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Running with Asthma (Read 60 times)

erininnashville


    Hi all! New runner here. Currently on week 5 of the c25k app. I'm wondering if there are other runners on this forum with exercise-induced asthma that have found a way to conquer the inability to breathe during longer running intervals.

     

    When I started with short intervals I wasn't bothered at all. Now that I am at the 5-6 minute running intervals, by the third interval, I can only get about to inhales at a time. I'm taking two puffs of the inhaler pre-run. No help so far.

     

    So...is there hope for me to continue doing what I am learning to love?

     

    Thanks for your help!

     

    Erin


    Needs more cowbell!

      Perhaps ask about an inhaled steroid maintenance drug, in addition to the as-needed rescue inhaler.  That's what I ended up doing after I found that my EIA was becoming more chronic and not responding as well to Albuterol.  YMMV.

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

      • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

        Hey there, long-time asthma sufferer (both allergy and exercise induced) here and hopefully I can give you some tips.

         

        Everyone is different of course, so take what i say with a grain of salt, but what really helped me move to the next level in my running was adding some additional longer-term asthma control medications into my regimen.  I first started on Singulair (pills), which proved to be amazing for suppressing asthma symptoms (for a while I didn't even need to use the rescue inhaler).  It also opened the door to increased training mileage which further strengthened my lungs and paved the way for what has been 15+ years of pretty decent running.  I'm now on something called Alvesco, which is an inhaled corticosteroid (aka preventer med), and I use it only infrequently when I notice some asthma symptoms popping up.  

        It seems semi-counterintuitive, but I always say that once you reach a certain level of running/lung fitness, it's actually the best asthma prevention out there.  I notice that when I slack off from training I see a similar loss of asthma symptom control.  Odd but true.

         

        I still use the rescue inhaler (one puff 5 mins before exercise) and haven't needed it for its "rescue" purpose in I don't know how long.

         

        Best bet is to talk with a doctor about what might be right for your specific issues.


        Bad Ass

          I have both exercise induced asthma and allergy induced asthma.  I was diagnosed close to 2 years ago when I was already a runner (a marathoner).  It took me close to 2 years to come back to my old paces (pre-asthma) and thanks to a good doctor that found the right combination of meds (regular meds and emergency inhaler), allergy shots (for a severe dustmite allergy) and sheer stubbornness.  Initially, my paces were 2-3mm slower than pre-asthma and it took a while for them to normalize.  After that, my paces are back on track and I've gotten PRs (Personal Records) for every distance I have raced post asthma.

           

          As to medications, I was once on 5 medications (Symbicort, albuterol, Singulair, and others).  I am now only Symbicort and have not needed to use albuterol in the last 6 months, even during fast 5K attempts.  My oxygen capacity, though, remains at 62%, still low but it was 49% last year, so a huge improvement.

           

          Yes, there is hope, but one thing that I learned is that a runner with asthma might need to tweak the normal training of others to fit their condition.  I still have some issues with certain workouts (fast intervals or tempo runs) in that my lungs might suffer for days post workout affecting other workouts.  That has improved in the last 6 months, though, so nothing is permanent!

           

          I recommend patience and stubbornness.  Oh, and good meds.  Good luck!

           

          PS, if you have more questions, don't hesitate to PM me.

          Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

          Blog

          "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

          erininnashville


            Thank you all so much! I was concerned that the answer would be "don't run". I will schedule an appointment with my PCP to get on top of this now. I also hadn't been taking my maintenance inhaler since I usually only suffer from seasonal asthma. I'll start that back up daily prior to getting in with her and keep running! Smile


            Needs more cowbell!

              And don't be afraid to try different meds if 1 or 2 don't work.  I wanted Singulair to work, but it was like a sugar pill.  Advair is popular, but I had EVERY unpleasant side-effect with that (crap immune system, chronic oral thrush outbreaks regardless of how much I rinsed or brushed my entire mouth post-use, frequent sinus infections).  I've been on Qvar for a few years and use a spacer device and it works great -- more meds end up in my lungs and not on the back of my throat.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                As has already been said, everyone is different & see a doctor. But please, don't give up on the running! As you have seen there is a good core group of asthmatics on these forums; if you really want to run, you will very likely find something that works.

                The 2 puffs of pre-run albuterol actually does work for me, then I am good to go for any distance. If I do not take it, it is a near guarantee of breathing problems after a couple miles.

                The only time I ever have any other problems is once every couple years I will get some kind of respiratory infection, which might not be too severe for someone with normal lungs, but for me sticks around for a few months & and essentially causes one continuous asthma attack. For that I go on Advair and that generally keeps it under control. That is pretty powerful stuff; I know it is working because I can pretty much turn the asthma on & off by skipping a day or two. I don't get any of the side effects. I end up weaning myself off it after a while (usually involving some trial & error). Until the next time.

                 

                Feel free to post any other questions & status updates...good luck!

                Dave


                Bad Ass

                  That will never be the answer.  Actually, my doctor says I wouldn't have increased from 49% to 62% BUT FOR the running.  And I run quite a lot of marathons a year (see sig).  Slow running but still, running with asthma can be part of your life.

                   

                  Thank you all so much! I was concerned that the answer would be "don't run". I will schedule an appointment with my PCP to get on top of this now. I also hadn't been taking my maintenance inhaler since I usually only suffer from seasonal asthma. I'll start that back up daily prior to getting in with her and keep running! Smile

                  Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                  Blog

                  "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    Slow running but still, running with asthma can be part of your life.

                     

                     

                    I wish I could get this through to my mom.  She won't run because she thinks she is too old and heavy to start and also uses asthma as a cop-out, even though she has heard me say on numerous occasions that my lung function is better for running and biking.  She won't walk because she says it's boring...and then she sets in to complain about her numerous ailments, most of which would be improved by being active in SOME capacity.  I just read about a woman who started running in her mid-80s and has done marathonS...if my mom were online I'd be bombarding her with stories of this woman.

                    I shoot pretty things! ~

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)


                    Bad Ass

                      Tell her to read some of the RRs in my blog from late 2011 and 2012.  If that does not get her off the couch, nothing will.  I struggled through a lot of races and I even thought of quitting running altogether but it got better.

                       

                      Today is a rough day for me.  Remembering the good days is what keeps me going after a bad workout.

                       

                       

                      I wish I could get this through to my mom.  She won't run because she thinks she is too old and heavy to start and also uses asthma as a cop-out, even though she has heard me say on numerous occasions that my lung function is better for running and biking.  She won't walk because she says it's boring...and then she sets in to complain about her numerous ailments, most of which would be improved by being active in SOME capacity.  I just read about a woman who started running in her mid-80s and has done marathonS...if my mom were online I'd be bombarding her with stories of this woman.

                      Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

                      Blog

                      "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

                      leonasmith1977


                      Addicted to Running

                        Thank you all so much! I was concerned that the answer would be "don't run". I will schedule an appointment with my PCP to get on top of this now. I also hadn't been taking my maintenance inhaler since I usually only suffer from seasonal asthma. I'll start that back up daily prior to getting in with her and keep running! Smile

                         

                        This is a pretty supportive brunch! I really hope that you find the meds you need to cope with your asthma. I personally don't have it, but my brother does and he uses this as his reason to NOT run.