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5678 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 10, 2009 8:43 AM by Urbster
JustLindsay Amateur 29 posts since
Oct 31, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 9, 2009 9:02 AM

I'm finding it hard to breathe... running with asthma?

When I was younger I was diagnosed with a mild case of asthma - I was generally fine unless I was excersizing, or exerting myself in cold weather. As I got older this basically went away, but I would still find it difficult to breathe through periods of heavy exertion. I started C25K last week, and managed the 60 second intervals pretty well (only having some difficulty after the last few reps), but started having diffuclty catching my breath today after the very first 90 sec interval. I'm worried about how I'll be able to do the longer runs if I'm already having trouble breathing through this.


Is this something that EVERYONE goes through and I'm just worried for nothing over it? Or is this still a bit of my asthma coming back to haunt me? Also, what can I do about this? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

And now Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure. -APWBD

Completed: W6D3

Started Couch to 5k on Nov 2nd, repeated week 3 (1x) and week 4 (2x)

  • k9178 Pro 92 posts since
    Oct 14, 2009

    You may want to see your doctor and get an inhaler.  I have asthma which is generally under control.  I take my inhaler 10 minutes prior to my runs.  I was also having a terrible time early on in my runs, and felt like the breathing was a challenge.  This program does build you up.  I am now in week 6, and able to make it through the longer runs (I ran 20 minutes last week, and 10 minute intervals last night).  I think the one thing that I would recommend is running very slowly.  I jog as slow as possible (13-14 minutes per mile) so that I can keep breathing regularly.  I know that I will not complete the distance, but I am completing the time running.  Take it easy and if you are really feeling out of breath or lightheaded, stop and catch your breath.  I always give myself that out, but I don't need to stop.  I have found that the program builds on itself, and you will get stamina.  At the beginning 30 seconds was a challenge for me, and tomorrow I will be running for 25 minutes straight.  Again, just run really, really slowly and concentrate on your breathing.  I breathe much harder than other people, but I am doing it.  One other caution, if it is cold where you are, you may want to get a scarf or bandana to breathe through.  I have found that really cold air makes it harder for me to breathe.  I do not live in a cold climate, but I do ski, and my asthma is triggered by cold air as well.


    Good luck with your running, you can do it!

    Started C25K 10/1/09 C25K Graduate 12/12/09

    I started out not being a runner, but now I can say I really enjoy it. I use the Jeff Galloway method. 5K 11/15/09 43:17

    St. Patricks Day 10K 3/17/12 1:30:28

  • Atsipootes Pro 102 posts since
    Oct 26, 2009

    Yes, you should talk with your doctor.

    And maybe just for motivation: Haile Gebrselassie (the world record keeper for marathon) also has asthma.

    So there're no limits

    I am now training for a marathon.

    Feel the joy of running

  • Donlasell Rookie 2 posts since
    Oct 8, 2007

    I too have been diagnosed with asthma, but I'm now running marathons.  The key (for me) has been in purchasing a good heart rate monitor (chest strap linked to a wrist watch style monitor).  I established a heart rate zone of Aerobic with an alarm set to go off at my DANGER area (155 beats per min "BPM").  When the alarm goes off... it will, then slow down to a walk OR Stop until it is back in control.  The wheezing might not even be noticable at that time but your heart rate would have kicked up.


    I ended up purchasing a Garmin ForeRunner 301 (~$100 ebay) as it provides significantly more data in addition to heart rate plotting.  I beleive the heart rate monitor has helped me lose weight and build endurance while avoiding keeling over.  Losing my breath happens if I'm running too fast, or get a sudden breath with something in it that adversely effects my airways.  Being aware of your asthma has you dodging the things which trigger an attack.  I walk a large circle around smokers, especially cigar and pipes.  I'm not afraid to run when it's really, really hot and humid (I live in Florida) but my heart rate monitor slows me down to a walk very often.   The hotter it is the slower you end up running.  when it's really cool, then I can run a lot faster and further without the beep-beep warning of the heart rate monitor going off.


    I used to carry my inhaler, but now that I've lost 50+ pounds, it's a thing of the past.  ALSO, I joined a weight watchers meeting.  That is an excellent organization, if you're overweight then I guarantee your wheezing is worse!!!  Shed the mass and run with a heart rate monitor strapped to your chest.  Good luck!



  • Urbster Legend 760 posts since
    May 27, 2008

    Let me know what happens.  I have very mild asthma and never used an inhaler but now that there are leaves everywhere I find it harder to breath.  I just don't know if it would a difference or not.    

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