Asthma and running

Just wondering if anyone else runs with asthma that needs a bit more than blue and brown inhalers. What do you take? Just curious to know what sort of running others are managing on what meds. I take Ventolin, high dose Seretide (which has fluticasone steroid preventer and salamol LABA), Montelukast, Cetirizine and frequent short courses of oral steroids (Prednisolone) and I still get symptoms everyday image.

How often do you manage to get out running? Do you manage to run whenever you want?  Have you done marathons? I've done a half, but I'd quite like to do a full marthon one day, but it'd be nice to hear from others if the training schedule or marathon itself is something that can be done with asthma that's worse than most.

How do you go about running as much as possible? I try to run 3 or 4 times a week, but very rarely manage this, which is frustrating and when I'm not well it can be weeks without a runimage

Just looking for other peoples experiences of running with moderate/severe asthma so that I can learn something and hopefully get more out of my running.

 Thank you image


  • I have moderate well controlled asthma now but in the past it's been bad enough that I've been admitted to hospital for up to a week at a time and been on high dose prednisolone. It's allergic asthma - brought on by cats, horses, pollen, grass clippings etc - and also exercise induced which is a bit of a pain. Sounds like yours is quite a bit more severe though...

    I've run marathons and ultra marathons and it's rare that my asthma prevents me running completely, but it does force me to run slower than I want to, especially in the summer and on warm days. It's not really a problem in the winter and overall I get on much better running in extreme cold to extreme heat.

    Interval training can be a problem and I find if I don't get a proper warm up of at least 30 mins steady jogging my chest seizes up straight away as soon as I try to speed up.

    I used to take blue and brown inhalers but recently went for an asthma review and explained to the nurse how much training I did and that my asthma was holding me back a lot. She swapped my brown inhaler for a budesonide one, explaining that the brown inhaler prevents tightening of the airways but budesonide prevents the excess mucus production in the lungs which is a feature of asthma I actually wasn't aware of. Anyway it seems to have helped me a lot and these days I definitely don't cough and spit as much as I used to when running. Been using budesonide for 6+ months now and an happy with it.

    I also learned t'ai chi for years - started it after I was diagnosed with asthma age 30-ish - and I definitely think it helped overall with relaxing and preventing stressy asthma reactions. Also taught relaxed breathing methods which was great. Might be worth you trying some sort of relaxation/meditation type of thing. Even if it doesn't help, it can't hurt to try!

  • I'm glad to hear that you've been running marathons and ultras, it gives me some hope that I'll be able to do that too. I guess you try to do them in the winter though when your asthma's better.

    Did you used to run when your asthma was worse?

    I don't know anything about t'ai chi, but I do yoga which has been good for breathing, timing breaths with movement and relaxation. Do you know if this is much different to the breathing in t'ai chi that you've done? I'd be interseted to try it though.

    Interesting to hear that  you've changed to budesonide and it's made your asthma better. I've quite mucusy lungs at times and I'm due to change inhalers soon from seretide to symbicort, which has budesonide in it (as well as formoterol LABA). Is this the one you're on? There's also pulmicort which has budesonide in it, I had this for years. I'm hoping that the change of inhalers will make things better.

    Thanks for the reply image


  • I have asthma and ran an half-marathon whils on the highest dose of Seretide. I have also had 2 lots of oral steroids this year. I don't know if you have found this but the brown (not sure of the name but it is a steroid inhaler) one seems to make me worse?!!

    To be honest I think running helps to some degree as it seems to strengthen my lungs. It did get me down quitea lot when I was on the oral steroids, thinking my running was doomed etc. But guess what... David Beckham has asthma and he is a professional athlete, so if he can do it, we can.

    Out of interest, have you been allergy tested? My asthma seems to be allergy related which does help me to manage it a bit better.

  • I just noticed that the person above has allergies too. It's amazing how common it is. I stll haven't found all of my allergens as I am still getting an excema reaction at the moment, I have not been tested for every allergen going as it's all money, but was tested for quite a few of the basic ones.

  • Asthma, eczema, hay fever, allergies. The four often go together as they're all related to having an over active immune system. I've got all of them! On the bright side, it has been pretty conclusively proven that the worse affected you are by that, the less likely you are to ever get any form of cancer. So there is something good about it...

    Years ago I went for allergy testing and got the skin scrapes all over my arms. Out of roughly three dozen of the most common allergens I only DIDN'T react to two! Was told I should really be carrying an epi-pen cause my reactions were so extreme. I found through my 20s the allergies and hay fever calmed down a lot. Then again, I didn't have asthma till I was 30...
  • P.S. Lou Lou - it's a Pulmicort Turbohaler I'm on now. Wondered if the improvement might be placebo effect of the powerful sounding name - it's turbo charged! Ha ha! Oh, and I run marathons summer and winter. Just slower in hot weather. It's really only interval training I struggle with now.
  • Runny- do you mean 500/50 seretide twice a day? Don't know about the brown one making things worse, just not been enough recently, it was ok for a while though. I've not been allergy tested, but I have no reason to think that I've got any allergies except pollens and moulds, which both trigger my asthma, hence the cetirizine and montelukast (that also helps exercise too image). Agree with you that running helps with asthma though, the muscles for breathing are stronger which make it easier to cope when asthma's not good.


    runs-with-dogs- Hahaha. The symbicort I'm going onto is a turbohaler too, same as yours + an extra med. The asthma cons says that it's a better inhaler for getting the meds right into the lungs, so maybe not a placebo. Sounds like you have a lot of allergies image

  • Been for a 9km run today image as the weather has warmed up. Even though I was up in the night with my asthma my chest was quite good on the run and only needed a few puffs of reliever. Very happy as I've not been for weeks. Also been off oral steroids for more than two weeks which is great.

