Running With Asthma

I’ve found myself scouring the Internet and even asking my doctor for information and help regarding my asthma and running. I’ve been to a respiratory specialist and in two weeks I have an appointment with an allergist who may or may not be able assist further with my asthma.  From my searches and conversations I have found the following to be most useful, this is not meant as a form of medical advice, of course consult with your doctor before making changes you are unsure of.

  • Start slow – Take a few minuets to warm up every time you head out to run.
  • Know your limits – If you cannot breathe, stop running and start walking.
  • Carry your inhaler – A time will come when you will need it, being prepared is your best defense.
  • Avoid triggers – Find your triggers and either avoid them or learn how to properly defend yourself from them. This can be difficult for some people to identify, for me it’s high pollen counts and cold temperatures.

When the temperature dips below 35 degrees I cover face with a scarf. Having most of my face covered may not be the most fashion-friendly look but it helps to warm the air I’m breathing and allow my run to be more comfortable as well as breathable.

In the height of allergy season, for me this is usually in the early spring, I try to run in the rain. Sometimes just after it rains, when it seems as the pollen count is at it’s lowest; I have had good success and limited inhaler use.  During this time of year I shower immediately following my run to in essence, wash away the allergens. Although I am not a big fan, running indoors also alleviates most cold and airborne allergen related asthma symptoms.

I’ve had asthma since childhood. Sometimes I wheeze after doing simply household duties, other times I can run several miles with no issues. For me the pros of running with asthma out weigh the cons. It is proven that running strengthens respiratory muscles, decreases the risk of heart disease, and helps to maintain health weight. All of which can do nothing but help with improved lung function.

Don’t let asthma hold you back or crush your running dreams.

If you have asthma, please speak with your doctor before starting a new exercise regime.


    My form of asthma is different from the type that you describe, but I still found this post both useful and comforting. I developed asthma in the last year, and really didn't know much about it until I began to suffer from it. It is good to see that with proper care, I should still be able to enjoy running.

    Greg | 6 years ago Reply

    Running with asthma can be difficult, but it can be done! All the tips you have suggested have helped me tons, especially running in the rain/ after it rains. Also, its super important to shower (and wash your hair!) immediately after a run during high pollen times. It took me a while to realize that the pollen in my hair is what was making me miserable. I've also found that swimming has helped me a lot in controlling my asthma.

    Daphne @ Candy Coated Runner | 6 years ago Reply

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