Training for the Monument Ave 10k? Here’s how to breathe better!

Richmond is an awesome city to get out doors and exercise. Back before I had kids, I used to run a lot. My wife and I lived right off the course of the Monument Avenue 10k, so I would run the course a few days a week. I ran in the race from 2007-2010 (I placed #3567 in 2010!).

I’m a lot slower now…

Four little kids means no time to train!

When you’re training, you want to try to perform your best. If your nose is congested, you’re not going to be moving air efficiently and your performance may suffer. If you’re training for the Monument Avenue 10k or any of the other races in central Virginia this spring, here are some tips to help you breathe better!

  1. If you have allergies, start a nasal steroid spray. They’re available over the counter as Flonase® and Nasacort®, but you’ll also find generics with the same ingredients, only cheaper. Nasal steroids decrease any inflammation on the inside of your nose. Less inflammation means more room for air! They’re generally well tolerated and you should use one every day. Adding a daily antihistamine like Claritin® is even more effective than the nasal steroid alone.
  2. Consider using nasal strips. You may have seen football players or other athletes using them. Nasal strips pull open the sides of your nose which increases the area that air has to move through the inside of your nostrils. Some people have collapsing sides of their nose when they breathe in. Nasal strips can help them, but frequently we need to do surgery to fix it. For one patient’s story about this, click here. For more on nasal strips, check out this post from my blog.

  1. For the day of the Monument Avenue 10k, or if you’ve got a big training day, you can consider using a nasal decongestant spray. There are a ton of them available in the cough and cold aisle of any store under names like Afrin®, Neosynephrine®, and 4 Way Nasal Spray®. They’re available in generic too. These medications will cause the inside lining of your nose to shrink a LOT. This means room for a lot more air. Now, these medications can be habit forming, so only use them when you really need them. For more, check out this old post from the blog.

If your nose is crooked or if you broke it in the past, you may have a structural problem like a deviated septum. Nasal strips may still help to a point and you may get some benefit from the medicines discussed above. However, if you want to really be at your peak level of performance for the Monument Avenue 10k, you might consider coming to see me. I love straightening out crooked noses. They look better, and they work better too!


Two months post-op


This former cheerleader couldn’t breathe for years after kneeing herself in the face during a tumbling routine. After we straightened her out, her breathing was much improved! For other examples, check out my photo gallery.

If you want to see if fixing your nose can help your Monument Avenue 10k time, call us at 804-762-0080 or fill out the contact form to the right!

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