Thursday, March 20, 2014

Training 26.2 with Asthma

I've partnered up with Breathe Pa to do some training blogs. If you haven't checked out their sight, you can do it at 

Background I my Asthma 
If you check out my About Me section, you will see I was a very large child. I always wanted to play sports and be active but I tired out quickly and would just go inside to play video games. I lost the weight going ito highschool, thanks to some bullies that are now twice my size. 

For a few months after highschool I took a break from sports. I started college in July after graduating and once I got into the swing of college and work, I decided to get active again. I started running with my sister and kickboxing. After a few months of being stagnant, I knew something was wrong. I went for a 1 mile run with a friend on a trail and couldn't finish the mile. When we were done I couldn't stop coughing and chocking. I tried to play it off like I was okay but the coughing wouldn't stop over the next few days. One of my other friends told me that they think I have asthma so I need to go get checked out. I thought it was just really bad allergies from the trail. After seeing the doctor, he said that he thinks it's asthma but I'd have to get tests done to confirm it. Unfortunately, I didn't have health insurance so getting those tests done wouldn't be able to happen for about 3-4 years. After needing my inhaler 4 times a day, I had to go back to the doctor. What he gave me wasn't working. He eventually had to put me on Advair twice daily until I could pay for the tests. Advair without insurance isn't cheap. After paying for that for two months I got myself some good insurance and went for the tests. 

It confirmed that I had asthma (as if they didn't believe me) and my pulmonary doctor put me on a few medications to relive it a little bit. 

Training with Asthma
After being on my medication for about two years I've been cleared to train. Here's an idea of my daily medication routine:
Advair: Twice daily 
Asthma/allergy pill: Before bed
Nasanex: Two inhales, each nostril before bed 
Nebulizer: When needed, usually when I'm sick or go on a long run
Albuterol inhaler: as needed 

I initially started my blog to show people that there shouldn't be an excuse as to why you can't exercise while you have asthma. I have friends that try to tell me why they can't, but there's always more reasons as to why you can. Training is hard with a breathing conditions but if you manage it correctly, you'll be okay. As long as I take my medicine and use my inhaler when I need it, then I'm usually okay. 

I have many apps that remind me to take my medicine and tell me what color day it is. Normally on an orange or red day, I stay inside. It's not worth hurting myself. When I run, I go slow. If anyone ever looks at my time you'll know that I'm not the fastest. I could be much faster but I take my time. 

Here's something that I want everyone to know while training with asthma:
1.) Take your time: If you feel like crap and still want to try to go out, then do it but do it safely. If you need to stop, then stop. Walk a little bit. 
2.) You WILL have bad days: There will be days that you can finish a mile. Those days are going to make you wonder if you can do 13 or 26 miles. Bad days happen but you can't let that bring you down. 
3.) You WILL have good days: Those days will make you wonder if your asthma went away. Usually not, but if you're feeling good keep going! 
4.) Take your medicine: It's okay to buy a running pouch solely for your inhaler. I'm a dork like that too. 
5.) Take care of yourself: If your long run was planned but you wake up to 70 degrees and it's a "red day" use "red day" as "rest day". If you're committed you can find a better day to go. 
6.) Know when to take your run: Are you an early morning runner or sunset runner? I'm early morning. I'll get up at 5:30 to watch the sunrise before I watch the sunset. I personally feel like the air quality is always much better in the morning. Running at 2pm usually isn't a good idea when it's 90 degrees out. 

Those are some of my training tips. I have a training schedule set up that I usually go by but I stay flexible. It is completely feasible to train for a marathon with asthma if you take care of yourself. If you have any questions on training or taking care of myself, just ask! 

Are you training with asthma? 
What are your training tips?


  1. Awesome that you aren't letting asthma hold you back!

  2. Thanks to a link from "This Runner's Fuel", I came across your blog. My medicine intake is similar to yours. Advair 2x/day, Nasonex 2x/day, Singulair 1x/day, and ProAir when needed. Mentally, sometimes, I feel myself holding back running too fast in a race due to breathing fears(whether legitimate or not).

    1. Oh my gosh, I love Kim from "This Runner's Fuel"! I started this because couldn't find any blogs that had athletes struggling with asthma. I hope I can help you. If you have any questions, just ask! :) Good luck training. I feel like I'm holding myself back as well but just remember, its okay to lead from the back!!