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Couch to 5K
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As an old asthmatic, I have tips

I've decided to do C25K again. Finished it 3? 4? years ago and then with one thing and another, let exercise slide. I'm 62 and I've been asthmatic all my life. It's still quite daunting to think of jogging 30 minutes straight even though I did it before, because I know how unfit I am.

One thing about starting this time round is it's much harder on the joints than I remember. Honestly, ankles, big toe joints, knees. They ache, and it's really important to have the right shoes. For me that's Vibrams, it makes such a difference to have a light footfall. But this is not the case for everybody. Another thing about starting again as an asthmatic, is that I'm not scared of the asthma. I know it's going to get better during the course and I know what to do to manage it properly. Of course as asthmatics, we know we've got to be up to date on our treatment plan and always carry a reliever inhaler. But apart from that, if anyone's interested, here's some things I discovered about running with asthma from last time.

* Use the reliever as you're getting ready to go out for your run, and try to relax mentally and physically during the warm up walk.

* In cold weather, have something like a loose cowl or scarf to cover your mouth and nose as soon as you go outside for the warm up.

* If you start the programme including a few slight inclines in the runs you won't get a shock when you try and lightly run up a hill, full of confidence, in the middle of week 5. Hills are the devil but you can work up to them.

* At the beginning my lack of breath would kick in long before my muscles ever got tired. So I never experienced that thing when your legs can't take one more step until late in the course when for the first time I went out without having eaten that day. Food helps your muscles! Who knew?

* Slow down. If you can't breathe, slow down. You're still jogging, even if walkers are passing you. Every jogging step you take, builds your strength and stamina for next time.

* Just repeating it, because this is the trick. If you're struggling, slow down and keep jogging. That will get you through.

Well I hope it will get me through this time, and good luck everybody. I thought some of this might be useful to people (and other asthmatics) starting out. Just finished week 3, Yayhay! W4R1tomorrow.

Oh, one more thing I thought of. TAKE THE BREAKS! Your knees, ankles, toes etc will thank you.

2 Replies

Sounds like sensible tips for anyone! Bar the precautionary inhaler puff of course.

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Brilliant tips (BTW the scarf thing is called a snood in some places)

Also - if the colder weather really affects you, you can use a treadmill in the gym

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