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Travails of a Non-Swimmer

Hay Fever Season

So sorry for the lack of updates. I missed workouts on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. My excuse is that I had menstrual pain coupled with a nasty cold. I didn’t want to spread the virus in a wet and moist environment such as the gym or pool. So I opted not to go, and sleep instead.


Excuses, excuses! But when both of the above were over I was happy to go back to the gym.

Spring Suffering

AllergyThe weather has gotten so much warmer, and the beautiful spring flowers are in bloom. I love spring.

But I don’t love the pollen allergy (hay fever) that comes along at this time. As the plants bloom my eyes and nose itch like crazy. My nose becomes the equivalent of a faulty faucet: constantly leaking with no relief in sight.

I brought a box of tissues and a plastic bag to contain the wet crumpled balls of tissue to the gym. Before going out I put on nasal spray, drank antihistamine medicine, and wore a surgical mask. I came prepared.

An hour with the gym machines and I only had to take a few trips to the sink to blow my nose and wash up. So far so good.

Pool Pain

And then I went to the pool. After five days of no swim I’d “forgotten” how to do it. My body was certainly a bit stodgy at first. I did a mix of drills to warm up: Superman Glide, Switch with interrupted breathing, one-arm crawl. Then I went on to the sets: 4 x 25m of crawl, which was alright (except for the persistent weak right side). I started to do the 3 x 50m for backstroke.

But then my nose started to run like a leaking faucet.

I got out of the pool and went to the sink to blow my nose and wash. I went back to the pool to continue. But my nose would simply not stop running.


In the end, after about 40min, I pinched both nostrils and got out of the water.

How To Workout with Hay Fever

Hay fever is a big industry in Japan. Lots of products. I use some of them: a coat or jacket with a smooth surface (so the pollen won’t stick), medication (antihistamines etc) and other remedies (nasal sprays and creams). There are also goods like anti-hay fever eyeglasses and air-conditioner filters, which I haven’t tried yet.

I also hear of people undergoing medical laser therapy to desensitize the nose parts that are sensitive to pollen. But years ago I had Lasik eye surgery, and now I just don’t want to go through any other thing that has the word “surgery” in it.

How do you deal with all the facial itching, and the perpetually runny nose?

Do you just tell yourself that the chlorine in the water will “clean up” what your nose brings out?

I don’t want to make the pool any dirtier than it already is. Or am I just being squeamish?


I guess I could use a nose clip. But since I exhale through my nose during crawl, I’d just have to switch to doing lots of backstroke with a nose clip instead. I think that’s something I can manage: breathe in and out through the mouth only. But just in backstroke.

I honestly don’t know how to deal with this hay fever now that I’m working out. Last year I just had a to bring a box of tissues with me wherever I went, and then grit my teeth and bear it.

That’s kind of hard to do at the pool, though. I feel that at the rate my nose is running I’ll soon fill up the pool with icky stuff. Certainly not something I want to be guilty of.

Another Go

Tomorrow night I’ll go to the gym and pool again. I’ll have to think of ways to solve the crazy runny nose issue, not just with medication, but also consider alternative remedies.

Time with the Machines and Pool

  • Chest Press 4.5kg, 10x
  • Sit-up 20x
  • Leg Press 22.5kg, 20x
  • Torso Rotation 14kg, 20x
  • Triceps Press 4.5kg, 10x
  • Hip Flexer 10x
  • Abdominal 5 + 4.4kg, 20x
  • Back Extension 10x
  • Running 30min = 4km at 5.5-9km/h, slope 0.0%
  • Pool 40min only, 4 x 25 crawl, 1 x 50 backstroke, a bunch of glide and switch drills, lots of interruptions to blow nose. Gave up because nose just won’t stop running.
  • Lat Pulldown Somebody was always using it!
  • Low Row See above
  • Recumbent Exercise Bike Too lazy
  • Mechanical Horse None tonight
  • Diet Trainer None tonight

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