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Running in Bad air ? ☁️

My son and I watched an interesting episode of Dispatches about the effects of air pollution and as an asthma sufferer I am very interested because of my running. It makes sense now that I am drawn to the woods to run ( although it lies at the foot of the airport!!!). Some interesting articles.....




What do you think? Do you try and avoid polluted areas for your running, have you felt any effects? do you not have much choice??


6 Replies

Luckily where i live and run is quite rural and goid air quality and low traffic volumes , as you know i am an ex smoker but luckliy dont seem to have suffered with any breathing problems as such .

I know my breathing maybe isn't has deep as it could or should be.

In am with you on running in less polluted places I am still searching for a local wood trail I can just to try


You know I have two completely different places to run half and half, I am normally faster in France where the air is cleaner but it's undulating than in Cambridge which is flat but has one of the worst pollution problems in UK. Perhaps that is why?


The woods is just the right place for a panther to run JJ!

I saw that edition of despatches, and am glad I don't work in and around central London anymore, I always got home with sooty nostrils, luckily I have no lasting damage and breathe OK when running.

It's strange how people see diesel vehicles as the be all and end all! I've had a friendly argument with my neighbour about how bad diesels are for the environment, I would never buy a diesel vehicle...😊


Well if you live in an area of poor air quality it may have a detrimental effect on your health, but it will do that whether you are running, walking or sitting on the couch.

I heard that report on Radio 4 and whilst there is scientific fact at the bottom of it, most of what was reported was utter speculation to sensationalise it. Cigarette smoke and diesel fumes and particulate emissions from woodburners (amazes me how people pretnd they have those for environmentl reasons) are proven to contribute to respiratory ailments, but all that guff about air fresheners was utter fabrication without any evidence whatsever. Usual Media cherrypicking scinetific paper and embellishng it for the sake of sensation.


I'm lucky, living in a small town in the country it's nice clean air here and I can get out into the countryside very easily. I have an old railway line converted into a walking/cycle trail 500m from my back door and can drive or get on a bus to different places easily that are either on other points of the same trail, and run home, or up high in the clouds :) However, if I run by the main roads I have to take more Ventolin before I go because otherwise I cough and wheeze more, just because of the traffic fumes.

When I travel, I always take my running kit. Sometimes I visit lovely countryside places for my runs. Mostly it's cities and if at all possible I will seek out water to run beside - rivers, canals or the sea. On the occasions where it's all city running, again I have to rely on the Ventolin and sometimes the preventatives as well. There are a few cities I haven't even tried running in because they are just too smoggy. Large parks are quite good, if I can't find water.

Sorry for the ramble :D but in answer to your question, yes I can tell the difference but that might be because of the asthma.


I have always felt that the rise of diesel fuelled road transport ( since the 1980's and political attempts to reduce the power of the railways ) with consequent diesel particulate emission rises ( KNOWN to affect the lungs) and the increase in cases of either asthma and 'allergies' MUST be linked..

Good to see someone actually flagging it up for a change.. ( although I am not sure that anyone will actually DO anything about it now.,. the road transport agency is such a powerful lobby group now... )

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