Week 1 run 2 done with recently diagnosed Asth... - Couch to 5K

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Week 1 run 2 done with recently diagnosed Asthma. ADVICE NEEDED

Getting_fit_at_35 profile image

Hi everyone. After many false starts I have decided to try and lose some weight and get fitter.

After lockdown I am now over 5 stone overweight. I confess the first run was a total shock and my legs were aching. Hamstrings were super tight and ankles sore. Dragged myself out yesterday for run 2 which was still hard.

I'm looking for some advice with those that have Asthma. I was diagnosed in February and my meds aren't accurate yet. When I run I really struggle to get enough breath, even after using my blue inhaler before hand. My lungs usually loosen toward the end. I find it hard to breathe through my nose and out via my mouth, using mostly mouth breathing which I know is wrong.

Any advice from people who have asthma? Does it get easier and help your lungs? How do I push through. I literally look red faced and wheeze so loudly with a 30 second jog so I don't know how I will do week 2. Feel like I am dying. Dreading run 3. Help!!

18 Replies
nowster profile image

For the tight tendons and leg muscles, the post-run stretches will help.


Also drinking plenty of fluids (especially the day before a run) will help.

I have no experience of asthma, so I'll defer to others here.

Thank you. I shall have a read through.

It absolutely gets easier!

My first run I had to sit with my inhaler for 10 minutes afterwards to be able to breathe freely again. Now I’ve had 4 runs without needing my blue inhaler at all.

I’d recommend taking your preventer at least 30 minutes before running and for the first few weeks also taking the blue inhaler around 20 minutes beforehand (just one or two puffs).

Also always take this with you, just in case.

I personally breathe through my mouth mostly and find this leads to dry, burning sensation, which is a sensation I tend to associate with my asthma. To prevent this I take a small bottle of water with me and take tiny sips as I need.

You may not need to do this though.

Thank you for your advice. When you say preventer what colour inhaler? I have brown morning and night at the moment. I cannot get into my doctors due to covid to reassess and correct my meds. They said I may need a pink or purple inhaler?

I used the blue throughout the run and before hand. The burning sensation I get too. I think I worry because I don't want this added thing impending my progress but also because I was almost admitted to hospital just after Christmas as I didn't and still don't recognise when I'm having an attack.

I hope that it will ease and this program will help to strengthen my lungs 🙂

The water seems a good Idea. I think I will do that.

I currently use Fostair as my preventer - which is pink with a purple cap. It’s very much trial and error trying to find the perfect inhaler for you - I have tried around 7 different inhalers/combinations since diagnosis .

Your doctor will obviously be the best person to suggest/recommend an adequate inhaler for you. Have you discussed this program with your doctor?

I’ve lived with my asthma for 20 years so am pretty good at noticing the signs of an impending attack - the tight achy chest, persistent rattly cough and the feeling of not being able to take a full breath. This all just comes with time though, unfortunately.

If you have only recently been diagnosed it’s going to take some time to adjust to this. Just be very careful you don’t push yourself too far and always have a means of contacting someone with you. Asthma attacks are unpleasant and pretty scary - it’s reassuring to know you have a way to get help if you need it.

Thank you so much. It gives me hope to know that eventually I will do this.

I haven't spoken to my doctor abiut starting but he did say before he recommended exercise and even inducing a mild attack to strengthen the lungs.

I will ask them about changing my inhaler I think xx

Jools2020 profile image

I have mild asthma and only use a blue inhaler. If the air quality is poor, I use it about 20 minutes before I leave the house.

I can’t breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth when I’m running! No way 😂 I don’t get enough air that way, so I just breathe naturally in and out through my mouth.

Sandraj39 profile image
Sandraj39Graduate in reply to Jools2020

Absolutely right Jools - the app advice to breathe in through your nose, is actually at odds with what most experts say....and most runners tend to mouth breathe. Carry on doing it your way!👍🙂

Sparkey5000 profile image
Sparkey5000Graduate in reply to Jools2020

I don’t have asthma and I breathe through my mouth all the time when running.....like you I just can’t seem to get enough air in through my nose.

Welcome to the forum and well done on getting started.

Don't worry about breathing through your mouth, there is nothing wrong with that.

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5...

and includes advice on minimising impact, stretching after every run, hydration and strengthening exercises, all of which will help.

Enjoy your journey.

It's so hard to nose breathe isn't it. 😂.

Thanks. I think I'll just focus on finishing the times as best I can. Have a call with the asthma nurse Monday so will see what she says. 👍

Sandraj39 profile image
Sandraj39Graduate in reply to Getting_fit_at_35

You do not need to nose breathe - in fact must runners are mouth breathers! Do what feels most comfortable to you.🙂


Sandraj39 profile image

Breathe what ever way is most comfortable for you. The app advice to breath in through the nose is at odds with what most runners do and also most advice. I breathe in and out with my mouth open - this is the easiest way to get plenty of oxygen down in to your lungs! Article here if you're interested.🙂


My son has very mild asthma. When he took up running he used to take a puff of his inhaler before setting off 'just in case' but now no longer does. He always carries his inhaler on a run though ( has not needed it yet - asthma has different triggers for different people, of course).

Best advice is probably just to slow down - speed is not important, especially at this early stage of the programme. It's about gradually building up that time running. Slow is the way to go...good luck!🙂

Tasha99 profile image

Try a turbohaler. I got asthma when I got too overweight but it went whilst doing c25k 👍🏽

What is a turbohaler? I have the pressurised ones. I am hoping weightloss will be a welcome side effect

Tasha99 profile image
Tasha99Graduate in reply to Getting_fit_at_35

Just a sports inhaler. Ask the doctor.

Jell6 profile image


The above article has some good links.

Also...forget nose breathing and counting breaths for that matter.

Just do what your lungs are telling you.

You've made a great choice doing this.

Enjoy the difference it will make 🤩

Thank you. Some great information there for me to read and digest. Looking forward to the difference 😊

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