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Advice for the out of shape asthmatic :) (Read 1770 times)

deonk1


    Hi Everyone, 

     

    I'm new to the whole running experience, one of my best friends is an avid runner and she's been helping me out a bit, but I also wanted to ask for some advice from you guys the experts (or well you're more expert than I am). Big grin

     

    I'm asthmatic, and well I started running because I compete with my dog in agility competitions. It requires me to be able to run at top speed barking orders (forgive the pun) while trying not to step on the dog for about a total of 3 min. Usually one does this 3-5 times during a trial. When I got half way through my first timed course I nearly keeled over so I decided it was time to get fit! 

     

    I've started running around my block and then the two consecutive blocks and I'm at about 1.4k in 10ish min give or take depending on the temperature outside. Its getting colder out and I'm struggling with the cold... So I'm looking for any and all advice you have to give to someone who has no clue what their doing. Oh on another note, I only take inhalers when I have bad colds, so I'm attempting to build me lung strength without needing to take inhalers. 


    Needs more cowbell!

      Oh on another note, I only take inhalers when I have bad colds, so I'm attempting to build me lung strength without needing to take inhalers. 

       

      If you are chronically asthmatic and aren't properly treated, then you are actually damaging your lungs (asthma attacks create scarring, over time) and putting yourself at risk for a potentially deadly attack.  You don't strengthen your lungs by gutting it out through asthma.  Talk to your Dr., get on a proper treatment regimen, THEN run to strengthen your lungs.

      I shoot pretty things! ~

      '14 Goals:

      • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

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

      deonk1


        If you are chronically asthmatic and aren't properly treated, then you are actually damaging your lungs (asthma attacks create scarring, over time) and putting yourself at risk for a potentially deadly attack.  You don't strengthen your lungs by gutting it out through asthma.  Talk to your Dr., get on a proper treatment regimen, THEN run to strengthen your lungs.

         I guess I didn't type/explain that right...so let me try again.

         

        I haven't needed to be treated since I was a kid (I used to be on a fair amount of inhalers as a child), now the only doctor recommended treatment has been when I have colds or am exposed to cigarette smoke (I had one parent who smoked and have since moved out) just to help fight it off. Essentially I grew out of the need to take it on a daily basis (I used to competitively ride horses and the Dr. said I was fine for the last 6 years to exercise without an inhaler).

         

        Hope that makes sense, if I felt like there was a problem I most definitely would go to the doctor. Essentially I can run that distance (I use the term run very lightly seeing it's more of a light jog/walk) without feeling any pain or gasping, my goal being to be able to slowly build my physical endurance within my own limits. I also do yoga to help with breathing and stuff too. 

         

        Does that make more sense... I guess asthmatic is a loose term, seeing it's been years since I've had a real asthma attack...

          I don't know what's the big deal about NOT carrying the inhaler with you when you go for a run--it's only 10-minutes at this point, right?  I have a friend who is asthmatic and she just simply carries her inhaler with her when she runs.  One time she had the attack DURING the marathon race and she just took it out and inhaled; plain and simple.  She went on and she in fact went on and won the race.  I guess it's not as limiting as some people may think is what I'm trying to get at.

           

          People carry all sorts of things that's not that necessary.  People carry water bottles, energy gels...  I carried around a camera while running up in Boulder this past weekend + rental car keys....  Inhaler shouldn't be too bad to carry.

           

          Either way, as Zoomie said, consult with your doctor first and be sensible about it.  Be safe than sorry.  Talking to a real professional doctor should be a hell of a lot more assuring than getting random advice from on-line strangers.  So THAT's your homework.  And, even though you hadn't had an "attack" for a while, if I were you, I'd be cautious and go ahead and carry the inhalor for a while to make sure.  Next thing you know; you'll be running 2-hours, carrying the inhaler and not even think anythingn of it.

          deonk1


            I don't have a problem carrying it on the daily runs, providing my doctor gives me one (I don't currently have one, my last one expired). I guess I'm trying to build my endurance so that I don't have an attack or gasp for air, when I'm competing with my dog (next season starts in the spring), as I mentioned in my first post I have to be able to go top speed for about 3 min while still communicating with my dog (yelling/talking). I'm not allowed to have anything on my person when I'm on course, so if I were to have an attack I'd be a few minutes away from my inhaler. While it's unlikely this would happen I'd personally rather train properly instead of hurting myself (there are many out of shape people who compete, they just do it for fun and don't care if they are slower).  I have almost a year to get ready for my first real competition, hence my starting to run slowly now. I guess I realized the dog is ready to compete, I myself am not ready yet. 

