Ironman for Asthma
To celebrate his 40th birthday, Auckland-based triathlete, and asthmatic, Alistair Harsant is competing in the 2013 Ironman.
An asthma sufferer since he was a baby, Alistair’s persistent coughing led to an operation in his early childhood to rectify a double hernia.
Alistair’s parents always encouraged him to remain active. His first triathlon taster was in 1999, and in 2005 he made the NZ Age Group Team, racing in Honolulu. This year he completed his first full season of racing.
Between 2006 and 2009, Alistair’s asthma deteriorated when he stopped competing and he gained 20 kilos. “My medication wasn’t helping and I realised that doing triathlons made me the healthiest I’ve ever been.” Changing his diet and getting back into sport helped him slim down, regain his fitness, and take control over asthma.
Being an asthmatic means he needs to take care with the change of seasons (and the ensuing influx of pollen), and get a good warm up before events.
Alistair is adamant that exercising is a key part of asthma management, and is a huge advocate for exercise. “Find a sport or activity you enjoy and ease into it. If you enjoy that activity you’re going to want to do it more, even when you’re not feeling too well because of your asthma.”
And finding motivation is essential. “Being able to be an active part of my family is important to me because they are the most important part of my life.”
Alistair’s Ironman challenge will raise funds for the Asthma Foundation. Keep an eye on Alistair’s training, and share your own experiences, on the Ironman for Asthma Facebook Page. To donate head to www.fundraiseonline.co.nz
Previous page and above: Alastair Harsant is in training to run the 2013 Ironman.