Running after attack

I have very mild asthma, it almost never ever affects me.

I had an attack on Sunday, because i accidentally breathed in mixed chemicals at work. So I went to A&E they put me on a Neb and I was only in for around 2 hours, they sent me home with 6 prednisolone (30mg) and advised to take 4 puff of blue inhaler through a spacer every 4 hours. This was only 3 days ago and i'm still suffering with a bad cough and breathlessness.

I'm a long distance runner and I am running the London Marathon in 2 and a half weeks and i'm really worried as this incident has already set back training. Will my lung have recovered enough to be running that distance?

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  • Sorry to hear you've been ill.

    I'm also a distance runner with relatively mild asthma and I had a bad attack after a half marathon last October. I was given nebs and oxygen in the medical tent as I had't yet left the park where the race finished. I was then taken by hospital by ambulance where they monitored me for 4 hours then sent me home with 50mg of pred for 7 days.

    After a week, I felt well enough to go out for a 5k jog every other day and was back racing about 3 weeks later (albeit it was only a 10k - I did win though :) ). I found that when I did start running, I was more tired than usual and I didn't feel like going very fast or far but I'm not sure how much of that was psycolgical as my attack was caused by running and it was my first bad attack (went blue, couldn't speak, SATS in the 70s).

    I totally appreciate how frustrating it must be for you and how bad pulling out of London would make you feel. I wouldn't rule out the marathon completely - I've always found pred to work fairly quickly. I think it's really important that you make an appointment with your GP and ask their advice, but let them know how important running the marathon is to you. If you do run the marathon, maybe be really careful and take it slow and steady, aiming simply to finish and forgetting about how long it takes? Sometimes I take my peak flow before I run and if I can't get a decent score I don't push myself as hard. Do you run with a sports watch? Sometimes when my breathing hasn't been so good but I desperately want to run I set a pace alarm to stop myself getting carried away and going too fast.

    The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor, listen to your body and be sensible about running (and pulling out if you need to, even if that's mid race).

    Good luck, and hope it goes well for you,

    A fellow avid runner.

    Edit: I'm now on a combination inhaler, but when I just had a steroid inhaler and ventolin my doctor advised me to take 2 puff of ventolin before I ran to help prevent symptoms. Do you do this already?

  • Hi! Glad someone is similar to me on here :)

    I've had a red combination inhaler before? Do you think this would help in the upcoming weeks?

    I really don't wanna drop out of London i've spent so much time and effort training and fundraising.

    Thanks

  • I honestly don't know if stepping up to a combination inhaler would be the right answer. However if you've used one in the past and think there's a chance it might help then I'd say it's definitely worth speaking to your doctor about. Do you take ventolin before you run? My docotr advised 2 puff of ventolin before exercise to reduce the risk of symptoms.

    Symbicort has definitely improved my exercise tolerance, but I was prescribed it as I was having regular symptoms and frequent attacks after exercise with increasing severity, despite using 2 puffs of ventolin before exercise as advised by my GP. As your attack was caused by chemicals rather than exercise, perhaps your doctor would advise something different from mine (exercise is unfortunately my biggest trigger). After my post-half marathon hospital trip (which was in October), my GP decided to step up my treatment from a clenil steroid inhaler to symbicort as we were both worried that it would reoccur over the winter since I am generally worse in colder weather.

    Whenever I go to the GP, I make it clear to them how important running is to me and I find they are generally sympathetic. I would definitely make an appointment if I were you, make it clear that you really want to run London, be honest with them about the timeframe you're looking at and challenge them to do whatever they can to get you there.

    Good luck.

  • I'm gonna book a GP appointment tomorrow, just to discuss running, I haven't run in over a week now and it's awful for me haha.

    I don't generally take the blue inhaler, I didn't have one for 100 miles when I had my attack at work. (Luckily someone else did have one)

    And it takes a lot of exercise to set mine off, like 10 miles plus in freezing cold will make me wheezey but it's normally fluffy cats that do me over.

