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Asthmatic Non-Runner- With a Need to Run

by Jenifer
(West Palm Beach - FL )

Truth be told I am NOT a runner. I can walk a 14 minute mile - all day but run - not me. I have had asthma since I was a child- severe through all my childhood- not so much now.

But as a kid I wasn't able to do a lot of excessive running - or playing - a game of tag would have me on my nebulizer.

As an adult my asthma is much more calm. I use a fast acting inhaler once in a while - but not that often.

I have no real breath control experience and when I run I just get so out of breath.

I am interested in a job that would require me to run 1.5 miles in 13 minutes or less.

I am 25 years old, 5'3" approx 135-140lbs and not incredibly athletic, but I do exercise and workout. I have strength - but I think I am lacking the endurance.

What would be a good way for me to get to this point? In your opinion can I get to this point?

running tipsAnswer by Dominique:

Hi Jenifer,
Thanks for your running training questions.

It is hard to predict whether you can get to that point.

1.5 Miles in 13 minutes is a doable goal for many, many people.

But I simply don't know enough about your current state of fitness and the asthmatic condition to give you an iron-clad guarantee.

The best way to approach this is to start your running by doing run/walks, i.e. alternating running and walking. The running should be done at an easy pace, the pace at which you don't get out of breath that much.

Have a look at how my most successful beginners running schedule, Beginners Running Program 3 is built up.

It starts at the absolute beginning with 1 minute of running, but builds up over time to 30 minutes of running. I get thank-you e-mails pretty much every week from people telling me how they thought they'd never be able to pull it off and somehow 12 weeks later, they did.

Now, don't feel obliged to follow this program to the letter, but use the same approach:

  • Combine running with walking

  • Build up the running component slowly over time

  • I think that you could get to your goal when you build it up this way. You want to get to a point where you can run 20-30 minutes quite comfortably. Once you have got that base endurance, running faster to make your goal time won't be as hard on your system anymore as it is now.

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    Hope this helps.
    Best of luck and stay safe.
    Kind regards,

    Comments for Asthmatic Non-Runner- With a Need to Run

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    Jul 28, 2011
    I am an asthmatic runner
    by: Anonymous


    Saw your post and just wanted to share my story.

    I to am asthmatic. Since childhood and always exercise enduced.

    6 months ago I decided I wanted to run. I started not being able to do 200 metres!

    Now - I am nearly at 5klm which takes me just over 40 minutes.

    I find that I need to medicate well before a run. And on cold days - during.

    Its taken alot longer to build up my lung capacity - and other non asthmatics have progressed faster then me.... BUT who cares!

    It does take time to condition our lungs but it is acheivable...

    Good luck and I hope you get up to your first klm real soon :)

    Jul 28, 2011
    Exercise Induced Asthma (EIA)
    by: RAW 'n Green

    I too suffer from EIA. I have suffered from Asthma since I was a child. They almost lost me several times before I turned one year old. I have not used an inhaler for years because I never did anything that triggered it.

    A few years ago I was 43 years old, weighed 225 lbs and had not broken into a run in 20 years.

    Last year I decided to turn things around. I had already shed about 50 lbs when I started with walking 1/2 an hour at a time pushing myself with hills and other obstacles to challenge my breathing. I got good at listening to my body and not pushing too far but just far enough that when my body recovered the bar had been raised for the next time I challenged by lungs.

    Then I joined Soldier's of Fitness, an outdoor Boot Camp. We work out three days a week for 1.5 hours at a time.

    The first time I had to run I walked way more than 3/4 the distance and sounded like I was going to cough up a lung for the next 36 hours.

    The next day I was able to run farther ... and the next and the next farther still.

    This year I have run my first half marathon and 1 leg of an Ultra-Marathon. I am not real fast but I have successfully completed them.

    You can probably imagine how badly I wanted to quit in those early days.

    I am so glad that I stuck with it.

    I still cough when I push too hard and I am still improving all the time. Keep with it and do not expect to have improvement overnight.

    You can do it!

    Jul 30, 2011
    EIA too!
    by: Anonymous

    I have EIA and have ran 11 half marathons, 5 full marathons, and multiple short distance races. I carry my inhaler during every race. Some days my symptoms act up and others I never use it. You just have to start slow and progress up by 10% each week if you're wanting to build up your distance. Check out the CouchTo5K programs on the web. It is hard to get past that fear of an attack happening, but if you want to be a runner, you can do it!

    Also, get yourself a RoadID stating you have asthma so if you do have an attack, people will know what's going on (when you can't tell them).

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