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12/20/09 1:48 P

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I'm new to this team. I'm 57 years old and I've had to completely restart my running program since asthma struck about two months ago.

I live in the Chicago area and love running outside, so I'm dealing not only dealing with regular asthma, but cold air, exercise-induced asthma, and possible COPD as well. My doc as put me on new meds in addition to the rescue inhaler I had been using before running. Fortunately the exercise-induced asthma only happens in cold weather. I'm trying to figure out a way to run without using the exercise inhaler because it makes my heart race so badly.

I'm using a very, slow, gentle approach to running. I've down loaded a 4 week program to get to one mile of running. Today, I tried it for the first time. The first week is running 45 sec. then brisk walking 2 min. and repeating this 4 times for a grand total of 3 minutes of running. Whoo Hoo. (LOL) I was running 5k's easily before this all started.

It was about 30 degrees F outside when I went out. I'm a nurse, so I decided to wear an "respirator" mask that I have from work. It did a great job of keeping the air warm, but it was a little too restrictive. I need to find a better mask. Suggestions anyone?

I took my peak flow reading before and after "running" and they were both in the green zone. This is great because I managed to do it without using the inhaler.

I also wore a HRM and carried my inhaler. My peak HR was 88% of max, and the average HR was 78% of max. This tells me that I'm exercising in an relatively high aerobic zone for as little running as I'm doing.

I glad I'm taking such a conservative approach to getting back into running. I think it will serve me well in the long run, but it's kind of embarrassing to have my HR be so high for such a small amount of running.

Kay from Tennessee

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WONGERCHI's Photo WONGERCHI Posts: 3,889
12/8/09 4:19 P

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I am an asthmatic runner and I live up North (Ottawa, Canada). Let me say off the top that running is a totally FEASIBLE option for us. I went for a quick run at lunch, it was -5C outside and it was glorious. I run outside down to about -18C (0F for you folk). Some tips based on 3 years of winter running:

You just have to have the right clothes. Layering is the key, especially for us. Non-wicking fabric is a MUST, as are wool (or SmartWool) socks. I pay particular attention to the torso as that's generally where the problem lies for me - cold torso = wheezy run. Warm torso = perfectly fine run. Down to about -10C or so I generally go with a fleecy baselayer, long sleeve wicking shir, running tights and a light windproof. The windproof is your secret weapon, it's light enough that you can lose heat later on in the run but it's windproof so you don't get as much windchill.

Obviously hat and gloves, although I do prefer earwarmers when it's relatively mild. I don't run with a scarf, that trick has never worked for me.

Warm is kinda relative too. If you're slightly chilly when you leave the house, that's perfect. You generate all sorts of bodyheat when you run. If you're snug, then go back inside and lose a layer. If you're freezing, then go back inside and add a layer.

The colder it gets, the longer my WU gets, generally. Normally I walk 2 mins, then slow jog for another 2, and then ramp up to where I want to be for another 2. As the temps go down, I add minutes onto each leg, up to around 10-12 minutes when it's -15C or below.

Good luck!

In God we trust, all others bring data.
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If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
-P.Z. Pearce

Specificity, specificity, specificity.
-Andy Coggan

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis

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12/8/09 2:12 A

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Possible solutions:
1. Mall walking. It's not running, of course, but you can at least walk at a brisk pace.
2. Go up and down flights of stairs in your hotel.
3. Several of the larger churches in my part of the country have gyms that they will allow non-members to use, with proper arrangements. You might call some of the larger churches in the areas where you'll be and see if you can get permission to run in their gyms.
4. You can work up a pretty good sweat dragging your luggage up and down in airports between planes. Again, not running, but also not sitting.
5. Put a workout dvd on your iphone or ipod, then follow along in your hotel room. It might not be running, but it should keep your conditioning going.
6. Many hotels have free, or nearly free, workout-in-your-room videos that you can order on your room tv.
7. Ask the concierge at your hotel for ideas. He/she can probably come up with a bunch of them.
8. Check into gym memberships in national chains that have cooperating facilities in many larger cities. Then, you can just go to the local version of your home gym. Ditto for YMCA/YWCA.
9. The aforementioned scarf over the face is a good idea; also a ski mask.
10. Try to stay in hotels with at least a sorta gym that provides you with a treadmill/elliptical/spinning bike option.
11. Ask your business associates who live in the places to which you travel for ideas. Again, they should know of a lot of them.
Good luck!

"I'm not overweight. I'm just nine inches too short."
~Shelley Winters

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SONIC1214's Photo SONIC1214 Posts: 181
12/8/09 1:53 A

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You may already do this but I use a running mask that cover my mouth on cold days...helps a lot.(wicking material works the best) Also I use an inhaler before my runs & I seem to by pass the typical exercise induced attacks. I use to live in Canada so I remember how cold winter can get in the north. Hope it helps some.

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12/7/09 11:53 P

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Hi everyone! Its encouraging to see so many other asthmatics out there still trying to stay in shape! I'm a runner, but have recently been up north due to my job where it is MUCH colder. Because I travel for months at a time, I don't have membership to a gym so running outside is my only real option. Everytime I try to run in the cold I have frightening attacks... so... I just dont run. Any suggestions though about how to avoid these attacks or warm up my lungs so I can still run (besides all my current meds)?

Any other asthmatic runners out there that live up north? Is running even an option for us?

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