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Sarah J Smith 09-20-2013 01:46 AM

Asthma - advised not to run!
Hi everyone.

I know there's been some threads on asthma related stuff in the past and I've had a look at them but I guess I'm just looking for some clarification for my situation.

I have a lot of problems with running, I've even been told on a 500m run around the block for a warm up that the other guys could hear me wheezing! I just really can't catch my breath at all. WODs that involve a 400m are pretty much out for me and even a 200m sprint is difficult, especially if it involves rounds. I seem to get pretty breathless when doing any kind of quick up and down movement as well so burpees and wall balls aren't fun but I just break them down in to small sets and I'm fine. Thrusters in a WOD seem to leave me gasping for air too. My chest becomes very tight and it often takes a long time for my reliever to actually do anything, I've also had some strange syptoms where my arms and legs have become tingly and I've come over light headed but only happens with these types of movement. There's been a few occasions where I've not been able to complete a WOD because of this.

I'm not overweight and I'm not really what I'd class as out of shape as I've always been an active person. I can row 5k in around 20 minutes and I just box squatted 85kg last night. I'm 5'9 and weigh around 80kg.

My doctor has advised me not to run for a month and we'll reassess but I feel that this is really something that's holding me back not only in WODS but my general fitness. And I'm finding it hard to understand why I've been told not to run when surely this is something that I need to practice?

Jeff Enge 09-20-2013 07:11 AM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
He's telling you not to run for a month because he wants you to remove what is giving you trouble and see if that improves your symptoms. If he's a good doctor, he'll go from that and use that information to make a plan. If he's a bad doctor, he'll probably just tell you to stop running at all if that makes everything better. I'd do what he says for now and see where it takes you.

Kevin Benson 09-20-2013 08:39 AM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
Having been a lifelong asthma sufferer, I agree with the above. Listen to your doctor. If you are not on a control medicine you may want to ask your doctor about them, literally changed my life for the better.

You're probably doing more harm than good my beating up your lungs and using a rescue inhaler as your only treatment. That's what's hurting your WOD times and fitness in general. If you injured your shoulder, knee, back, etc. would you just keep hammering away thinking it'll get better? No, you'd rest it, rehab, and slowly work back into it. Put your ego aside and scale loads, intensity, etc. as to not trigger an asthma attack, and if you feel one coming on stop until you've got in under control. Over time you'll build up your capacity.

Lance Neumeyer 09-20-2013 09:55 AM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
I had exercise-induced asthma as kid, and fortunately it just went away by the time I was 16 or so. The only thing I had was an inhaler which only provided temporary relief, I'd stuff it in my sock during football and basketball practices.

One of my sons was diagnosed with the same a couple of years ago, was given some meds and breathing treatments, and after a few months it went away. The Dr. actually told me that the treatments have come a long way since I was a kid - and that I would have been a completely different athlete.

I'll see if my wife remembers what he was prescribed.

Matt Haxmeier 09-20-2013 06:13 PM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
It might be worth changing your diet. Following a paleo based diet drastically improved my asthma. Most of the time I don't even have to use my controlling medicine anymore (advair) or my rescue. 30 years of very bad asthma almost gone. I'm still not sure what the specific cause is but gluten, inflammation, yeast, msg are all culprits.

Advair was a life changer though. Before that I would have to wake up in the middle of the night to take my rescue inhaler. :(

Sarah J Smith 09-21-2013 03:40 PM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
Thanks everyone, I guess I'll see what the doctor is saying in a few weeks but hopefully there will be a follow up plan! I guess I never thought of it that way.

I do generally scale things back and take a break to catch my breath as needed, I do always think it would be nice to RX a WOD but maybe that's just something I'm not going to be able to do, or at least for a while.

I'll check back in with the doctors response to my month off running but in the meantime I'm always happy to hear everyone's opinions and experiences :)

Will Seavey 09-21-2013 04:22 PM

Re: Asthma - advised not to run!
Are you using a short acting agent (usually albuterol) 2 puffs right before the Metcon? Is your asthma under good control? Are you on a proper controlling medication, typically an inhaled corticosteroid then adding on a long acting agent like salmeterol (Advair is a combo steroid + long acting beta med like albuterol) depending on your asthma severity.

From a great distance from the limited information, 1. listen to your doc now and ASK him/her what severity you are. Are you on the right controller medications? 2. ASK your doctor about using albuterol prior to exercise, I would highly recommend asking your doc about this prior to trying it out, I don't know your case... You do NOT want to have an attack which can be potentially fatal in the most severe cases.

If you are feeling unsure about the answers you are getting or want an expert opinion get a consult with a Pulmonologist. Make sure you are using your controller medication EVERY day they are not meant to be taken as needed, they won't work right. Good luck, I definitely think this can be worked out and you will still be able to do crossfit!!

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