Couch to 5K
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Calling all asthmatics

I was wondering if any of you other asthmatics have the same problem as me: lungs are fine when I'm running, but as soon as I stop they seem to go into shock and take 48+ hours to stop wheezing, rattling and generally misbehaving.

I ran on Tuesday evening for the first time in over a month and fully intended running again this afternoon, but my peak flow measurement is still 60 points below my normal despite having used Ventolin several times today.

If any of you have similar difficulties, how have you learned to manage it?

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thank you :-)

7 Replies

Hi Sian,

I'm asthmatic, and have had to manage it very carefully to be able to start running again.

For me (and I know this is true for some others, but certainly not all asthmatics), I get a bit of a negative kickback from Ventolin: it helps a lot in the short term, but I pay for it hours later. With heavy exercise, this used to send me a bit into a cycle of needing more Ventolin afterwards for a day or two, much as you describe.

I've switched entirely to Symbicort, which has a different drug in to open the airways (and also steroid). I don't get the kickback from this at all, it might take a fraction longer to start acting than Ventolin, and it certainly has a longer positive effect (several hours). I have been able to start running again OK (just finished week 4 and lungs actually improving quite a bit, peak flow fairly stable day to day). I'm on a multiple daily dose of Symbicort, but I also take extra just before running. I also use Symbicort as my rescue inhaler, though I haven't needed it so much recently.

I must emphasize that all of this is under the direction of my doctor (an asthma consultant) and this is just what works for me. You might want to go see your GP/consultant/asthma nurse and ask for a review of your drugs in light of your post-run symptoms. Do ask about alternatives to Ventolin!


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Thank you so much Julia, this is REALLY useful information. I shall ring my surgery tomorrow and get an appointment with the asthma nurse. My brother mentioned Symbicort too, I'll give it a go (if they let me). I was changed from beclomethasone to Seratide after my last admission to hosptital and in general my lungs have been so much better. But I really want to get back to running 3+ times per week!

Thanks again Julia

Good luck with the rest of C25k, I look forward to seeing your graduate 'badge' in a few weeks :-)



I'll ditto the last remark been using symbicort for three years twice a day I also use it as my reliever but have only need it twice in three years ..... Cured?


Sounds like you might be cured, yes :-)


I can abselutely recomend symbicort too,

I started using ventolin, but it gave me the shakes and just made me feel unwell:S

so Symbicort it was for me. I am supposed to use it twice a day too.

in the start they gave me some inhaler to take 10 mins before any exercise OXY someting I don't remember the name of it now, but I didn't like that one too much so I just stuck with the symbicort:)


I'm on salbutamol and beclazone. I have a puff of salbutamol before my run and while running just try to control my breathing then keep this tseady during the cool down period.

I think if you feel you're struggling with your asthma you'd be best asking the asthma nurse about other options :)


I can't run very fast because of my asthma it takes me days for my lungs to calm down but try deep breathing i know how hard it is but still give it a go


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