Asthma & Track

I don’t know about anyone else on this forum, but I have horrible asthma (when I first saw a doctor about it, he told me I really shouldn’t run track at all). I have used all the various medicines available to me, and they really have not improved my condition. I was wondering if anyone knew any other steps I could take to try to improve my asthma (herbs, anything else). Thanks very much!

have you tried the Buteyko method?

Find out what triggers your asthma and avoid it. In my case, it is cigarette smoke. My dad has always been a very heavy smoker and I was brought up in a small house constantly breathing in his smoke.
Stay away from inhaled corticosteroids. They stunt your growth and rob you of your strength

I know about many professional soccerplayers that suffer from asthma, but they are fine
Do you have a extra “hard” asthma?

yeah, it’s pretty bad. I’ve had several medical opinions that I shouldn’t run at all.

fwu10, I also have asthma. I haven’t needed to use any mediacation for over 2 years. (including during and after workouts). 3 yrs ago i couldn’t do a really slow jog for 800m without needing my inhaler after the first 400m. Tired of not being able to train the way I wanted or even walk up 5 flights of stairs without needing the inhaler I decided that I would not use it anymore.
For me the triggers are excercise and allergies (which there is a long list).
I began to think of my lungs as a muscle that I wanted to train. The first day of training was March 2000 on the treadmill.
I walked for 1.8miles (my goal was 3.2miles) at a 15minute mile pace. I stopped just before I felt That I needed my inhaler. Instead of the automatic reaction to use it I walked to my couch and recovered without it ( always keeping it close for the first 2 years). It took me 2 hours of sweat and difficulty breathing to recover without medication.
Two days later I repeated and found that my recovery took only about an hour.
My allergy specialist told me I was crazy and mistaken. I made very small increments every 2 days (never taking the medication) and avoiding my allergy triggers like the SARS. On August 10 2001 (I jogged my first 5km outdoors in 35:20 and in March 2002 ran in a 5km race in 24:30). My advice is to take very small steps and always keep the inhaler close just in case.
I believe that the medication would help my recovery so much to the point that I could not recover with out it. The only way to train my cardio properly was to recover on my own.


That makes a lot of sense. I will begin trying that today. Thanks a lot for your help!

Jay’s program sounds like a great idea fw - if u take the increases gradually .
Incidentally - is ur asthma a result of allergies ?
My Sporadic , light asthma went crazee last year when I was on medication which seemed to tip the balance somehow .
If u can isolate what triggers it off - house dust , grass pollen etc u can strengthen urself overall by getting treatment in those specific areas .
its a problem thats rising generally due to pollution etc so if u can strengthen ur defences in any way possible it may help
Good luck mate

I have very bad asthma that has required my hospitalization on a few occasions. It is very much under control now, with the proper medication. At one point I was on 1600 miligrams of Theodur per day. I have never met anyone on that much.

Fortunately I do not need that anymore. I am on a limited amount of medication now, and can run anytime I feel like it.

Singulair, Flovent, Serevent, and Advair (Advair is what I am currently on) are just a few medications, and they all worked for me.

I would strongly suggest that you put yourself under the care of a qualified allergist. The one I found in the Dallas area probably saved my life. Do not, repeat do not, trust a General Practioner to prescribe the proper medication. Most of them are completely unqualified, and worse yet insist that they are qualified.

Furthermore, DO NOT take the advice given on this board and “push” your recovery point with your asthma. If you suffer from debilitating attacks this is like playing with fire. One slip up could lead to disaster. Find a qualified specialist and get on the right combination of medication as soon as possible.

One very good sport that builds lung capacity is swimming. A huge number of asthmatics enter competitive swimming (including myself), because the air surrounding a pool is generally not conducive to asthma attacks. It was a tremendous blesing for me.

mikeh, I also agree that it is dangerous to do what I did.
It is best to suggest to your doctors what you would like to do and they may help you to achieve what I did under their care.
In my case no doctor would believe in my hypothesis, so I decided to be the white mouse.
I am 33 now and had severe asthma (hospitalized in the past) since infancy. I was so tired of the dependancy on medication. I felt that nothing was improving my condition. I had an allergy specialist and an ashtma specialist. It wasn’t uncommon for me to take 200 puffs of medicine in one week. (way over recommended dosage). I believe that if an athlete without asthma can increase their lung capacity, then an athlete with asthma can do the same (it only takes much longer to do so.)
The problem with the medicaton is that when an athmatic is out of breath from excercise they are inclined to take the short cut and use a recovery inhaler instead of allowing for their body to adapt to the new stress and prepare for the next time.

i just started taking this stuff called advair, and it is a coticosteroid. Do you think that would have any effect on me since there’s only a minimal amount in it. My doctor says that it won’t have any growth side effects or strength decreases. My doctor said there are long-term users in Europe and they believe it works great.

I take the strongest Advair avilable (250/50) and I haven’t noticed any ill effects. I suppose it’s possible, but remember the any miniscule strength gains you may lose are a lot less than you would with uncontrolled asthma.

That is true, i also take the same amount, but the strongest is 500. I think it has worked great and I only had used it a few days so far.

Best to explore all the non corticosteroid alternatives first. Corticosteroids are one of the most dangerous drugs known to man when taken for extended periods. Your doctor is quite wrong when he says there won’t be any side effects. They certainly have an inimical effect on bone when taken for long periods (i.e. years). The preventative inhaler Tilade works well for a lot of people and it is a non steroid.

thanks for the info are there any web sites that tell about why this drug is harmful to you’re body. the doctors talking about me using it for the rest of my life also. thanks

Check medline/pubmed

I also have asthma, and it seems to go hand in hand with my allergies (dust, pollen, peanuts). I use the ventolin inhaler occasionally. One thing that seems to help me is the Zone diet, as well as giving me more energy in general.


Can you please explain about corticosteroids and what you claim “robbing your strength” please.


Please be very careful about any advise here on your particular situation with asthma and NEVER alter your medication without consulting your Doctor/specialist first!!
Some things you can check out. Where are you training and what is the air quality there. Perhaps a change of training venue might help. Always be progressive with increases in workload, double check to be sure you have your meds with you at all times, and don’t train alone or in conditions that you know from experience set off an attack (sudden drops in barometric pressure etc.)