Kim Vose

Have you ever tried to run while breathing through a straw?

Asthma and being an endurance athlete!




Recently I read an article/blog written by Trail Sisters’ Liza Howard


She basically described how it feels to have asthma and be and endurance runner. While reading her blog, it was as if she was reading my mind.  I’ve been dealing with sports induced asthma for about 3 years now.  Maybe longer but I didn’t pay attention to it or noticed it till then.  Actually, the hubs noticed it one day we were mountain biking. He’s like, “Do you realize you are wheezing?”  Um no I hadn’t noticed.  Duh, guess that’s why I feel like I’m dying.


Over this past year, I’ve started to experience breathing difficulties not just when I run. I’m trying to dial in more to my body/emotions to pick up on signs of things happening.  I noticed that if I get stressed or get busy I feel the need to take a “BIG” breath.  I was in a hurry one day and walking quickly, carrying my bag and noticed myself wheezing … sigh… seriously I can’t even walk to my car without getting out of breath?  Is it old age? (NO) Have I just been ignoring or not paying attention and now I can’t? (Possibly)


It is becoming more frustrating to feel as if I can’t push my runs because I will end up having to walk and feel the need to catch my breath or worse yet have a full-blown asthma attack. I don’t believe I have had a major one.  There have been times that I had to take many deep breaths and had trouble catching my breath back but nothing that seemed too debilitating. YET!!!  I certainly have had my moments I feel as if I’m “Breathing Through a Straw.”



So, if you’re up for a fun challenge do the following:

  1. Get a straw
  2. Put on running shoes
  3. Plug your nose, insert straw into mouth
  4. Begin running…. Let me know how long you can go without stopping or wheezing


Hard, right?

Add heat and humidity to that and some days I feel like I’m running under a wet blanket. Thanks South Carolina!


I use the normal rescue inhaler prior to running/exercising.  I also use an inhaler in the morning and take some meds to help with non-allergic rhinitis that I have.  Oh, yeah I had the allergy test done and basically I have all the symptoms of being allergic to something but I’m not allergic to anything.  Totally makes sense! The funny/ crazy part is that I forget to hit my inhaler prior to exercise… a lot. That’s probably a topic for another blog post.  You would think that after 3 years its second nature, but that isn’t always the case.  I have multiple inhalers so it shouldn’t be an issue.  It certainly helps most of the time while running.  I do have days however that it feels like it doesn’t help at all.  Not sure what that is about.  Maybe the fact that for some reason inhaling like that I struggle with.  Guess no chance of me picking up smoking any time soon.


It would be easy to use asthma as an excuse not to run or workout.  Eating Oreos, I have found do not make me feel like I’m breathing through a straw.  However, that’s not my style.


So, burpees are a little harder, running 50k’s are a little tougher and swimming literally takes my breath away.  But I would rather deal with it than not be able to do anything at all.  Breathing can’t be taken for granted… without it there isn’t much you can do.



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