps you.

  3. canute1 Says:

    Thanks for those ideas. There is no doubt that dry air makes the asthma worse. I also suspect that I do consume too much cereal.
    I would be interested in your thoughts on anti-oxidants.

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