Hi,just discovered my cold was asthma and am using an inhaler the last 4 days. Think it has been triggered by the colder weather. Took a 5 day break from running and my training did not go as good at all today with difficulty breathing longer than normal and feeling tired sooner than normal. I was running 3-4x/wk in the early morning up until last wkend, ending up with a nasty cough at the end for the last couple of weeks, but still able to train. (I know training should have ceased while for a while with cough). Does anyone else run with asthma and do you have any suggestions on modifying training. Doing my 1st 10 km in few days and not sure how confident I feel about getting around. Oh yeah to top it off, monthly cycle is to start on day of 10km! Cheers


  • Hi sporty,
    I have ankylosingspondylitis (try saying that when you are drunk!) as oppose to asthma but I still use 2 inhalers (a brown one to help keep the inflamation in my lungs down and a blue one to take if I need it).

    I don't really modify my training as such. If I am having a wheezy week then I take a puff of blue a few minutes before a run. This seems to help. I wear a HRM just to monitor whether or not my pulse is higher than usual (for a given training session).

    My peak flow is less than an 'average' man my age so I recently bought a peak flow meter (via a prescription) from Boots and I am going to use that to plot my peak flow on a weekly basis. I hope to be able to spot trends developing and can then increase the dose of the brown inhaler.

    There are thousands of runners out there with asthma or that need an inhaler so don't worry too much.

    As for doing the 10k, well, just do it! I don't know what inhaler you have but perhaps a puff before the race would help. As always when running, listen to your body. It will tell you when something is wrong. So do the 10k and enjoy it!

    P.S. What sort of cycle do you have? Is it a mountain bike or a racer! (Sorry, bloke type joke!)
  • Sporty

    There are lots of threads on the forum that deal with this so try doing a search on asthma.

    I have been running with exercise induced asthma for many years and using an inhaler for about 13 years. The inhaler is Salbutamol and I generally take a puff (sometimes two) immediately before a run which largely stops the wheeziness occurring.

    I know the asthma is still there as occasionally I forget to take the inhaler.

    DH - that was a terrible joke!!!!
  • Thanks DH & MH. It will be an adjustment using my blue inhaler before runs. I use the brown one regularly as well. Intend to just go have fun running the 10km this weekend.
  • Sporty - basically this question has been answered by the others. I have asthma too. I only use the blue Ventolin as the brown ones made my breathing much worse. Two puffs before I start does the trick, although normally my breathing is only bed when I get a cold (in which case I do no training).

  • Sporty, I've only found out I've got asthma in the last few weeks and I take two puffs of the blue inhaler (in fact I only have a blue one, salbutamol too). I found it helps a hell of a lot and only occasionally do I need a bit after as well, but not normally. I'm not sure what triggered mine off (apart from the running) as when I first noticed it I was painting my bedroom, then I had a cold and the warm weather made me feel very wheezy.

    I haven't modified my training or racing at all, I find the puffer is all I need.
  • Chris and Caz - I'm concerned that neither of you has a brown (steroid) inhaler. This is the preventer, and if you use it in the right way, and at the right dosage for you, you will hardly ever need the blue (reliever) inhaler. I speak as an asthmatic of eight years and (in a previous life when I had a proper job) an asthma nurse. Chris, a few people are allergic/non-responsive to the standard brown one, but your GP should be able to offer you others that will work for you. V-rap may have better ideas, but what worries me is that the people whose asthma gives them serious trouble seem almost always to be the ones who are not using their preventative (brown) inhaler properly. Sorry to nag, but my mother had to end up on life support before she would listen to me, so it's a bit of a bee in the bonnet job!
  • Panic not. I've been cpoing with Asthma for 30 yrs. be sensible, listent your body. use the blue inhaler before a run, and it the asthma isn't stabilised, take it with you.
    If your GP gives you a preventer ( not blue) use it when you are told to.
    There is no reason why you can't live a normal life, and if you can't go back to the doc and tell him/her.
    Don't let it stop you doing what you want.
  • Took me years to work out that it wasnt clever to 'forget' to take my preventative inhaler. Am now pushing 40 and no longer 'forget'. I can't remember the last time I had an asthma attack - long may it continue.
  • Sassie - thanks for the concern. My asthma is only limited to when I am ill, so I have a few wheezy days a year. (That an when it is an allergic reaction to cats and horses.) I last had an 'attack' when I was 10. It scared the life out of me, but hasn't happened again in the last 15 years. I do a lot of exercise, and my asthma is not exercise induced. As I said, I was struck down by the 'brown' one, and the 'Intal' white thing I had before that just filled my throat with powder. I do have an annual review of my asthma and my GP seems quite happy with the whole thing.
  • Hi Sassie and all. As I'm knew to the asthma thing, I only had my first appointment with the asthma clinic today. They want me to measure my peak flow twice a day and record it for a month and if my asthma is unstable then they will prescribe me with the brown inhaler too. They gave me lots of literature on the subject and apparently there's is also a green inhaler, which like the blue is a reliever but lasts longer. Now that would be handy. I fancy the full spectrum myself.
  • Hi all. I've had asthma for about 25 years now, and the biggest improvements I've seen came after reading about research done in Russia by Konstantin (?) Buteyko in a book called 'Freedom from Asthma' written by Alexander Stalmatski. Without going into details, Buteyko reckons that Asthma is a response to an incorrect breathing pattern, which can be corrected without drugs.

