Relationship between VO2 Max and asthma/low iron

Just wondered if anyone has any info on the relationship between asthma and Vo2 max, and low iron/anemia and Vo2max. I have both and am doing what I can to treat them (working with doctor, preventative meds, and supplements), but have always wondered if those are really limiting my ability to increase my Vo2 as Ive always felt a little weak in this area.

I have exercise induced asthma and after this past season, I think I may even just have normal asthma. I got sick twice over the summer - and by sick, I mean a normal cold and my lungs could not recover and I was basically useless. Up all night coughing, barely breathing, it was miserable. Have been on prednisone and now on QVAIR and have my rescue inhaler I use before a hard workout/race.

I’ve always wondered the same. During v02 or as hard as I can go, I feel I’m like about to suffocate and I can’t catch my breath. It’s scary. Yet, I do it knowing what is going happen. Usually in a sprint or whatever in a crit or cx/mtb. Sucks.

I too have both conditions – exercised induced “asthma” (but might just be EIBronchiospasm) and naturally low hemoglobin (~125 g/L; never been tested for iron deficiency anemia).

Neither of these effects my VO2max abilities, and I doubt they are tied at all to VO2max levels.

I do take meds for the EIA/B and iron supps. I donate blood so I can see that iron supps increased my hemo by ~25%; the EIA/B inhalers help only marginally, if at all (antihistamines seem to do the trick, so I suspect I have EIB instead of asthma). Doing VO2 intervals usually helps blow the airways wide open, like a ramjet…it’s when I stop that the coughing kicks in.


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Good to see someone else with that combination. I’m glad to hear it hasn’t been a huge limiter for you. I’ve wondered for a while how the daily preventative inhalers affect heart rate and if it pushes mine up a little, causing me to hit that ceiling a little earlier than I would otherwise. The reality is that I probably just haven’t trained my Vo2 system much and just need to continue to work at it to raise that ceiling.