Beating Back Pollen: An Allergy Guide For Runners

Fleet Feet Sports Runner

Let’s face it, as runners, everyone has to deal with varying elements; weather, terrain, and of course ALLERGIES. This particular season according to the sneeze-o-meter on Carolina Asthma & Allergy Center, the counts this season have been unusually high. This has made running difficult for even the most seasoned runner.

So, how can you push through all the pollen and beat the sniffles this year? Below we may have some answers for pre- and -post runs during allergy season:

  • Try to avoid early morning runs: According to studies pollen counts are highest between 5 AM and 10 AM., this is different on a cooler or more damp day.

  • Avoid running on windy days: Pollen moves through the air, and you can bet on a windier day that there’ll be a fair amount of pollen moving around. Instead of running outside, try opting for an indoor track or treadmill workout. It’s also best to do those indoor workouts the day after high winds, since there’s a good chance that pollen will still be heavy in the air.

  • Try eating foods that will curb inflammation naturally: Some examples would be brocoli, locally sourced honey, citrus, avocado, apples, kale, and even garlic!

  • Showering immediately post run: Pollens will often get caught in hair and clothing. Showering after you run will ensure that you will not spread the allergens around the house and will remove them effectively from your own body.

  • Run after rainstorms: Rain will naturally wash away pollens, and in doing so you will have less likelihood of experiencing regular allergy symptoms.

  • Using allergy medications: For the most effective results, taking allergy medications regularly will help your immune system battle allergens from outside. Taking an antihistamine pill a few hours before your run will be most beneficial.

  • Be mindful of your eyes and nose: Covering your mouth and nose with a cloth will help to filter some allergens from clogging your lungs and sinuses. Wearing running goggles or even fitted sunglasses will help prevent pollen from building up in your eyes or under your contacts (if you wear them, be sure to rinse thoroughly with saline when you are done).  

For regular updates on Pollen Count, please visit: 
Carolina Asthma & allergy Center: Pollen Levels

For other great running tips check out the rest of our blog here: 
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