Trying to do C25K with asthma

Hi, Ive decided to get fitter and loose weight doing C25K however I've never ran before today and I had to stop during the first training session because I needed my inhaler I had to stop the first training session 15mins in (out of 30) I know me been overweight would make it hard too, I know people say it gets easier but how quickly does it get easier? And any tips to do this C25K run?

19 Replies

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  • I have done this for the last year or so and I think patience is the answer.

    Firstly make sure your asthma is as controlled as possible and your doc is happy with your increase in exercise.

    Then take it really slowly. I think it took me on and off about 18 months to get running 5k regularly. Do what you can when you can, repeat weeks of C25k and realise your progress may be slower than others but getting out there is great. 

    Some days things go to plan other days they don't. Walk more or do other exercise when its too cold or there's pollen about. 

    Keep your inhaler handy and go for it

  • Thanks that helped a lot I knew from the off it was gonna take a long time to get to the point of been OK to run the full 5K I think I'll try again tomorrow because after I recovered from this morning I did feel good so I'm not put off by this morning ... Thanks for your advice 

  • There's a good NHS podcast you can download, NHS couch to 5K and another one strentgh and flexibility

  • Easiest to say that everyone is different, but you will eventually feel the difference and notice where little benefits start to come. You may also find some limitations, but with persistence you will likely find ways around them. Softly-softly as they say.

  • I started running a 5K two years ago. I did  the park run in 36 minutes and three wheezing asthmatic episodes. The other week I did a 5k run in 30 minutes with one episode then went on to cycle 20k and returned back to running a further 2.5k. Yes I was nearly last but I don't let asthma get to me. First I always take water as I get a really sore throat. I am now taking antihistamine for any allergies likely to set me off. I take my ventolin to take 15minutes before and usually about 10 minutes in.  I do not race on really cold days and I do my best and don't care if I am slower than the others because every time I go out I do better. I also keep off dairy as this makes my asthma worse and I set out to do it not to win.

    Hope this helps.

  • Yeah that helps a lot and I'm not bothered where I come in this run because its my first so along as I pass the finish line anything from there is an improvement :-) dairy I had never even thought about I don't eat much chocolate, cheese on occasion but I was about to have some cereal with milk and I never had thought it would affect asthma, I knew that it can affect the linning of your throat and that's why singers don't consume it. Yeah yesterday wasn't freezing but it was still coldso that may be why too I'm gonna start taking water out with me as I think this will help too  .... Thanks for your advice

  • Another discovery I made is that I start with an asthma attack when my heart rate is raised by a certain amount usually when I am maxing out. I usually feel bad 6 - 8 minutes in. I use a heart monitor and start slowly increasing my pace as my lungs get adjusted. I have a fit bit surge and it really helps to keep me motivated, lose weight and tracks my performance. Your maximum heart rate is 220 - age and you should be running less than 80% of that. Even a bit lower, its distance really not speed to start with. Another point is that after a raise where you have really pushed yourself your asthma might be worse the next day so rest!

  • I don't run but I have to go to the gym with the physiotherapist twice a week gor an hour, I take two Vento puffs 15mn before I start and usually two during the hour. You should see the people I'm with, on oxygene etc with chronic bronchitis And they are pedalling away..

  • I have just restarted the C25k programme after being laid up for the start of 2016! 

    As others have said take each run at a time and see each one as an achievement.  Maybe use Strava or Runkeeper to get some online support or join a running group with a C25k element.  The support of others goes along way and to know you aren't alone in trying to keep going 

    Best of luck! 

  • I would take your blue inhaler before you start your first few runs and don't expect too much until you have lost some weight.  Eat sensibly for a week and then start cutting back on the calories.  You can do it.  

  • I had to get someone very quickly on friday and fell back on my guide training. Run 20 steps and walk 20 steps still works and you don't get very puff out. I was trying to get back to a car park with only 1.5 hr parking. Worked like a treat. 

  • So today I done the same again but I went further before needing my inhaler (yet :-) ) I followed the advice of taking it just in between my warm up and first run and stopped for about 2 minutes for an inhaler break (which was further than where I needed to use it yesterday) and then kept going :-D I field more prepared than yesterday and I don't feel as bad as when I got home too ... I took water with me which helped ... Just thought I'd update you all after you all gave really good advice 

  • Hi with any exercise you need to make sure you don't overdo it.   You need to exercise to the point of being too breathless to sing but not too breathless to talk.   Any less and you won't get the full benefit,  and any more can be offputting and you don't gain more from it anyway.    If you do get too breathless then stop and take a breather then carry on.  x

  • That's actually a good scale I was starting to wonder how much would be too little/much without over/under-doing it obviously I knew how far would be too far but I think that's great thanks :-) 

    Kinda happy with all the responses I'm getting on here because I wasn't expecting many people to reply but this is really good thanks to everyone replying :-D 

  • Hi I suffer from copd as well as asthma and I got this from attending PR (pulmunory rehabilitation).

    If I remember it's called the 'Borg Scale'.   x

  •  Have you checked out videos on breathing when running I found these sort of things really helpful:

    And have you considered slowing down on the running intervals and focus on breathing and length of time running. 

  • I've struggled to control my weight for years since putting on a lot after an accident. I find when I'm ill I put weight on and only loose it with exercise. I think the most important thing trying to exercise with asthma is to flex your training around your asthma. If you plan to do a 30 minute run and you get up and don't feel up to it don't, do some sprints with long rests or weights and work the rest of your body not your lungs. If you were planning a short session and you feel good and not out of breath extend the session until the rest of your body wants to stop.

    If you stop to take your inhaler, see how you feel in a couple of minutes.  You know your body best, just be sensible, if you are running out doors carry a phone and don't go too far from home until you know what you are doing.

    When I started years ago I could only do 5 or 10 minutes exercise.  Last Tuesday I planned to do 20 minutes as the first exercise after a chest infection and did 90 minutes as I felt fine. Yesterday I planned to do 45 minutes and 5 minutes in had to use my inhaler after another 5 I didn't feel good so stopped. I'm 40Kg lighter now than when I started :)

    If you are unsure how hard you should push when your breathing is not the limiting factor then as someone said before heart rate monitors can be very helpful and ones with "training effect" or similar workout measurements are a great incentive, especially those showing a time to next level, so if it says you have 1 minute to the next level when you were going to stop... you keep going. If you go down the heart rate route have a look at the chest belt monitors they are far more accurate than the wrist monitors, my surge (which I'm allergic to haha) seems to max out around 120 while my suunto keeps going and often records 160+. But I luv the fact that the surge says I can do 50 flights of stairs a day running around doing DIY at home.

    Good luck.

  • I have my ups and downs - but its getting better as my lungs get used to the abuse. I don't want to be a coach potato and get fat - so I go for it.  I wear crazy running tights and carry my inhaler with pride! so what if I sound like a coffee percolator - I am not making excuses I am getting on with life. i run twice a week, cycle twice a week and swim twice a week - it all helps. I may be one of the last in races but I get the most notice

  • Wow that's great it sounds like its going really well for you :-) I've been I'll recently which has sort of made me stop for about a week so im restarting this weekend and I need to start some other form of exersice for the days off but I'll sort that out some other time .... I related to so much of what you said there hope it still goes well for you :-) 

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