Log in
Couch to 5K
68,961 members101,240 posts

Running with asthma?

Hello all,

I've not been running much lately and, hence, not been on the forums but I'm hoping to get back into it again especially as I have a 5K Spooky Sprint for Parkinson's on the 21st of October. In the dark!

Anyway, back in the early summer, I was really pleased in being able to up my running from 5k to 8k, although I was only running twice a week (one short, one long run). However, as the weather got warmer, I suddenly started feeling unwell when running. I was gasping for air, or at least it felt that way - uncontrollable yawning and not feeling like I was breathing enough. I was also getting worryingly dizzy and having to stop and sit down as I was scared I was going to faint.

Eventually I got in to see my GP who said it was either heart or lungs - I have a hole in my heart so got totally checked out at the cardiology clinic. My GP was hopeful that it was asthma and, after being given the all-clear by the cardiologist, it appears it was so. I have been taking a blue inhaler (salbutamol) before running (10 mins, 2 puffs) and after running (2 puffs) and I've generally felt better although I've been getting coughing attacks at times during exercise and dizzy once during a 20-minute run. The heart clinic peeps said I should probably be on a brown inhaler (preventative) as well rather than relying on the blue all the time.

Just wondering if anyone here has been diagnosed as asthmatic after starting their running and what works for you (anyone!) with asthma? To be honest, I think I've been asthmatic for a while - been dogged by persistent coughs, especially at night. It certainly got a LOT worse from May/June onwards so I am seeing an improvement just with the blue inhaler. I just hope I can get back to my longer runs - I'd like to aim for a 10k at least. My GP, a keen runner, insists I eventually aim for a marathon, but I am not feeling that optimistic at present! One day at a time!

6 Replies

Lots of folk running with asthma,,, hopefully you will get some useful replies:)

Well done you though. slow and steady does it:)

This may be useful?


1 like

Thank you, Oldfloss - that was a really helpful article. What I particularly found encouraging was the message that the starts of runs are always tricky and once you get into them it gets better. I've always found it odd that if I take rest breaks (eg run for 5 mins, walk for 3) I find it hard to get back into running and breathing - this might explain why!

Thank you!

1 like

I guess the Doc gave you the blue puffer to see if it was indeed asthma. Now that you've confirmed this you should go back and discuss the options. A lot of practices have specialist asthma nurses.

The idea is that you use the brown preventative puffer every day and should only need the blue on very rare occasions. It takes a few days for the brown to kick in.

As Oldfloss says lots of runners and athletes, professionals included, have asthma and it is usually quite easily managed. It seems to be affecting people later in life more and more, and that was the case with me too.

1 like

Thanks for your reply and the info on the inhalers. I've got a follow up with the Dr next week so hopefully will get started on the prevention inhaler then. I wonder why more people are being diagnosed later?


Hi, I've had a chronic cough for about 10 years, despite many investigations doctors still can't decide if it's asthma or not. I've tried all kinds of inhalers which have no effect & tend to make me feel ill, but when I have a coughing fit the blue inhaler sorts it out, which thankfully hasn't happened during a run. I drink plenty of water, especially the day before a run & try to breath through my nose when running so that the cold air on the back of my mouth doesn't set me off coughing. I've had a few coughing fits when I'm doing my 5 minute walk down or when I get home. But on the whole running makes me feel great!

1 like

That's good to hear. I felt my breathing improved when I started running but it got a lot worse more recently, to the point where I can't stop when exercising and struggle to feel I am breathing in enough oxygen. Fingers crossed another inhaler will do the trick!


You may also like...