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After a race in colder weather, I tend to have congestion and a dry, raspy cough that persists for a few days, and is usually gone by the next weekend. I would imagine the cough is caused by racing really hard in cooler weather, maybe "shocking" one's breathing passages. It usually doesn't lead to illness but sure isn't comfortable. Does anyone else experience this? What causes it, and is it bad for you?

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It sounds like exercise induced asthma. Typical symptoms really, but they are hanging on longer than I would expect. You should see your physician, to be sure. It is simply treated with albuterol prior to races, and it is more of an annoyance than something bad.
For it to be EIA (exercise induced asthma) you'd need to have that cough whenever you do sports with high aerobic requirements; you'd also need chest constriction - either the feeling that there is a band around your ribs / lungs, or a pressure-weight pressign down on your chest. (my credentials aren't medical, they're personal - 26 years of asthma).

Otherwise, your cough sounds a bit like track sprinter's cough - so I would assume is caused by the high aerobic demands of the sport... ?
I always call it 'roadie cough', as a lot of the roadies get this too. For me, it seems to be related to training lots of long hours where you're sucking up dust, road grime and who knows what else. It's pretty common among people who race. It usually goes away on it's own, but if you notice your lungs getting phlegmy see a doc, because it's easy for this to turn into an infection.
High intensity exercise in cold weather has the potential to irritate multiple parts of the respiratory symptoms. Could be just that, irritation. Could be you're pushing your immune system over the edge into a cold. I'd probably see the doctor just to rule out asthma or anything else more serious than a cold.
You've got (or had) what trackies call 'track hack'. Here in CO, almost everyone gets it on the first night of racing. Cross racers get it more frequently because of the much colder, drier air. It'll go away eventually. Is it bad for you?? No. You can't die from track hack (or whatever cute name we can call it for cross racers), you just feel as if you're about to.
Happens every season to me, usually sometime in october. But it happened a month earlier this year. Nittany lion cross was sept. 26, nice day but a cool wind was blowing, after the race i could already feel it in my chest. I am not a doctor but i can only guess that when you train in the spring and summer your lungs are accustomed to the warm air coming in. I guess your lungs get a shock when your going hard on that first cool/breezy day. After a few days it is gone, you would have to ask your doctor about it.


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