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A 7 Minute Mile With Pots??


Aquadiva
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Okay, so here is the deal. My daughter who loves volleyball is already stressing about try-outs (second week of August). In order to play varsity in our town (has an outstanding volleyball program--at state almost every year), you have to run a 7 minute mile. We are thinking this is almost impossible. Her POTS for the most part is doing really well, but she also has exercise induced asthma. She is very athletic, but not a long distance runner and doesn't have much stamina. I am just wondering if you or anyone you know with POTS would be able to do it. It is a hard task for a completely healthy person. I know how much she loves the sport and would be so happy to be a part of such a successful program, but is it worth the stress/anxiety? I know only she can decide, but it is really hard for her to even think about.

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You know, if you feel comfortable doing so, you may want to gather other parents and protest this requirement.

I ran competitively throughout my adolescence and young adulthood (until getting POTS! Sigh...) and even though my highschool cross-country running team was #1 in the state, our coach never would have required seven-minute miles for all the athletes. It isn't reasonable or healthy for ANY young woman, and probably not within reach of a teen with POTS.

Running is the biggest trigger for the female athlete triad in teens - loss of menstruation, bone loss, and disordered eating. While of course running may be an aspect of any high-profile team, I think it is probably very risky coaching to make such a fast time be such a large focus of any teenage girls team. Women are not built the same as men and overly-strenuous running can be very risky to any woman under 25, even a very healthy one.

You may want to do a little research on young female athletes and the importance of preserving bone and joint health and present this information to your volleyball coach. This to me seems like an unreasonable and potentially dangerous requirement for a highschool team, POTS and asthma aside. And like I said, I have over 15 years competitive running experience myself.

Good luck, and I hope you and your daughter can find a solution for this that leaves her feeling good about herself. If she has to not try out for the team, keep reminding her that it has to do with the requirement being unreasonable, not her being a sub-par athlete.

Jum

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I was a distance runner through college--5 k races. Running a 7 min mile is possible, but very hard. I don't think I ever put in 7 minute miles--more like 7.5 to 8.

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The big thing is if her body is able to do so and that she has conditioned her body to be able to do so safely. Periodically, healthy teenagers collapse during running tragically (we just had a 16 year old girl in our area die during a warm up routine at camp) and therefore, caution needs to be taken in any sport. Over-exertion from exercise is what caused my POTS to become completely disabling/bed bound, so trust me, it is NOT worth giving up any amount of independence she may have just for a sport by ending up more weak/sick... please learn from my mistake :) If she decides to go ahead with trying a 7 min mile, if she feels even remotely not right, she needs to stop and rest, make sure not to over-do it.

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Ditto to Tammy's comments. My body actually LIKED the distance running--as long as my legs were pumping along, it meant my blood pressure was getting assistance from the muscle contractions. Also, I never just did a single mile, so the mile times I said I can do are by dividing my finish times by 3 (5k =3.2 miles). Also, all our races were on courses off the track, so it includes hills, valleys, sand, woods, residential neighborhoods, etc. If her body feels okay doing it, then she should go for it. If she feels unwell at any time, stop.

Nina

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I've never been able to run more than a 10 minute mile even before my POTS hit (I'm 20 now) but like the others said, if she feels her body can take it, go for it. It's just really important that she stop if anything feels wrong. Does her doctor have an opinion either way? (by the way, I too have asthma, which always affected my running even when I was in great shape)

Meg

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Honestly I feel that is a reachable goal for your daughter, if it is really important to her. If she would gradually work up to that during the summer, I think that she would be able to reach that goal. I dont know if she is up for running a mile everyday this summer and gradually getting it down to under 7 minutes, but if being part of this volleyball team is really important to her, I think that it is a reachable goal, and that as long as she doesnt push herself too much right away, that she would be able to reach under 7 minutes. She just has to remember to be safe about it, and not make bad decision, such as not drinking enough before and after practicing her running, or running super fast the 2nd time she practices and not pacing herself, making her crash.

Good luck, I hope things work out for her!

Mary

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Thank you for all the replies. I really feel that it is a very high requirement for a sport that doesn't even include any running (unlike basketball, track or soccer). My daughter could probably do more sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups than most on the team (in PE she beats most the boys), but that isn't a factor. She is very strong, just not a long distance runner (add on her medical conditions, and it is probably on unreachable goal). I don't know if talking to the coach would do any good, but it may come to that. I doubt he would take her medical conditions into account (probalby would write her off as being UNABLE to play), but if it comes down to trying out or not, we have nothing to lose. Why can't she be judged by what she can do on the court, not on the track?? It will ultimately have to be her decision, but it is hard as a mother to watch your child struggle. To see chronic medical conditions affect someone so young who was always able to "do it all", is frustrating. I, as her mother, am supposed to be there to make things better, and this I have no control over. She has become a much stronger person due to all she has been through, and has remained SO positive, but I am afraid it is starting to wear on her. Life is hard enough being a teen these days; add an autoimmune disease, POTS and throw in exercise induced asthma--it just goes to show life isn't fair. Her biggest concerns should be friends, school, sports and what to wear to the homecoming dance. I am a firm believer that everything happens in life for a reason, it is just trying to figure out the reason that can be most challenging! We will just try to take one day at a time and concentrate on what we have, which is a lot to be thankful for.

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Hi,

I also think that this is a high goal for high school athletes- especially those whose sport does not require running. But, I agree that she should be able to try and make sure to monitor herself continously and stop if she starts to feel poorly and listen to her body. Also, make sure to consult with her dr. to see what they recommend. They maybe able to help recommend times to take meds to optimize her ability to perform (not be overly sedated and HR and BP regulated- not at an end of a dose etc.). Also, the dr. or dietician maybe helpful to assist with hydration, salt loading, carb/protien consumption etc. prior to running and after.

I hope that everything works out well for her!

Good Luck!

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