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Anonymous
Anonymous asked in SportsRunning · 4 months ago

Is this normal when racing (please help, been looking for answers for a while and getting discouraged)?

I've mentioned this to my doctor and I recently went to a cardiologist who did very thorough tests. Everything came back perfectly normal. This 'pain' has been happening since I was 12 since I started running. I'm 17 and female. I've just accepted that it's normal to feel this dull chest pain/ache/discomfort/tightness during exertion and exertion only. Maybe it's a muscle cramp there? Fatigued chest muscles? 

Recently I finished a half marathon in 1:44 (sub 8 min mile pace) and really pushed myself during the last 3 miles. I dealt with this same old dull discomfort (either in chest or lungs) that got increasingly worse and subsided once I finished the race and walked it off. Maybe this isn't a cardiac or lung issue, since it's always happened to me and is accompanied by no other symptoms? I've tried not eating too much before running and stretching my chest muscles. Could this be a musculoskeletal problem instead? I've spent so much time googling what it could be, yet no conditions really match up. I've tried asking runners if they've experienced this, but can't really get answers. I know runners lungs must burn at the end of races, right?! But I've also heard it's a red flag to have this pain during exertion.Background: resting heart rate is low at 44 bpm. I run 40 miles a week. Only happens halfway through races and when I'm really pushing myself. Summer or winter. A couple people have commented that they can see my heart beating through shirt (when I race upstairs).

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  • 4 months ago
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    If the pain feels like it's "in" your lungs I'd suggest having them checked (assuming you didn't do so already when you saw the cardiologist).  Many conditions, including asthma, can cause lung pain during intense exercise.

    If it feels more muscular, like tightness across the chest or pain in the ribs, you might want to pay attention to your hydration and electrolyte levels.  There are numerous deficiencies that can make you more prone to cramps.  I suggest looking them up on line and comparing the list to the bloodwork report from your last physical, or simply think about your diet, especially what you tend to eat and drink prior to a long, intense run.

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