Working out with pulmonary issues

Hi there,

Bit of a small background story about me:
Diagnosed with Cyctic Fibrosis (CF) as a baby.
CF is a hereditary progressive and as of yet not curable disease which causes all the mucus in your body to be mouch tougher than it’s supposed to be (I know…gross). As a result it piles up, causes infections in lungs and other organs and causes a steady decline in lung capacity over the years. Average life expectancy is around 40 years. When I was born it was closer to 20 years, so I consider myself extremely lucky being 38 years old and relatively fit considering the circumstances.

Working out is extremely important to slowing down the decline, hence I picked up cycling about 2 years ago and joined TR a month ago to make it more serious and see where it would take me. Really liking it so far. Currently in the middle of SSB MV1.

Interval workouts with pulmonary issues does have it’s challenges though. For example, an average rest interval for me looks something like this:

Initially my heartrate starts to decline after the workset. However, soon the coughing starts causing my HR to spike and even increase before the next workset starts. HR often doesn’t decline past zone 2 or even 3. My legs are getting enough rest but my HR is one big crapshoot. So far I’ve viewed this as just an extra challenge to overcome, but I may consider extending the rest intervals when things start to become to extreme.

Is there anyone else suffering from pulmonary issues which impact training?
How do you cope with the extra challenge?
Do you increase rest intervals, lower intensity, or just man (or women) up?

Would love to hear from you!


Really, nobody else?
Starting to feel like a special snowflake :face_with_monocle:

Can’t offer any advice from personal experience, but it is inspiring to see that you are using TR to stay healthy and combat a chronic health issue - I suspect many folk with progressive limiting conditions would benefit from structured training - I suspect longer rest intervals may be the way to go, as chronic respiratory conditions have secondary cardiac consequences due to increased pulmonary vascular resistance causing increased right sided atrial and ventricular pressures - hit your targets, but let the heart recover too

I don’t have much experience with your issue, but all I can say is that the healthy lifestyle, which I’ve adopted and improved in the last 2 years, has been profoundly impactful for me.

I wrote about it here:

I hope you continue to feel better and hopefully inspire others.