Week Six Complete but struggling with Asthma. ... - Couch to 5K

Couch to 5K
102,504 members132,065 posts

Week Six Complete but struggling with Asthma. Anyone else?


I’ve been reading posts here and there but decided to post today after completing week six and my first 25 minute run. I feel like I’m legitimately running now and can do 10 minutes easy which is amazing. However beyond 10 minutes and my asthma kicks in and my chest hurts. I had the worst attack since starting today, coughing for ages after. I take a preventer inhaler twice daily and carry Ventolin which I took a few times while running (so hard to inhale and hold my breath).

I’m hoping I just need to ride it out and my asthma will improve. Is there anything else that could help? Prior to running my asthma was controlled and I was working out in the gym fairly hard. I suffer with chronic back pain after an injury and surgery so avoided running. I’m paying for that today too but find my body has adjusted over time so should do again.

13 Replies

Did this issue make you slow down? If it did you can slow down from the start and it may help a lot. There are people with asthma who run, and all of us have to adapt to running, so I’d think it could well improve soon. May be worth going for an extra asthma check and discussing with the professionals who have seen your asthma stats.

Very well done getting through it!

I’m not sure if I slowed, I tried to speed up in the last few minutes, my legs were struggling before the 20 minute mark. I feel slow and always start off gentle to not aggravate asthma or muscle tightness, I tracked the run and it was 8.9km per hour.

I can try the GP but I suspect they’ll just blindly offer different inhalers. I spend enough time with medical professionals and most GPs are out of their depth with more specific issues. And the nurse tested me, causing a huge asthma attack and then said the test result was negative for asthma.

My asthma is why I hated sports and running at school. I might try the treadmill for a longer run and see if it makes a difference, I know some pollutants are a trigger so worth a try.

in reply to Ariadne1925

You’re under 7 minutes per km so there is room to slow it a little.

Had no idea doctors and nurses are so poor on asthma... my daughter is luck that our nurse is great.

I once had an appointment with a proper asthma nurse which was great. But it was just before I left for university and I’ve never had a decent appointment since, many years ago. Several appointments were to try to get back on seritide as recommended by the asthma nurse. They keep pushing the brown inhaler - it doesn’t help but I guess it’s cheaper. My six year seems ok with the brown one.


Lifelong Cold and Exertion induced Asthmatic.

Before the end of year one, wasn't bothering with inhalers.

My lungs are shot from those two forms of asthma and the slow suicide attempt of almost forty years of smoking prior to c25k.

I pant, gasp and "oxygen heave" my way around - but at a little over two years of running I can do ten non stop miles in a tiny shade over two hours.

Doc says it's "bizarre" like the rest of me - but my inner runner doesn't worry about that ;)

Take it slooooow and steady, don't panic, don't beat yourself up or feel inferior, depressed or think you are "not a real runner"

You can run - and like EVERYONE else here, you jwon't be crying because you came second in the London Marathon, but you will be winning your own individual and personal race of a lifetime more than once ☺

Wishing you many happy miles in your future ☺ ☺ ☺

Thanks, you are giving me hope it will get better and I just need to keep going. Definitely not competing with anyone but myself and concentrating on keeping going rather than targeting distance or speed.

Winter running will be a new experience and interesting to see how I cope. I fine heat very aggravating but maybe it’s linked to pollution - running in a big city.

in reply to Ariadne1925

I cannot run by anything like frequent traffic - the exhaust fumes are just too uncomfortable.

Winter running - it took me a few weeks to figure out the "perfect" wear for it. Gloves we're a huge conundrum - I have low circulation so my fingertips especially tend to freeze. Finally, an old pair of leather driving gloves proved to be perfect, they don't get too hot because of the perforations but the fingertips are fully protected. Getting used to going out the door and being really cold for the "warm up" walk was an aquired taste also 😂


Your asthma should be improving. Could it be allergies? Maybe try an antihistamine. Also ask your GP for a turbo inhaler. They’re stronger and for sport. A couple of puffs before your run should help 👌🏽

in reply to Tasha99

I’m sure it’s improved and it’s just I’m pushing myself, as is the plan. I’d never have been able to run five minutes before I started. I’ll ask the GP next time I can face a trip, I might ask about options to see a proper asthma nurse.


I feel your pain! I've just completed C25K and I managed all my runs except one, which I had to pause and restart. My asthma nurse recommends taking one or two puffs of the Ventolin inhaler before going out for a run. I felt so much better after 8 weeks of C25K running that I phased out the preventer (Clenil) but am now wheezing and coughing so much I'll be going back on it tomorrow. I still hope that running will eventually improve my asthma though yesterday was so bad I had to take an antihistamine as well in order to get through my first post-C25K run.


Take your prevtative inhaler as normal. Then before your run take the Ventolin. Don't wait till you experience symptoms on the run. Try some breathing excercises too.

I’ve started taking the ventolin as suggested and it seems to help. My chest is a bit tight but not enough for the inhaler. Plus if it take the inhaler when wheezy it causes me to cough up mucus which makes it harder. It does feel more risky in the first five minutes too, as long as I pace carefully I get through it. I won’t risk stopping my preventer, but I find I’m triggered without exercise so I’d still have attacks even if I never needed it to run.

I was wary of taking ventolin beforehand as I’d done it as a teen prior to a bike ride and fainted when resting. I’m sure it was not related now I think about it.


I have exercise induced asthma and just did W6R3 too. I have a few puffs on the blue inhaler before I go, but today with ten minutes left I got the awful wheeze. I was trying to cough and couldn't which is always concerning. I think the answer is to slow down - I've managed to avoid the wheeze previously unless I go too hard. I used to carry an inhaler and suck on that while running but I'm trying to avoid it.

You may also like...