Any Other Asthmatics Out There?: Hey, I'm an... - Couch to 5K

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Any Other Asthmatics Out There?



I'm an asthmatic and usually I don't like that to get in the way of my exercise, I'd been running for a few weeks, then I discovered C2K and thought I'd have a go. I was heading out on my second run of week one, early morning and it was FREEZING and gave the run a go, but had to stop after 20 mins because I physically could not breathe any more, and it has now really scared me and I'm not sure if I can continue if I reacted like that on just week one.

I have my inhaler with me whenever I run and usually that is enough, has anyone out there got any tips or anything? I don't want to give up!!!


13 Replies

Hi BexiieeB

i have asthma and the trick i use it to take my preventor about 10 - 20 mins before i run, also make sure i take my ventolin with me.

The issue you may be having is that the cold air affects your asthma, but as long as you take your ventolin when you feel it coming on and dont leave it you should be absolutly fine

Dont let the Astma win,you can do this. :-)

Take care and let us know how you get on


I have mild asthma and dont use a preventor but I use my ventolin about 10 mins or so before I run and that seems to do the trick. Also when it is cold outside I wear a bandit - like these - and have that over my mouth for the walking bits so it warms the air up a bit before I breathe in. You could always go and see an ashtma nurse for some advice too, they are usually pretty good. You might just need to take it really slowly for a while, but you will get better!


Asmathic just about all my life and like you don't let it get in the way of my exercise. Advice from Doc was to use both brown & blue (preventor & ventolin) before a run in the cold early mornings, just the blue if its later in the day having already taken the brown one and always take ventolin with me. I bought a buff too to cover my mouth until I get going a bit.

Hi BexiieeB

I've been exercising with asthma all my life and I respond in a pretty similar way to you on very cold days. Shortly after I get out I will start to tighten- it will get worse and it seems like no amount of salbutamol will relieve it.

I usually stop at this point and let the symptoms subside- even if it takes quite a while.

The funny thing is that I can then go out again, in exactly the same weather, and I will not get the tightening/attack again that session. I can't really explain the science but it appears that once my body/lungs are warmed up they are not susceptible to the shock of the cold air any more.

I would recommend trying an indoors warm up first and see if that helps. Purplefrans idea of a bandit sounds really good as well- I'm going to give that one a try as well.

There is an inhaler called Symbicort which is a bronchodilator that lasts for a lot longer than salbutamol or ventolin. I have used this in the past before exercise and found it affective for the whole session (my understanding is that ventolin only stays in the system for a short time span).

Best of luck!



Just a quick correction- the inhaler I was referring to was called serevent (salmeterol) rather than symbicort- the link below gives a bit more info:


Well I haven't had problems with asthma for about 30 years, the odd wheeze but that's it. Something has switched it back on again!! I really hope its not the running. And for the last 3 weeks I have been wheezing and coughing, really poorly controlled. My running has stopped and I am gutted as I was up to 40 minutes and loving it.

Have now started a steroid inhaler and feel a bit better.

Going to give it a few more days but really hope I can get out there next weekend. Cold air is a problem and in the past autumn was my bad time, think its the spores on the leaves, which are everywhere!!

Really fed up..


I went on to a steroid inhale three weeks into the programme because I was coughing so much. It's the best thing I could have done. I remember waking up one night amazed at how much I could expand my lungs. I had had no idea of what a deficit I had been operating under.

Symbicort is not a bronchiodilator is is an anti-inflammatory. They are two different types of inhaler, and must not be confused. "Blue" Inhalers are bronchiodilators, red or brown anti-inflammatories. You may be on a different drug-so many out there, but basically they work in the same way, so don't worry about the name, just take them at least 30 minutes prior to exercise, and the tip re covering your mouth and nose with a headband or scarf is essential for asthmatics. I have asthma, and I used to run asthma clinics when I was practising (now retired). Serevent is in a green container, and is only prescribed for those with severe asthma. Whatever you have prescribed is the best for you, but do go and see your Asthma Nurse if you feel unhappy about the way you are feeling. Another tip: breathe abdominally. You get another 20% air into your lungs this way. I taught all my asthmatics this method, and they all improved with it. It takes practice, but is so worth it. Children until they are 5 years old breathe this way, then it changes.

Like you Delores I am so much better since starting this programme. I too had been operating under deficit for years. My peak flow has gone up leaps and bounds! No more night coughing-except when I had the bug that was doing the rounds cough/cold sore throat-which I was so pleased to see off without any anitibiotics-yeeeeah! First time in my entire life-my GP couldn't believe it!

Good luck Bexiibee for getting yourself sorted soon. Enjoy the programme :-)

Keep on Running......... :-)

Colette x

OldgirlGraduate in reply to Pearsey

Thanks for your post Colette. Its interesting to hear that your peak flow has gone up too. The nurse was amazed at my improvement in November when I went for my asthma review (annual). My peak flow was almost 20% better than previous years and thats many, many years. I can only put it down to the running and swimming I have been doing.

Also bought a buff for covering mouth and nose for the cold weather, it helps, especially when its windy too.

Excellent! Cxx


Yeah im trying to run with asthma i get the same thing i train using circuit training and after a few mins i have to stop because I can't breathe people need to keep us posted to good running tips

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