Running With Asthma

I Can Run With Asthma

Yes, I can run with exercise-induced asthma.  But not without a little bit of consequence.  On my last asthma post, I was gearing up for race #4 in the 7 week 5K series.  I posted a 31:45, a PR.  Last week, race #5, I posted a 31:31.  Not bad but I paid for it for 3 days.  Yesterday, for race #6, I came in at 32:25.  Ugh. It was very humid last night.  However, my lungs feel much better and not so stressed as compared to last week.

Why this obsession with times?  I keep asking myself why I can’t just relax and enjoy it.  The obvious answer is that time is a bench mark for success.  It is a tangible result of improvement.  But, so is being able to do the race in the first place.  I can’t loose sight of that.  Last week I spoke to a friend of my mom’s, who is also a cross country coach for one of the local high schools.  He asked if I did a 7 or 8 minute mile. I rolled my eyes and laughed and said no but that I was very proud of my accomplishments, which I explained to him that I had gone from a consistent 15 minute mile two years ago to a consistent 10:30 mile, and that my new PR was 31:31 for a 5K and that in the first mile I clocked 9 minutes.  He said, “Oh.”  He wasn’t impressed.  I was hurt.  For days.

Look, running with asthma is difficult but it can be done.  The improvements definately come if I am consistent but they come in baby steps.  I’ve gone from a 46:00 5K to a 31:31.  That’s improvement!  I can’t ignore it.  I’m not going to lie to you.  In order to improve you have to push and if you push you will pay for it.  Like, sitting still for two days.  If you can’t afford that (neithe can I so I am in constant battle with my ego), then don’t push as hard.  You still have to push to improve, and it will hurt, but the benefit is that my lungs are so, so, so much stronger than they used to be.  Now, they actually crave cardiovascular exercise.  I just need to find the balance between too little and too much.

If you want to run with asthma, just do it.  Start small, take baby steps, be consistent, and just do it.

1 Comment so far
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I have exercise induced asthma as well and I have been running and playing soccer for a number of years. There is no need to feel ashamed of your accomplishments, they’re great. I’m not sure “normal people” understand the physical, mental, and emotional dedication it takes to continue to run with asthma. When the lungs start gasping for air, and the legs lose oxygen and start feeling like sandbags, it takes a lot to keep them going, much more than runners not afflicted with asthma know. Ive recently started upping my training program in hopes that I can run a marathon. From reading posts all over the internet, it looks very doable. It sounds like you’re well on your way as well, because, as we both know, running is all about a person’s ability to persevere. So, here’s to accomplishments. Good Luck.


Comment by Ben

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