Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 07-13-2013, 10:44 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Calgary
Posts: 3,819
Why do I sometimes get a productive and painful cough after hard cardio effort?

I competed in a time trial this morning and a criterium this afternoon (road cycling). For those that don't know, the time trial is a serious all out individual race for time, and a crit is similar but more of a group effort with a few slack periods so not quite as tough but still a sustained effort. After my time trial this morning, it felt like my lungs were bleeding and it took about 45 minutes for the burning sensation to stop, or at least become tolerable. I had a bit of a cough and some minor pain but not too bad by the time the crit started this afternoon. Since the crit, I've developed a painful but productive cough and a bit of a wheeze.

This has happened before in cycling races and also happened once or twice years ago when I first started running (and was out of shape). Why? Someone at some point told me it was something to do with lactic acid but I wasn't satisfied with that explanation. What is the medical reason for this?

I'm not a one off, by the way. Many of the other ladies and gents in the race this morning were commenting on their burning lungs and a few of us had coughs this afternoon. It just happens in hard, all out efforts like this.
Old 07-13-2013, 10:58 PM
Chief Pedant Chief Pedant is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 6,967
IMHO, it's difficult and probably not appropriate to give you a very specific tentative diagnosis.

General reasons for your symptoms can include exercise-induced bronchospasm, cardiace ischemia, or irritation from polluted air.

However it could also be something as benign as simple over exertion, drying out of the airways, and a cough/burning secondary to irritation of the airways.

Last edited by Chief Pedant; 07-13-2013 at 11:01 PM.
Old 07-14-2013, 12:16 AM
Wesley Clark Wesley Clark is offline
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 19,207
As a WAG it could be exercise induced asthma.


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

Copyright © 2017