Asthmatic running advice

I am training for a triathlon and generally struggle more with running. I am asthmatic and don't have a background in running. I can run a steady 5k without needing my inhaler but have started to do interval training and find I am hitting a bit of a breathless wall. My medication and asthma is under control but any tips on how to improve my lung capacity?



  • Joanna, I've had asthma on and off since I was a wee bun. Best advice I can give from experience is keep your inhaler hardy in case you need it and just keep running. Your lung capacity will increase with training and also your metabusism so your body will be more efficent with the oxygen but not as much as some other people's within the asthma. If it's any use I always carry a water bottle with me even if it's just a short run to help clear my throat a little.

    If you want to give it a try and it helps there are some breathing exercises you can do from yoga and stuff. it's hardish to explain but i'll try. Breath in deeply pushing the air into your chest trying to keep your sholder's as still as possible count your breath for 10 seconds and try to hold your breath for also 10 seconds and then breath out again slowing aiming for 10 seconds and hold your breath after for a few seconds preferably 10 but don't aim for that at first. It should be easy to do a few times and try to do it in and out for a about 10 breaths or so.

    If you are struggling to do that within that sort of time try 8 or 5 secords. It's best to try this laying down at first. Makes it easier and also means that if you get light headed or anything you won't fall over.

    You shouldn't by the way if that happens ever I'd said that wrong or you might have health issue. It's a basic meditation tecniec so a goggle might be in order if I'm not explaining brilliantly. I'm dyslexia as funk.image

    Which tri are you doing chuck?

    *edited due to rubbish expaination at first. definanlty check via goggle and not just take advice from a stranger off the internet.*

  • Thanks, I'll try those breathing exercises. I guess it's just a matter of patience!

    I've signed up for Eton and Blenheim to do sprint distances so far


  • Ditto what Cake says, I'm asthmatic too and always used to take my inhaler with me on every run.  It was like a comfort blanket more than anything else.

    Eventually I was discharged from the asthma clinic at my doctors as the running had hugely improved my breathing.

  • I find that cold air can still trigger asthma symptoms for me on hard training or races, but providing I warm up with high enough intensity, and early enough beforehand (about 20mins before, with a dose of reliever inhaler 10mins before that), then the initial 'shock' to the chest wears off and seems to be immune from symptoms for the next couple of hours, not needing the inhaler whilst running.

  • I can run for hours on end at a steady (slow!) pace but interval training does cause me problems. I was struggling like mad on club interval sessions earlier this year then realised a 15 minute warmup jog just wasn't enough and I really needed at least a good half hour of steady running to get my lungs going well enough so that they wouldn't tighten up when I started running faster on the intervals.

    I also went to see an asthma nurse at my GPs and got put on a different steroid inhaler that reduces mucus production in the lungs - different from the blue/brown inhalers which help with the tightening up but don't do anything for mucus production. So I now have a budesonide (white) inhaler and don't use a brown preventer at all. I still use the blue reliever before runs as directed and overall have noticed a huge difference with the new inhaler. Recently went for lung function checkup and was told my lung strength etc was well above average for my age/gender so was very pleased.

    Might be worth making an appointment with your asthma nurse and specifically explaining you need help with running. My asthma was well under control to start with but a change of inhaler has really helped my running - I improved my 10K time by over 4 mins this year!

  • Prawnie - you are asthmatic like Cake but your spelling is fine image

    I find that when I am running I tend to cough a lot and this can last for 3/4 hours after I've finished running and it feels worse during the colder weather. Someone has suggested that this may be exercise related asthma ? Has anybody got any experience of this and how to deal with it ?

  • First of all - go see your doctor for a referral for proper diagnosis. Itight be exercise induced asthma, but it might not be...
  • i have this issue especially in cold weather. i find a couple of quick puffs (pardon the expression), 5 min vigirous warm-up then a final quick puff before the race / session starts and im ready to go. used to run with it in my pocket but don't bother now.

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