    Thanks Jen :)

  • No problem, I hope you are able to run the marathon and that you enjoy it. I'm yet to attempt a marathon but am doing my first this autumn. I never go running without inhaler - it comes with me in a pocket in my shorts, or in a lightweight pocket thing that you can wear around your arm which I got for a few pounds in sports direct. Plus I always take a phone with me when I'm out training on my own, just incase - it might be worth doing this at least in the short term until you are feeling better.

    Jen

  • I have very mild asthma, it almost never ever affects me.

    I had an attack on Sunday, because i accidentally breathed in mixed chemicals at work. So I went to A&E they put me on a Neb and I was only in for around 2 hours, they sent me home with 6 prednisolone (30mg) and advised to take 4 puff of blue inhaler through a spacer every 4 hours. This was only 3 days ago and i'm still suffering with a bad cough and breathlessness.

    I'm a long distance runner and I am running the London Marathon in 2 and a half weeks and i'm really worried as this incident has already set back training. Will my lung have recovered enough to be running that distance?

    Hi

    I've lots of experience of both running and asthma so I hope my experiences can help.

    If you're still suffering a bad cough and breathlessness when you take your last dose of pred, then go back to the doctors, as you should be better by the end of the course.

    With the running, take it easy. When you feel up to it, go for a brisk walk, next time go for a short gentle run and if that's gone well then go for a longer run. Whether or not you'll be recovered enough to take part is a difficult thing to know, it's so variable. You'll have to assess things day by day and hour by hour I'm afraid. When you go for a walk or run take your inhaler 15/20 minutes before you start and take it with you.

    I've had varying success with races after attacks, sometimes I've managed to run, albeit slower than I'd like, and others I've had to pull out before the start line, sometimes I've gone to support other runners and other times I've not been able to get off the sofa.

    I wouldn't worry about having missed some of your training, I guess you'd started tapering anyway and a couple weeks out is not going to make much difference. Before my first half marathon I missed my last 4 1/2 weeks of training before the race due to asthma attacks and symptoms, so my longest run was 9 miles, when I'd wanted to do an 11 or 12 mile run before. I didn't run at all in that time until 3 days before when I went for a 10/15 minute slow run, I was gently testing out my lungs. It went well, so I went to London where the race was, prepared to go and watch if I didn't feel up to running. On the morning of the race I felt good so went to the start line, well aware that I might need to pull out at anytime, I started gently and although I had a few mild symptoms I made it to the end. It was the best feeling ever to have made such a big achievement after/while being poorly (I was still being woken several times a night with coughing). I've run many races since from 5k to ultra mountain marathons. Because of my difficult asthma each race I've signed up for I've known that I might have to pull out at anytime before or during it, and if I take part then I will need to adjust my speed for at least some of the race. I'm used to this, but I imagine this'll be a hard one for you to get your head around.

    I hope you're better soon. Let us know how you get on. xx

  • I wasn't given a course of pred, just 6 (5mg) to take as soon as I got them.

    I had one long run left, I wanted to do a 20miler before the end of training, the longest I had done is an 18 miler but it was a bad one, suffered from IT band syndrome 9 miles in. My running confidence is pretty knocked at the minute.

    Woah I could never run an ultra, let alone a ultra mountain! You're incredible haha

    Thanks for the advice, I'll let you know if I manage to finish London :)

  • I realize it's not ideal not to have done a 20 miler but if you're up to 18 miles you've done most of the hard work. I know a few runners in my club doing London, and they're all tapering now, since there is only 2 (I think) weeks to go this Sunday. Perhaps, especially if you haven't been well, trying to fit in a 20 at this stage might do you more harm than good. Sometimes rest might be the best thing.

  • Yeah I would have started tapering now, just never got to fit one in. Yeah I'm not gonna push myself to do that distance now, gonna stick to tapering training and see how it all goes

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