Running with Asthma

Paula Radcliffe - Asthma didn't stop me doing what I love

In the UK there are  eight million people – over 12% of the population – that have been diagnosed with asthma. This means more people have had an asthma diagnosis than have been diagnosed with all other lung diseases combined. One of the more famous icons with the condition is our own Paula Radcliffe, pictured here. David Beckham is another icon that also has the condition.

However, this does not mean that there are eight million people living with the condition. Many children diagnosed with asthma grow out of it. Asthma UK states that around 5.4 million people receive treatment for the disease.  

If you’re an asthma sufferer that runs regularly then you’ll know that there are few things more irritating than having your run or jog brought to an early end by painful symptoms.

Over five million people have asthma in the UK and, although it is generally quite easily managed, that does not mean that you will not sometimes experience the symptoms. Cardio exercises are among the most common triggers for symptoms of asthma and, because it generally mixes physical exertion with an outside environment, few cardiac exercises are as likely to trigger symptoms as running.

Asthma symptoms can vary from person to person and range from light coughing and chest tightness all the way up to a full asthma attack. Though it is unusual, asthma can even lead to hospital treatment in some cases. As a runner you are likely to risk symptoms each time you begin so it is extremely important that you know how to manage them. It might not seem like much at all, but even something as simple as an extra inhaler left alongside your running shoes could make the difference if you ever needed help.

While there's no cure, there are steps you can take to control your asthma and prevent an attack.

  1. Identify your Asthma triggers.   
  2. Stay away from allergens.   
  3. Avoid smoke of any type.   
  4. Prevent colds and other things beginning with ‘C’!  
  5. Allergy-proof  your home.   
  6. Get your vaccinations.   
  7. Take Asthma medications as prescribed.

We have published an article here with advice on managing your asthma.