             

            So that being said, I'm just looking for ways to get to my eventual goal, the top speed without killing myself for 3 min. Pretty much looking for how to run in the cold, how to breath properly, does it change in the cold, how much should I push myself to start, when do I know if I'm ready to go faster? Is it better to go faster or longer at first (when you are ready to push). 

             

            I'm going to the doctor on Wednesday for something else, I'll ask about running then to make sure I have their ok as well. in the mean time I have a lot to learn, so far all I know is that my old sneakers were crap, and I'm thankful my friend told me to go for an assessment of my feet and buy real proper fitting running shoes. 


            Needs more cowbell!

              I don't have a problem carrying it on the daily runs, providing my doctor gives me one (I don't currently have one, my last one expired). I guess I'm trying to build my endurance so that I don't have an attack or gasp for air, when I'm competing with my dog (next season starts in the spring), as I mentioned in my first post I have to be able to go top speed for about 3 min while still communicating with my dog (yelling/talking). I'm not allowed to have anything on my person when I'm on course, so if I were to have an attack I'd be a few minutes away from my inhaler. While it's unlikely this would happen I'd personally rather train properly instead of hurting myself (there are many out of shape people who compete, they just do it for fun and don't care if they are slower).  I have almost a year to get ready for my first real competition, hence my starting to run slowly now. I guess I realized the dog is ready to compete, I myself am not ready yet.

               

              FYI, you can have the best endurance in the world, but that won't stop an asthma attack, if you're asthmatic.  You can't cure asthma with improved fitness, you can only improve your overall lung function.  I have pretty decent endurance, but I still have shit-fer-lungs.  The fact that you were treated with an inhaler in the past makes me suspect that it will always be a potential issue or at least one that could rear its ugly head without much notice.  There are a lot of folks who have great lung function during normal activity, but run into EIA (exercise induced asthma).  I started out with EIA, then started having issues with waking up in coughing fits on a regular basis.  Now I'm on an inhaled steroid 2x/day and use my inhaler as-needed.  I typically will use it before any harder running effort (like races or speed workouts) or during peak allergy season.  YMMV.

               

              It's odd to me that the dog agility events would outlaw an emergency medical device, too.  What if you were diabetic?  Would they tell you you can't wear an insulin pump?  I'd seriously question that sort of policy...it's more than a little unethical, if not very risky.

              I shoot pretty things! ~

              '14 Goals:

              • 6 duathlons (1 Olympic distance)

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

                Are you sure about the inhaler: I thought the rules applied to treats and toys, I do not think an inhaler could be used as a reward for your team mate. It could depend on the venue though.

                Good luck in your quest, I compete with 2 Border Collies, I was fit enough to run the older one, and the young one and I started running together as I want to be able to compete with him to his full potential. It is a slow process, we are a year in, and improving all the time. 

                shadowlioness


                  I have exercise-induced asthma. My doctor recommended using an Albuterol inhaler (one or two puffs) about 30 minutes before high intensity exercise and then again as needed. Since I started using my inhaler BEFORE exercise, I haven't had a single asthma attack (going on two years now). I still carry the inhaler in my gym bag though, just in case.

                   

                  My recommendation: talk to your doc. There are a plethora of options available. Good luck!

                  juniordo1


                    I had asthma as a child and now the only time I get symptoms are when I'm exposed to certain allergens.

                     

                    Three weeks ago I went for a baseline breathing test for work  so I can use a respirator and the doctor asked how often I use an inhaler. I looked at him funny and replied that I never use one. He showed me the results of the test and what they mean. He said I still have asthma. I told him I was rarely symptomatic and that I run 20-25 miles per week without any problems. He shrugged and said keep on running as long as I can so that's what I'm going to do. He offered to prescribe an inhaler but I declined. If my running is ever negatively impacted I would not hesitate to use an inhaler in order to keep going.

