I'm a new runner (trotter actually) for the past year. I was enticed to do something physically challenging when I turned 50 last year.
Since my daughter runs marathons I decided to run a half marathon with her. I trained using Jeff Galloway's method due to asthma.
But I am finding it difficult because I need to stop a lot to catch my breath and I can feel the chest tightness.
Do you have a running plan for asthma runners? I want to push myself but when I do it backfires. I don't know how to run faster and longer with the asthma.
I did complete the half marathon last year but had to walk the whole way as I had an asthma attack within the first half mile.
Thank you for any guidance you can offer.
Running with asthma can be tough and I highly recommend having an inhaler nearby if you have one. Asthma is an obstructive lung disease, which makes it difficult to exhale air from the lungs. This, in turn, creates shortness of breath with physical activity. Due to the difficulty you have expelling the air from the lungs, you start to breathe at an increased rate, which means that you are spending less time taking in fresh new air.
I think using the Jeff Galloway's method of training - a run/walk strategy - is a good way to give yourself frequent rest breaks to allow you to normalize your breathing. Another suggestion would be to work on your running form. Leaning forward with poor posture may seem like a small thing, but it can have an effect on ability for your lungs to expand. Additionally, one technique for increasing the amount of air expelled is to perform deep breathing techniques when you start to feel like your breathing is labored. Deep inhaling in throughout your nose (with mouth closed) helps you bring more air into your lungs and pursed lip breathing through the mouth when you exhale will help you keep your airway from collapsing as quickly.
To help avoid asthma attacks, I recommend starting with a warm-up then when you begin running. Start at an easy and a low effort pace to allow your breathing to normalize at that pace. When you start to feel comfortable, slightly increase your pace while maintaining that breathing/perceived effort.
Finally, I would suggest looking into the No Boundaries Program through Fleet Feet Sports Syracuse. This program is lead by experienced coaches who can assist you with your running form and its training plan includes the run/walk method that we discussed earlier along with a safe progression of activity over the 10 weeks of the program.
Good luck and run safe!