Running With Asthma

A Guide To Running With Asthma – UPDATED 2022

Running with asthma can be tricky. However, that should not stop you from running. There are thousands of people that run with asthma every day.

Even though running is one of the worst exercises for triggering asthma, if you follow some simple tips, you should be able to enjoy all the benefits running provides.

However, you still need to be careful when doing any form of exercise. That means taking precautions against high dust levels and pollen.

If you are someone that struggles with asthma and wants to start running, this article can help set you in the right direction.

What Is Asthma?

It is generally unknown why some people get asthma. However, it is a condition that causes the airways to narrow. The narrowing of the airways can also cause swelling and mucus. This can be caused by environmental factors or even genetics.

The condition can often trigger coughing and shortness of breath. For some people, this may only be a minor nuisance.

However, for some, it can interfere with daily activities like running, walking, or cycling, which makes exercise even more difficult.

Unfortunately, asthma can’t be cured, but luckily symptoms can be controlled through quick-relief inhalers (bronchodilators). However, that doesn’t mean you are free from issues. That’s why it is important to speak with your doctor about the signs and symptoms you may be experiencing. That way they can adjust the treatment as needed.

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Some of the signs and symptoms of asthma you might experience include:

– Shortness of breath
– Tightness in the chest
– Pain in the chest
– Wheezing when you exhale
– Trouble sleeping
– Coughing attacks

If you experience worsening asthma when you run or during daily activities, you may experience:

– The above signs and symptoms are getting worse and more frequent.
– Increasing difficulty breathing
– Needing the use of a quick-relief inhaler regularly

The above symptoms of asthma are usually triggered by:

– Exposure to various irritants and substances which may trigger allergies.
– Airborne allergens like pollen and dust
– Respiratory infections like the common cold
– Physical activity
– Cold temperatures
– Some medications
– Food additives like Sulfites and preservatives

If you are a runner, you must prevent these symptoms from appearing. So it doesn’t affect your training.


Running With Asthma – What Should You Know?

Since running is primarily an outdoor activity, you are constantly exposing yourself to environmental triggers. This makes running much harder if you suffer from asthma.

However, don’t let that deter you. Many world-class runners suffer from asthma (example: Paula Radcliffe).

Luckily there are some things you can do to help you run with asthma. First choosing the time of day you run is one of the most important decisions you can make. Running early in the morning or late at night can often trigger symptoms. That is because there is more pollen in the air. That is why it is important to plan ahead and try to avoid days when there is lots of pollen in the air. You can do this by running indoors on a treadmill, or taking a rest day.

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Other tips include running after it has been raining and if you live in a city, running early morning when pollution is less.

For some people, cold temperatures set off their asthma when running. If this is the case, try to move inside during the colder months, or wear a face mask like the Airtrim, which can help increase the air temperature you breathe. Alternatively, you can use a scarf or neck warmer to cover your mouth.

If you are a runner that varies their training (ie: intervals, tempo runs, etc), you may want to increase the recovery between intervals. This can allow more recovery for your lungs and help you avoid exercise-induced asthma. Other tips include slowing your breathing down and focusing on a deeper breath.

However, fast pace running like intervals is a severe trigger for asthma. Instead, try to focus on mileage in your training or even focus on more tempo running rather than intervals or speed work. This can help prevent asthma symptoms from appearing during your workout.

By adjusting your running schedule you can schedule your training in a way that can prevent asthma symptoms from happening. While this not always be the case, you are more likely to have fewer problems than someone that doesn’t suffer from asthma.

Is Running Good For Asthma?

Is Running Good For Asthma?

In general, running can help ease asthma symptoms. This is because running can help strengthen your lungs and reduce inflammation in your airways.

However, before starting running your asthma must be under control. Otherwise, you may find running will just worsen your condition.

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With proper treatment and adjustment to your training schedule, you should be able to run most days with asthma. However, you must always make sure you warm up properly before any type of run. By doing this you can help you open the airways and prevent any symptoms from appearing later in the run.

it is also important to learn belly breathing, so when you run you can get more air into the lungs and stay more relaxed. Rather than fighting every breath.

Can You Run A Marathon With Asthma?

Paula Radcliffe, one of the world’s best marathoners suffered from asthma since the age of 14. This shows you that it is 100% possible to run a marathon with asthma, and any other distance for that matter.

However, there are some precautions you need to take. First, consult with a medical professional to make sure it is safe for you to run a marathon or any other event. Also, speak to them about any other medication you may need. For example, an allergy shot or an increased dosage of antihistamine may help you during the marathoner, in case symptoms arise.

It is important to know that not everyone is the same. So, that’s why it is important to find out what your triggers are, and what will work best for you. With adequate medical advice and some trial and error, you should be able to run a marathon without any issues.

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