Any runners with asthma here? - Asthma UK communi...

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Any runners with asthma here?


I started running 2 years ago without knowing about my asthma until last year when my asthma was diagnosed and it broke my heart but answered so many question on why I was always a slow runner rather slowest. This one time I even came last in a 10K run. I even finished a half marathon in terrible timings. My priority was reaching the finish line. I never joined any running group thinking that either I will be left behind or I will slow them down. After taking steroids spray my running speed has increased but I still can't run for longer stretch and feel exhausted and out of breath.

Any suggestion on how I can improve my running? How do you deal with out of breath situation?

14 Replies

Hi there, for years I just couldn't run, and then I got my asthma under better control and hey presto, most of the time I can run. I would go to your doctor/ asthma nurse and ask for the best way of training. I guess it will depend on how well your asthma is controlled, and also on what your main triggers are. I do know that if your Asthma is exercise triggered then sometime Cromolyn (Intal spin haler) in conjunction with Ventolin may work..(may have spelt that wrong). I would also suggest that you take your peak flow before and after exercise and keep a record. It may be that your asthma is not as well controlled as you think.

I would also say that sometimes I have to limit my running, however I do a lot of strength training, which I believe helps my running, which I only skip if I have an infection. and also I do interval running, which helps my general fitness. I always use ventolin before I run, and a scheduled intervals if I am running a long distance.

Interestingly, I was talking to my doctor today about sport, as I am not so well at present, he suggested using Pulmicort nebs, as I have a Nebuliser at home. This is a new one for me, so I will be definitely be trying it, as I had a massive attack running yesterday and had to go to bed for the rest of day as I felt so horrid.

Very interestingly, in the last two weeks 2 doctors have told me not to stop exercising under any circumstances, and just to do a bit less, or only as much as feel I can.

I have run 4 half marathons and 10 10ks in the last 2 years, if you told me I would be able to do this ten years ago I would have laughed you out of the park.


Oh dear! I have always feared an attack during running. Plus I don't even like to carry my Reliever with me. I will find something to take it with me today. My asthma treatment is just at stage 2 (that's what the GP told me two weeks ago). Luckily, my trigger isn't exercise. It's POLLENS!!!

4 half marathons and 10 10Ks! Wow! That's a lot of running. Do you run daily or alternate days?

Would you recommend any type of breathing technique while running?

Lots of runners have asthma. I find that runners world is a great place to get tips. I do try to pace my breathing, and if My heart rate goes very high then I slow right down until it gets to a better level. I would highly recommend one of the running watches you can get. If pollen is your trigger, then out door running at this time of year is not going to be great. I would try and do as much indoor training as possible and save your running for low pollen days. Also don't run outside if there is a thunderstorm in the forecast that could trigger an attack.

You might also find that the Asthma UK helpline can point you in the direction of more specialist advice.

Keep on running, it's what my docs say is keeping me so well considering how bad my Asthma is

R x

in reply to risabel59

Regards to my training, I walk with sprint running intervals about 3 days a week. Over about 5/8km. If I am training for a race I do a few distance runs in the run up. In addition to that I do strength training with weights 2 days a week. Then I will do long cardio training in gym to build stamina, for a half marathon I build up to 2 hours of cardio on elliptical, erg and bikes. At one time. ( this to save my knees).

I am 57 and my best half marathon time is 2 hour 20 mins.

Although all of the above depends on how my asthma is. If like today I'm not well I have to cut things right back. Particularly the cardio, so it tends to be weights and walking.


woah! That's pretty good timing. Add an hour and couple of mins, that's my timing. 😅 I will have to do some strength training from now onwards. I hate going to gym.

Thanks for motivating me. 😊

I'm a runner! I've been doing sports year round all my life, and been running on and off for 7 years. Still, I've always been the one who gets tired first, and the one with least progression. I put it down to genetics. However, I've recently been switched to Seretide, and now I can finally outrun all my friends! So first of all, asthma control. To increase running stamina, what has worked best for me is surprisingly not running, but high intensity circuit training. It works your muscles and cardio, and is, in my experience, much tougher on the body than just running. Another great form for exercise is intervals, which will increase your stamina quite fast. I mostly do either 4x4 (4 min sprinting, 3 min active resting, 4 times), and use a pulse watch to get in the right zones. I also do intervals in stairs, or up hills. It can also be done on a bike, rowing machine, or other cardio equipment. Some years ago, all I did was run, like 7-10 km 3 times a week, and I never progressed. I've had much more success with varied training, both strength and cardio. Besides, it's way more fun with variation!

Good luck!

in reply to Hanna222

Thinking high intensity circuit training would be difficult for me, I never tried. I'd definitely give it a go.


I'm a qualified instructor as well as an asthma sufferer. Asthmatics take longer to warm up. The normal time to move from anaerobic to aeotibic training is approximately 12 minutes, that time isn't adequate for asthma sufferers. Take your reliever before starting, and gradually build up. If you are so out off puff that you are unable to speak then slow it down until you can, then build on it. You may get to twenty minutes in before your aerobics phase starts or it may take longer. Be patient with your warm up, give your lungs a chance to ready themselves to the task ahead, then enjoy.

in reply to Jandm

Isn't taking reliever more than 2-3 times a week bad? I was told to go to the GP if I take reliever more than the advised dosage.

Using your reliever as a preventative measure when exercising is what is recommended. But its always useful to take a note of how much you are using and then tell your doctor. I always take 2 puffs before exercise and sometimes like now, as I am very symptomatic I take more when exercising. Always worth discussing with your doctor though.

However if you are having to use your reliever more than 3 times a week outside exercise you should always go back to your G/P.

Hope this makes sense.


Thank you. I will ask my GP next time.

That should say aerobics haha


Hi PoojaMehra,

Here's some top tips to exercise with asthma

As already discussed on the thread, speak to your GP if you feel your symptoms are getting worse when you run, Please feel free to give our specialist asthma nurses team a ring on 0300 222 5800 (Mon-Fri 9am-5pm).

Thanks, Dita

in reply to Hidden

Thank you! I'll give it a go.

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