Indoor Air Quality

So with the entire west coast of the USA on fire, I’m curious who is reducing their training as a consequence of the air quality? This time of year I’m usually doing most of my workouts outside but with the current AQI being well above hazardous I’m not sure even training indoors is smart.

I live in the Bend/Redmond area of Oregon and our AQI has been around 450-550 through most of the weekend. Today it dropped as low as 200 earlier in the day but jumped back above 300 as the winds picked up. We live in a fairly small house where my only training space is the attached garage. I’m not sure if a typical air handling unit removes pm 2.5, and even less certain that I am getting any of that filtered air in the garage, in fact I know some outside air is seeping in through a gap in the garage door seal.

Any recommendations? I’m not really training with any purpose right now as we are expecting the birth of our first child and I have no races on the books due to COVID, mostly trying to maintain until I can train again regularly. However, I don’t foresee this problem getting better any time in the next week as the Oregon forest fires are completely uncontained at the moment and massive.

1 Like

I’m in Portland so comparable air quality. We’ve been running a heap filter 24/7 for days. It’s able to do a pretty good job, but every so often I can still feel the air inside the house. I haven’t reduced my training, just put the hepa in front of me and crank it, along with the other fan I normally use. My “pain cave” is just the dining room before anyone else wakes up, so I’m not out in the garage or anything. Without the air filter I probably would be cutting down or just taking off days. The hepa doesn’t really reach our bathroom and you can feel the difference in the air.

Wow. Those AQI numbers are crazy!. I usually don’t ride outside if AQI >= 100. Sorry about your situation. H

I was living in Spokane a few years ago when there were forest fires nearby. Spokane gets an inversion layer and the smoke just sits on the city. I could literally see giant smoke clouds wafting down neighborhood streets. I didn’t ride for 4 weeks that summer just to avoid smoke.

My bay area friends claim that a high quality hepa air filter really cleans up the interior of the house.

I’d definitely install one in the room with my trainer and probably several covering the whole house.

Currently at around 250 here in BC, Canada. Public health are saying to avoid activity outdoors and reduce levels of activity if exercising indoors. It’s not worth breathing carcinogenic particles deep into your lungs imo

Just went for a 45-min walk with my wife (San Diego). AQI of 124 here, throat is sore and eyes burning. Unfortunately my trainer is in the garage so I’m skipping the ride today. If it’s still bad tomorrow I will move it inside I to the office and wife and I will duke it out in there for time.

I did a Zwift race Friday when AQI was about 120 and it really bothered me. Rode Saturday closer to the coast and in the morning without much issue. Forecasts here have air quality improving through the week as our fire is contained.

382 here in Portland.

I split Friday’s ride in half, completing the second half on Saturday. I’m using both the AirVisual and Plume Labs apps to find a time in the day with the lowest AQI. Without a filter I’m sure it’s best to avoid exercise.

Ordered an air filtration system (Dyson). It won’t arrive for a few more days.

Last week I did some sprint work in the (well sealed) garage with AQI outside in 150-200 range. After Thursday’s workout my mouth tasted like cigarettes for days, coughing, sore throat, lungs rattling a bit. Went to the doctor and pulled the plug on working out until the air quality improves.

The Camp Fire two years ago gave us enough 300-500 AQI days that I know what you are going thru. You don’t want PM2.5 getting lodged into your lungs and possibly losing lung capacity. I’d suggest using the AirNow website to view actual AQI because some apps are over reporting - for example my sister in Portland thought AQI was 500 on Saturday but the actual EPA monitoring stations near her house were reporting high 200s. Still really unhealthy but I think you are better off knowing the actual and not getting fake AQI scores. Here you go:

1 Like

Over 400 here in Spokane. My Air’conditioning is doing a good job of handling it. I’m sticking to indoors. Had to cancel a camping trip.

AirNow is listing Portland at 475 - compared to AirVisual which is reporting 358. AirVisual pulls data from devices it sells. Portland government and Portland State University are using the AirVisual devices.

Agreed that pulling the plug on training for a few days is better than getting sick :mask: from bad air quality.

1 Like

In Seattle. AQI generally mid 200’s. Running my furnace fan 24x7 with a merv 12 filter and all windows and doors closed. Riding indoors only on kickr in exercise room. Might put on an N95 disposable mask or PM2.5 charcoal filter insert for my cloth mask even for inside starting tomorrow as this is going to last a few more days. Ordered a set of 3M N100 disposable masks for the next inevitable episode.

I’m surprised no one has been riding with a mask. Seattle area has been in the 250s for a couple of days. We still have some n95 smoke masks (with the vents) from the bc fires a few years ago. I’ve switched my rides to bottom of z2, used a mask in the garage, but decided to move inside today.

Honestly I’m thinking I’ll probably focus on lifting until this clears up.

Been pretty nasty here in NorCal for a while now. I’m sticking with my training, but moved my whole setup from the garage to in the house as apparently my garage is not that well sealed. It’s better now but for several days it smelled like a campfire in there. Combine that with a temp of 85-90 degrees on some of the days made for an easy choice not to train in there.

Thankfully inside the house is pretty good so I’ve been able to carry on.


I’m in Bellingham, it’s been high-200s, low-300s for several days. Last week I canceled my outdoor ride on Tuesday, got one in on Thursday, and now the family and I have been indoors for four days straight.

I unfortunately don’t have any air purification tools. I’ll fix that as soon as this is over and things come back into stock (I’ll take suggestions for purifiers and monitors if anyone has any). Fortunately all the smoke has been keeping the temperature down, so it hasn’t gotten too hot in the house. On Saturday I did a two hour sweet spot workout with the window closed. Four hats, two jerseys, and more liquid that I can measure and I think it was the sweatiest I’ve ever been.

My company is based in Bend and my morning meeting has people in Bend, Portland, the Willamette Valley, Seattle, and Bellingham. It’s crazy everywhere. Stay safe everybody.

1 Like