                    2013 -Sub 2:00 for 1/2 marathon


                    A Dance with Monkeys

                      Hey deonk1, help me understand why you think you have asthma now.

                       


                      deonk1


                        Trent:

                         

                        As a child I had to remove all allergens from my house, I was nearly hospitalized if exposed to cigarrette smoke, and until I was 10 I had an at home maxi-mist machine which I took 3 times a day for 30 minutes. Eventually It was reduced to an inhaler (after I moved into a smoke free environment). Still to this day if I have something like pnemonia or a bad cold, my doctor prescribes an inhaler, but I am instructed once the cold (or whatever) is over to take as needed. It has never been needed with my other exercises (yoga and competitive horse back riding). But I no longer ride horses I train dogs, and now I'm running more because of it. 

                         

                        Maybe it isn't my asthma coming back to bit me in the butt, maybe I'm out of shape, I don't know, that why I'm here trying to learn and ask questions. I hated running as a kid cause I used to "fail" gym class because of my asthma, now I want to do it right. I've already said I'm not against an inhaler if my dr says I need it and prescribes it, I'm inquiring into the rules at competition so that I can have my inhaler (if I get one) on hand, and if not maybe I'll just take it before. I'm also just asking for general advice on how to make running fun and enjoyable. 

                         

                        I'm not trying to be ignorant, I'm just looking for help and info so that I can get in better shape and have some fun. 


                        A Dance with Monkeys

                          At no point have you said anything about your current symptoms.  What are they?  Why do you think they are asthma today?

                          deonk1


                            Ah ic. I'll attempt to explain, hope it makes sense. 

                             

                            When I'm running with the dog, I get really huffy, there is a bit of tightness in my chest after I stop, which is usually when I'm gasping to catch my breath (I clearly wasn't exercising proper breathing the first time I ran a course, I was just running without thinking). That time I actually ran out of steam in general mid course, so I stopped to catch my breath before continuing. I would guess if I continued and pushed through, I would have started weezing a bit. 

                             

                            Seeing the Dr. still gives me a puffer when I'm sick to help me get better faster, I just assumed that's what it is... my initial thought was, maybe I should just take my puff before I run a course again. After discussing with a few friends, they suggested instead of JUST taking a puffer, why don't I just start running to try and build endurance too (I'm only 22, so that is definitely a good option, I'm too young to be a couch potato). Which lead me to this site, to start tracking my progress etc.

                             

                            Now that I'm running in a controlled environment (or as controlled as the weather can be) on the same course every day, no elevation, no change of speed or sudden directional change, I'm noticing unless it's under 10 degrees Celsius outside I can actually go a decent distance without any tighness in my chest. Because of this, and after thinking what everyone is saying over I think I'm more out of shape than having asthma problems, but I think it's still an underlying condition that I need to be aware of.

                             

                            Does that make sense? honestly, with that all being explained, does it sound more like I'm just plain out of shape?  


                            A Dance with Monkeys

                              Yes, that helps.  Does the puffer actually help you?

                               

                              - if not, mostly deconditioning or an empty puffer ( Smile )

                              - if so, may be asthma/wheezing

                              deonk1


                                Last time I took it it did help (but that was a while ago), and it really did help me to fight away my last cold too. That being said I haven't felt weezy since I've started running my little two block (1.3k) run. Today I warmed up inside on my exercise bike and did the entire 1.3k in 9min 20s. So I'm not going very fast, but I'm able to keep a consistent pace, no pain no troubles (I walked one small stretch in the middle of the course). 

                                 

                                I keep getting the "use as needed" answer from any health professionals, I've got a "rescue" puffer on hand now (got it today) the one that you can take up to like 4 times a day "if needed". The Dr. really isn't telling me when I "need" it though (unfortunately I do not have a family dr, just went to walk in clinic who saw me when I had my last cold so they prescribed the puffer last year), and the pharmacist said the same thing when I got the darn thing. I'm assuming I'll know if I really need it, but I know what people are saying about damaging my lungs, really don't wanna do that, thats for sure. 

                                 

                                So now with the emergency puffer available, just in case, what's the best way to start working towards my goal? am I getting on the right track, or do I still have no clue what I'm doing. (which is very possible Smile). 

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