    I'm normally extremely sceptical about any kind of alternative/natural/homeopathic/magic pixie dust type remedies, but this really worked for me, without having read this book I probably wouldn't be able to run at all. Could be well worth a look, there's no guarantee with any of these things but it made sense to me to look for an alternative to taking steroids every day for life.
  • Hello there. Just wanted to set the record straight on inhalers. Most asthma or bronchial affected patients will have the Blue Salbutamol inhaler, which has been correctly described as a reliever. Some patients also have a brown inhaler a preventer. Most GP's when first diagnosing asthma will take a peak flow reading into consideration and prescribe EITHER blue OR blue/brown combinations. The terms reliever and preventer although correct can cause confusion. You do not necessarily have to take both inhalers as part of your prescription. The blue preventer alone may be sufficient.

    Probably the most important aspect of inhaler use to focus on is the correct inhaler technique. This is especially important if your asthma is triggered by exercise.

    As for runnig with asthma, I have had asthma for 12 years and my training has never been affected by asthma. As with all fitness training stop when you get a cold. Don't forget if you are an asthmatic you can get a free Flu vaccination from your GP. If you want to take a flu vaccination you should make an appointmetn soon as the flu season starts in a couple of months and the vaccination can take upto 21 days to become fully effective.
  • Hi

    I was first diagnosed as Asthmatic as a five year old (nearly 40 years ago) in the days when they didn't have the inhalers available that they do now. Effectively in those days kids who had asthma were treated as semi invalids. When my chest was x rayed they discovered that I had the lungs of a two year old. That turned out to be a life saver because I was given physiotherapy to help develop my lungs, and it is those very exercises that Slowboy is referring to. Believe me they do work.

    Breathing patterns are very important - as are using the right muscles to breath. Try to practise breathing using your diaphragm as opposed to your intercostals. In other words try not to lift your ribcage and take in a huge gulp of air, use your tummy instead, as in gives a much smoother in and out. You can do this better by lying on your front or by leaning foward from a sitting position with a pillow on your lap (sounds wierd - wish I could draw it).
    It is horrbly uncomfortable at first - but be patient it gets easier, and it will in time increase your lung capacity. In turn this will reduce the wheeziness.
    Try doing some swimming as well - doing breastroke properly (like they do on the telly) will give you good breathing discipline. Don't worry about looking silly - everyone looks silly when they swim.
    Try to aim to be able to breath without raising your rib cage when you are at rest. I discovered that this gave me the ability to play possum very effectively- which in turn gave me a great spin off career playing dead bodies in the school play!!

    Oh yes - and in case you think I'm a purist - I use an inhaler as well. No harm in that its what they were invented for. Its as well to know how to handle yourself if you haven't got it with you though.

    Incidentally the above technique is worth knowing as rudimentary first aid if you ever come across anyone who is having an asthma attack. They will be in a panic trying to take in huge gulps of air - this will force them to breathe more shallowly and will calm them down enough to get a shot of salbutamol into them.

    Salbutamaol and turbutaline inhalers should be declared if you are, or hope to be, an elite runner, as you could be drug tested. Speak to your club secretary and get a form to declare it.

    Hope this helps.
  • Simon,

    I've often wondered what the situation is regarding inhalers and banned substances - not that I'm ever likely to be drugs tested, but I've always been curious.
  • When I used to do motorsports I had to take my inhalers to the Clerk Of The Course and declare that I had them. There were lots of other competitors there with inhalers but very few declared them. I was never drug tested after a race (possibly because I was cr*p)!
    I believe it is on the 'banned substance' list.
    I will never make it into the elite runners class so I still take a squirt or two before a race. If they do drug test me what are they going to do: confiscate the free T-shirt!
  • This is true, some asthma inhalers (Salbutamol included) are on the banned substance list. This most recently hit the headlines when Kym Collins the winner of the mens 100m at the commonwealth games in Manchester tested positive for a banned substance. It later tuned out he was taking a prescribed medicine (Salbutamol) and the result stood. He had not informed the officials he was taking salbutamol but was let off on this occasion.

    Anyone think that would have happened at the olympics or the world championships?

    Like Slowboy I don't think I will ever be tested but it's worth remembering that you do need to declare your inhalers.
  • If it's on the list of banned substances but you declare it does that mean you can still use it?? Does this just apply to prescribed medicine? I always assumed if it was on the list it was simply No Way, Jose.
  • Some prescribed medicines are on the banned list. However if you are using them as part of a prescribed medical condition and declare them, you can use them. Salbutamol in the dosage supplied by an inhaler would give only a marginal advantage if any. However if salbutamol was detected in levels higher than your prescription then you would be disqualified.

    I'm not sure on the dose levels but taking more than your prescribed dose of salbutamol in not advised under any circumstances!!

  • I speak from quasi personal experience about the drug testing bit. My daughter (who is also asthmatic) is an elite athlete, and has been tested a number of times including one out of competition test. This can be fairly unnerving for all concerned. She now makes a point of writing down every medication that she takes in a diary - asprins, cold cures - the lot.

    The problem that I've found is the lack of information available about what and what not to do. This is especially so for junior athletes, many of whom routinely take asthma medication whilst blithley unaware that it is on the banned list. Juniors can be and are tested at English Schools and Junior AAA events. Inhalers have to be declared in advance, and exemption certificates have to be available for production. For juniors these only last a year and often take months to arrive after the initial application.

    So be warned if you have a son/daughter who is getting quite good at running.

  • Fiona

    It's this one

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