  • I've been in hospital at various times but now at 41 I barely have any asthma issues...

    I have to say, that in winter I find the best thing is to take a scarf when it is really cold and keep your mouth covered whilst your warming up and just take it away when you start running and gave adjusted to the tempreture.
  • I'm really missing my running now. I managed to get out on boxing day, but that was the last time I went and that feels like a long time ago. The next day I had a sore throat and soon after a chest infection and severe asthma attack. Back on steroid tablets and suffering the side effects of weak, sore and shakey muscles.

    booktrunk wrote (see)
    I've been in hospital at various times but now at 41 I barely have any asthma issues... 

    This gives me hope that one day I'll have this under control and be running without too much thought to my asthma (soon hopefully, just added an extra drug (theophylline) to hopefully improve things)

  • Actually.... I was thinking about this thread.  I went out and did 7km yesterday in sub zero tempreture I only stopped because it got so slippery with fresh snow falling on icey slush.  I didn't need to use an inhaler at all.  In fact i've not since a few months after starting running.

    Mind you of course i lost the 5.5 stone at the same time, but the combination has been awesome.  I havent used an inhaler in a while, and feel brilliant.  When I was in my late 20's / early 30s I had a few very scary asthma incidents including 2 weeks inpatient treatment after one really scary attack where i was hooked up to all sorts of machines.  So take heart I know we don't all change, but certainly I'm one that can say hand on heart my asthma has completely changed.

  • That sounds fab booktrunk, it's great to hear that you asthma has completely changed for the better. And well done on losing the weight. Thanks for the reply.

  • This thread has really given me some hope that my asthma might eventually not hold me back so much. I am very much a beginner (I've done a few 10k's in the past but following them I've always had to stop running for a few weeks (which turned into months through lack of motivation) because of asthma flare up's. I'm on Symbicort 400, Montelukast and use ventolin regularly. I've been running regularly for a few weeks now and have a 10k planned at the end of this month. It is really inspiring to read how well you are all doing in spite of asthma image I wonder how you judge whether or not to push yourselves when things are a bit dodgy (eg I had a bad night last night and my pf was down this morning but I still went for a run today , but not really sure whether I should have or not?) Sorry Lou Lou - don't mean to hijack your thread image

  • How do you judge..

    Experience I think.. If you suffer after your run today then you know not to run when it's down, if you are ok, then you know it might not be to bad, but you need to really take care and if ever unsure always have an inhaler and ensure you run with a mobile... Always worth carrying. One just on case you need to call for help for any reason. Turn te sound off so no-one can call youimage
  • Not hijacking at all Emma, I'm glad there's more discussion, so things to learn from and support gained. I wonder if you're asthma consultant, nurse or GP would give you some extra meds or a change in meds to control your asthma better so you don't have to suffer so much after your 10ks etc. I've been on Seretide 500/50 2puffs twice a day (similar to symbicort), Montelukast and ventolin, so very similar to you, and I wasn't controlled on that so have recently added Uniphyllin (a theophylline) which seems to be helping a little now.

    I'm not back to my running yet, but hoping to in the next week or so. Lots of steroids in the last 4 months has taken its toll on my muscles and they're only just starting to feel strong enough, so fingers crossed.

    Take the running easy Emma, but keep at it when you can and enjoy image

  • Dear my brothers  & sisters. 

    My asthma was detected during infant stage.  I lost a lot of school days due to severe asthma attacks.  Admitted to the hospital for several days, especially during winter or rainy seasons.  (Now, I realized how much my mother suffered to bring me up). 

    You might be knowing the climatic conditions inKerala,India, Almost wet air (more water content in the air). And having more chances to get infected.


     When I was 10 -14 (during my 5th to 9th class), I used to play cricket with my friends in the school.  But at night, wheezing starts.  This was for almost 5 years.


    I concentrated in my studies during college days,  (didn’t aware of any physical exertion) completed my engineering at 21. 


    I came toDubaiat the age of 26, which is a dry desert.  The atmosphere / air is dry and having humidity.  My asthmatic symptoms gone totally.  I was happily earning and helped my parents financially to bring up my brother and sister.


    I married at the age of 31 and healthy twin girls were born after an year.  Both are not having any asthmatic symptoms, now at 10, (studying in 5th standard).


    After 40, the symptoms came up.  I consulted a doctor inKerala,India, He advised me to use inhaler. Two puffs a day gave me cure from wheezing and coughing.  Two years gone with the inhalers.


    I used to search the internet frequently for asthma cure and remedies.   And found that regular exercise can give relief from asthma.


    Now I am 43, I started walking at a slow pace around a park in Sharjah (approx 1.6 Km). Took  8 minutes initially, then slowly reduced the time to 6.5 minutes to complete one round.  Gasping heavily for air at the end of 4 rounds…..!!!


    A month gone.  I started walking at a moderate pace and jogging for 30 seconds in between.    A total of 7 rounds in 44minutes.  My heart beat raised to 108 – 122. and the rest rate reduced to 60 - 63.


    2 months gone now.  I stopped using inhalers.  No cold/cough during this winter.

    I am walking (+ jogging) 5 days a week. My weight reduced to 65Kg (from 75kg ). My pant size is 33 now (was 40 before).  My blood pressure and sugar levels are normal. 


    I will  continue my walking (+ jogging) and advise you to have a regular physical  exercise, It will give you immunity from  all diseases.

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