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Hi, apologies if this topic has already been covered elsewhere in this forum...

I am just starting out to try running regularly (partly because my partner has been running now for about six months and I've been really impressed by how much weight he's lost and how much fitter he seems).

I cycle every other day and also swim regularly, although I've had some health problems in the last few years (M.E./chronic fatigue syndrome). I have had asthma since I was a child: it's pretty well controlled (with Becotide inhaler twice a day, and Ventolin inhaler when I have an attack, which is seldom).

I tried my first 'run' today (which was basically a mixture of running alternating with walking round the block over about 12 minutes). It was a cold morning and I quickly found myself getting pretty strong pain in my chest as I breathed - in fact it was this that was forcing me to walk rather than muscle fatigue. I finished back at home and spent the next 20 minutes or so coughing a lot. I assume that this is partly due to the cold dry air (and no doubt traffic exhaust pollution!), but is this kind of pain on breathing common for newbie runners? And does it diminish over time? If so, what kind of time period am I looking at (weeks? months?) for having this pain/coughing after running?

I would like to be able to run regularly, so any encouragement/advice would be appreciated. Also, can anyone suggest a good regime for someone like myself just starting out?

Thanks in advance for all positive feedback... :D


hi, I am also a fairly new and inexperienced runner, so don't take my advice as gospel. I have also had asthma since childhood, but lead a fairly active life, playing soccer, cycling, climbing, etc. I also have had issues running when its very cold out. I live in Idaho and the air here is quite dry as well. When the temperature drops down to around 20-25F or colder I have a ton of trouble running. One thing that I think helps a bit is to wear some sort of mask (bandana, ski mask etc) over my face which serves to help warm, and even humidify the air a bit before it hits my lungs. Its not the most comfortable solution (I hate doing it) and it does a bit to impede my breathing all on its own, but it is a little better than nothing. Also I have found that if on the very cold mornings I start out very very slowly and gradually increase my pace my asthma isn't as bad. I also usually take a puff or two of my albuterol inhaler (Ventolin is the same thing) before the run.

In general my asthma doesn't bug me nearly as much when I am in good aerobic shape, however if you swim and cycle then I would think that the same breathing problems would apply. I guess you're not exactly swimming in a cold dry environment though. Good Luck!


Thanks for your advice! :D

I've had similar tips from a couple of other running forums: try a hit of salbutamol before going out, wear a scarf or buff to breathe through when the air is cold, take things easy and build up distance etc gradually. I'm following these and so far, so good. My asthma is generally a bit worse at this time of year (autumn) anyway, probably because of the drop in temperature and stuff like mould spores and bonfire smoke adding in to the mix. :( Plus we've had a really cool, wet summer in the UK this year, which hasn't been great for asthma symptoms. But I'm feeling pretty motivated about the whole running thing, so I'm going to stick with it. I've told my GP that I'm doing it and she has been pretty supportive too.