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Dec 2011
1:37pm, 24 Dec 2011
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My son - aged 16 - has dabbled with running in among his others sports over the last year or so, but started taking it more seriously a couple of months ago, running parkruns and joining the club I run with. He's run up to 6 miles with the club, and runs 2 or 3 times a week.
All OK until just under a fortnight ago, when he had to stop a couple of times during a 4 mile run due to tight breathing. He had childhood asthma, though only very mildly and not since he was 6, so a trip to the doctors sees him with a ventolin inhaler. Since then, on three of his four runs he has again had to stop, even having taken ventolin prior to running. The breathing difficulty has also been accompanied by a pain at the base of his rib cage - slightly higher than normal stitch. There has been the odd occasion in the last week or so that he's had to use the inhaler just in normal life - not when undertaking exercise.
This is really frustrating for him as he'd been making good progress with his running. This morning he had to walk sections of the parkrun.
I'm surprised at the sudden onset and severity of its impact on his running. Does this sound like standard asthma and does he just need more time to get it under control properly, or should we go back to the doctor's to consider other causes? Any advice welcome.
Dec 2011
1:45pm, 24 Dec 2011
1,048 posts
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Mrs Kimbles Claus
Its sounds very much like it. I suffer from exercise enduced asthma which only really comes to light in the winter due to the cold air. I have tried everything to no avail and I am frustrated with it. On Thursday because it was so mild up here, I had the best run that I have had in the last few weeks. However today because it was cold at parkrun, my breathing suffered. Lack of oxygen also caused my legs to become tired very quickly. The ventolin before hand doesnt help me either. Breathing through the nose will warm the air up and should make things easier but again I find I still struggle and the only way to regulate is to walk briskly to get myself back on track - which annoys me no end, so I know how he feels :-( Another tip I found useful was to make sure that my chest area is kept warm and unfortunately that means more layers than you really want.

As I said, I only suffer in the winter but there will be others out there who who suffer from severe asthma who maybe able to advise better. Hope he feels better soon.
Dec 2011
1:46pm, 24 Dec 2011
1,049 posts
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Mrs Kimbles Claus
PS - here's a previous tread on Asthma which might help.
Dec 2011
2:06pm, 24 Dec 2011
518 posts
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thanks - I'll have a look at that
Dec 2011
2:10pm, 24 Dec 2011
391 posts
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betty baboon
I have asthma in cold weather too, when running and am also affected by pollen. 2 things really help me - firstly, keeping my chest warm and secondly I start each run wearing a buff over my nose and mouth, so I'm only breathing in warm air. After about a mile to 1 1/2 miles I tend to find I can lower the buff as my chest/lings have warmed up enough.
Using the buff this winter has made a huge difference to my running.

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Maintained by ThorntonRunner
My son - aged 16 - has dabbled with running in among his others sports over the last year or so, but...

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