It’s been about four months since I started running, and I figured it was time for another update, in case anyone was curious how it’s going. I still don’t go running as often as I wish I did, but there’s definitely been an improvement in my overall fitness. Now I can run at least a 1/2 mile without stopping or alternating with a fast walk, and overall I can keep running for a longer distance if I alternate running and walking. The key is to make sure I never completely stop, so I can learn to recover while still doing a fast walk.
There are two key things I’ve learned about running with asthma.
1. Using my albuterol inhaler (1-2 puffs, depending on how I already feel that day) about 10-15 minutes before exercising. This makes so much more sense because before I would use my inhaler in the middle of the run when I got really wheezy, and I felt like it didn’t help as much. Doing it before prevents a lot of the wheezing before it happens during the run.
2. Don’t run outside if it’s colder than 40 degrees. In Oregon this is most of the wintertime, which is why I’ve ended up going to random step classes and doing the elliptical at the gym (which I can do without stopping for like 15 minutes straight with no wheezing, nbd) during the periods when it’s really cold or super rainy outside. The cold air makes my lungs feel a lot more stiff and limited, so sometimes I’m forced to sacrifice the scenery of running outside for the sweaty machine-filled ambiance of the local gym.
Also I’ve heard about a Color Run that’s going on in different cities around the country this summer, and I think it would be a great run to start out with. It’s a 5k so not very long, and throughout the run you get sprayed with this colored powder stuff (it’s all natural and edible) and it looks super fun! Anyway that’s the update.