I have asthma but I really want to be a runner. I start to panic when I run because I run out of breath and am afraid I'll have an attack. Does anyone have any pointers for me to start running? Like how I should be breathing and what kind of pace I should be dong?
I am not sure this will help at all, but it does work for my 15 year old daughter. She will have a panic attack if she gets to the point she feels she can not breath but she started out doing a walk and run until she built up her milage and her confidence. She would run until she started to get winded sometimes she made it down the block sometimes not even much past the drive, but she has had a lot of asthma issues her whole life.
Did your doctor give you the thumbs up for running? That should be your first order of business. I wouldn't want to give anyone advice about running with a condition that might contraindicate it. Just sayin'...
Yes, the doctor gave me the thumbs up. It's just that I had an asthma attack back in February during a high intensity kickboxing type class and haven't done anything since. Every time I try to exercise / run, the minute I start to feel that I can't breathe a panic attack sets in because I'm afraid of a repeat. I know it's mostly a mental block but I think if I had some pointers on the correct way of doing things that I could push through it.
I don't have asthma, but I also have a chronic respiratory condition that hinders my running endurance. It's a bit like an extremely mild version of cystic fibrosis - essentially I've had repeated acute resp infections all my life, which has caused some structural damage to one of my lungs and creates pockets of fluid that just "sit" deep down in there. This condition does two things - it reduces my overall lung capacity (sort of like asthma), and it causes me to cough alot while exercising (fluid breaking up). I am pretty young (30), and in good health... My pulmonologist advised me to continue running, he says that will help me stay healthy as I get older. He prescribed me an albuterol inhaler to use before I run, which I think helps me open up a little.
It is totally possible to be a runner even with these kinds of disadvantages... I just have to continually remind myself that it's going to be a little harder for me to run 5, 6, 7 miles than other people with 100% healthy lungs. But I ABSOLUTELY have gained endurance that I never thought possible a few years ago, and I definitely attribute that to the C25K plan. Since completing that, I've run pretty consistently and tried to up my mileage little by little. Sometimes I have to stop and cough for a bit on my runs, or walk for a few yards to catch my breath, but I think that's okay because I'm still completing the distance. It can be frustrating (especially when you have runner friends who don't have to deal with ANY of that kind of stuff, and it seems to be such a breeze for them), but totally worth it in the long run.
Oh yeah, one of my best friends has had pretty serious asthma his entire life (sudden attacks, using an inhaler and steriod every day) and he is an AVID distance runner! The guy just did the Chicago marathon last year, so I figure if he can do it, so can I!
My advice is to start that C25K - and repeat weeks if you need to... I think you'll be surprised at how much you can do if you build up slowly.
Well I'm not familiar with asthma, but generally just keep in mind that it is always hard to breathe when you first start running. (If you do searches of the threads here, there are 100s of them saying "I am struggling to breathe while I run, what do I do?") I imagine its hard not to panic when you feel some breathlessness but if you know that it is normal to be somewhat out of breath when starting an intense new exercise then maybe that will help with your panic. Just take it SLOOOOOWLY when you're first starting out. That is good advice for all new runners. It takes time to build conditioning to run, even if you have done other sports. Whether you have asthma or not, you shouldn't be pushing yourself until you are gasping for breath - except for brief high intensity intervals to increase fitness. Most of your workout should be done at a comfortable pace where you are breathing harder than normal but not sucking wind. Again, I don't know anything about asthma, but since you have your doctor's go-ahead he/she obviously feels that it is safe for you so hopefully you can trust in that and be able to relax and enjoy your new sport.
I have asthma -- my advice -- go slow. Just start out with very slow short runs and let your body get used to it. Study or google breathing techniques and try one of those as well. I am quite partial to the lamaze one which helps me to focus on my breathing - but honestly my best runs are when I dont have to think about my breathing because I am not killing myself! Goodluck!
Started: July 2010 at 273#
Fox Cities 5K on 9/17: 45:19 (264#)
Shake a Tail Feather 5K on 10/16: 45:09 (254#)
Hope Run for Africa 5K on 10/23: 42:45 (248#)
Jingle Bell Run 5K on 11/6/10: 44:20 (248#)
Turkey Trot 5 mile on 11/25/10: (246#)
Miami ING Half Marathon 3:23:56
Oshkosh Half Marathon 3:16:38 (PR)
Cellcom Half Marathon in GB (horridly windy race) 3:21:56 (244#)
Thank you Marykb & emmaleigh47! I will take it slow. That might be part of the problem. I guess I thought that being able to breathe during running waas the same as doing other high impact sports. Maybe that is where my freaking out comes from. Now that I know it's different and need to go slow and BUILD my endurance I can maybe relax a little and know that my breathlessness is normal. ~except the sucking wind part =)
I dont know about asthma but its great to hear youre trying to improve your health. Take things slow is always a good approach. Good luck to you! Dwayne
Goals : Live Healthier, 5k and beyond, enjoy life...
I too have asthma. I totally recommend using the Couch to 5k program to begin running. I did that and I can now run a mile in 10:15.
A few things I have learned along the way:
I wish you the best of luck! You can totally do it!
NK5K - My First 5k as a Runner: 9/11/2010: 34:57
CVS Downtown 5k: 9/19/10 31:31
Oceans Run 5k: 9/26/10 31:40
Newport Federal Pie Run: 11/25/10 (5 miles) 49:04
Downtown Jingle Bell 5k: 12/5/10 27:37 (A new PR - Woohoo!!!!)
Charleston Half Marathon (My 1st): http://lowcountrymarathon.com/ 1/15/11
Shape Up RI Half Marathon: http://www.coxrhoderaces.com/ 5/1/2011
"Well behaved women seldom make history."