I've been having some lung issues. Here is some background:
I'm 40 years old and never smoked. I was primarily an endurance athlete through my 20's. The only family lung issues I have are that my grandfather died of emphysema after smoking for 70 years. When I was about 10 or so my local YMCA held a Thanksgiving Day "turkey trot" road race. I grew up in Northern Wyoming so it was pretty cold that day (near zero +/-). I had never run any sort of race in my life so when the gun went off I did too and did my best to keep up with the adults. When I finally finished the race I started coughing. I coughed for about six months.
To my knowlege it was never diagnosed as pneumonia. I always felt fine except for a constant cough. During exercise the cough would come back with a vengence. This continued for a number of years. Finally I could most types training without coughing but when I went "hard" the cough would come back but only for a day or two....
Fast foreword to about a year ago. I have become a HIIT nut. I cannot get enough of it. I do burpees intervals and sledgehammer intervals and hill sprints and Fran's and every other fun thing under the sun. I had been getting to the point where my lungs only feel tight after the workout and maybe for the rest of the day but they are recovered by the next day for sure.
Now fast foreword to about four months ago. I caught a ripping virus that progressed to bronchitis which lasted for about a month. Aside from that my body felt and feels great. I am sleeping fine, my weight is fine, I don't feel weak, and my overall energy is better than most. Last week I caught another lung bug. It has knocked my on my ***. Prior to that my hard workouts have left me coughing and tight in the chest pretty much constantly. This has been the case for about six weeks.
I guess my question(s) is/are somewhat as follows: is it possible that I somehow did permanent damage to my lungs 30 years ago? My initial hunch is that my lungs would have regenerated by now. Second, does hard interval training predispose a person to lung sickness? Has anyone else had this sort of trouble? Is there anything that I can do besides back way off the intensity of the workouts?
Thanks for any advice, and I apologize for the rambling. I'll try to clarify anything that you need me to.