Too scared to get out running again after illness :(

(14 Posts)
sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 20:38:58

I was diagnosed with adult onset asthma last year and was very ill for a good six months until a huge dose of steroids finally got on top of it. Before this I used to run a lot, 4 x 10 km a week sometimes more. Obviously the lengthy asthma flare up put paid to that. I am better now but still can't bring myself to get out there again. I am scared that the running will bring it on and I will be ill again. so I am getting more and more unfit and depressed about it. Not sure why I am posting really, just wondering if anyone has asthma and how or if they manage to get out running confidently. Thanks.

UsedToBeNDP Tue 12-Nov-13 20:46:35

Hi SSS. Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I think a couple of our runners are asthmatic but couldn't swear to it.

Could you start slowly with short, slow interval runs to reintroduce you gently? Maybe running with a buddy or at your local gym on their treadmills would be good idea (especially with the cold weather starting), it might also give you confidence that you aren't 'alone' should you feel any tightenings.

Do you have an inhaler in case you feel wheezy?

Shallishanti Tue 12-Nov-13 20:49:23

maybe discuss it with an asthma nurse?
there are surely top athletes who have asthma (don't actually know who)
I would think it's all about managing your medication and timing it right for your run

AndyMurraysBalls Tue 12-Nov-13 20:50:51

Where are you located OP?

I'm also a recovering runner (injured Achilles) and nervous of re-injury. My physio warned me that it would become psychological and it has.

EeyoreIsh Tue 12-Nov-13 20:50:55

I'm asthmatic and used to run lots. Even though I have exercise induced asthma.

I found running made my asthma better, the fitter you are the more your asthma will be under control. Some top athletes are runners, including Paula Radcliffe.

As time goes on, you'll learn what triggers your asthma and have more faith in your medication regime. Do you have a treatment plan in place? I take a particular type of inhaler (symbicort) which is good for people who do regular exercise as it is a preventer and a 12 hour reliever in one. Ask your asthma nurse which regime would work best with you running.

In terms of tips... When my asthma was bad I took it easy, doing less and going slower. I found a comfortable jog was manageable if I had a flare up than sprinting.

Cold weather running was tricky for me. I wore a buff like these over my mouth and a base layer top to stop my chest getting cold.

I always took my inhaler with me. I rarely needed it (before symbicort I would take ventolin 10 mins before run) but it's crucial to have. Sticking to busy routes and taking a mobile would be good too.

Finally, one thing that helped a lot was listening to music whilst running. It stopped me from hearing and therefore worrying about my breathing.

I miss running!

UsedToBeNDP Tue 12-Nov-13 20:51:49

Are you under the care of an asthma specialist nurse? S/he should be able to advise you of safe exercise levels / getting back into an exercise routine. GP practice nurses often also are good sources of advice like this as they frequently hold community 'asthma clinics'.

sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 20:59:35

grin thanks for replying. I love MN.

I am on Symbicort and rarely need to use Salbutamol, only if I have a cold or something.

My asthma nurse says I should be able to do whatever I was doing before I developed asthma and that means its well controlled. I can't ever see myself getting back to 10 km runs though sad.

I do feel well on a day to day basis but just the thought of being out there away from home with no help really frightens me wuss. Maybe if I stay close to home to begin with, the local park is only 1 km away.

Good idea about short runs and interval training, just planning to do that eases my mind a little.

I just so miss the those good running days when you felt so perfect and at one with everything speeding along, they didn't happen that often but they were so good when they did.

I am thinking that maybe I have a block, as in "well if I can't do 10 km then why bother at all?" kind of thing.

sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 21:04:03

Another thing is, when I did try about 6 months ago, I developed a sore throat after 4 runs and then had an asthma flare up that I had to take steroids again for as my peak flow dropped from 500 to under 300 almost over night so of course that put a stop to it again and it took three weeks to get over that flare up. It might have been a cold but it just seemed very linked to the running in my mind.

try couch to 5 k to build up and take your inhaler with you! If you asthma is also cold temperature induced perhaps start in the gym and work your way outside

EeyoreIsh Tue 12-Nov-13 21:11:08

Symbicort is great for exercise, so good that you're on it.

I've run half marathons with my asthma so really it is possible. I won't run if I have a cold though.

Start really slowly and with small distances and build it back up. Make sure you take enough time to recover, and use enough inhaler. Swimming is really good for asthma too.

Give yourself time to learn how to control your asthma. Now I know when I need to up my dosage and have the confidence to do so. I used to be far too reticent to take more of I needed it, whereas now I know it's best to up dose promptly.

sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 21:14:18

I know what you mean about being reluctant to use the medication. It almost felt like I was "winning" and clearly well if I didn't use the inhalers, which is ridiculous obviously. I feel slightly inspired actually so I might try to do a gentle jog/walk tomorrow smile.

Good tips on here though about covering mouth etc.

EeyoreIsh Tue 12-Nov-13 21:19:17

I went through a ridiculous stage a few years ago of refusing to accept my asthma was actually as bad as it is! It took a very lovely and patient gp to get me to accept that I did need stronger drugs to control my asthma, and now it's really under control. It's over a year since my last flare up, as I've embraced the drugs when needed!

Good luck. Don't push yourself too hard, and accept that some days you'll just not be able to run, but those will be a very small minority once it's under control.

sparklysilversequins Tue 12-Nov-13 21:20:03

Thanks so much smile. I am going out for a very small, relaxed one tomorrow.

SparklyFucker Wed 13-Nov-13 19:51:28

How did it go Sparklysilver? I wondered about suggesting starting a c25k programme from scratch - just a minute's run then a minute's walk etc. That way you could stop the whole thing at any point you felt unhappy.

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