How Long To Take Inhaler Before Running

As a runner who also relies on an inhaler for asthma, I understand the importance of timing when it comes to taking my inhaler before running. It can make a significant difference in my performance and overall comfort during the run. In this article, I will dive deep into the topic of how long to take an inhaler before running, based on my personal experience and research.

Understanding Asthma and Exercise

Asthma is a chronic respiratory condition that can cause inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to symptoms like wheezing, coughing, and shortness of breath. Exercise-induced asthma, also known as exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), is a common condition among athletes and can be triggered by physical activity.

When we exercise, our breathing rate increases, and we breathe harder through the mouth. This can cause the airways to become dry, cool down, and lose moisture. Additionally, the increased airflow can result in the release of certain chemicals that cause the airways to constrict, leading to asthma symptoms.

The Importance of Using an Inhaler

Using an inhaler before running can help prevent or reduce exercise-induced asthma symptoms. Inhalers contain bronchodilators, which are medications that help relax the muscles surrounding the airways, allowing them to open up and improve airflow.

However, it’s important to note that inhalers do not provide an immediate effect. They need some time to start working, and the timing of when you take your inhaler before running is crucial.

Recommended Timing for Taking an Inhaler

The recommended timing for taking an inhaler before running can vary depending on the individual and the type of inhaler prescribed. It’s always best to consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice. That being said, here are some general guidelines:

  1. Short-acting inhalers: These are often referred to as “rescue inhalers” and provide immediate relief. It’s generally recommended to take this type of inhaler 15 to 30 minutes before exercising to allow it to take effect.
  2. Long-acting inhalers: These inhalers are typically taken daily to manage asthma symptoms and provide long-term control. If you use a long-acting inhaler, your healthcare provider may recommend taking it at least 30 minutes before running to ensure its effectiveness during exercise.

It’s crucial to follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and not exceed the recommended dosage or frequency of inhaler use. Using your inhaler correctly and at the appropriate time can help optimize its effectiveness and minimize the risk of asthma symptoms during your run.

Additional Tips for Managing Asthma During Running

Aside from taking your inhaler before running, there are several other tips that can help manage asthma symptoms during your workout:

  • Warm up properly: Engaging in a warm-up routine before running can help prepare your body for exercise and reduce the likelihood of asthma symptoms.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking enough water before, during, and after your run can help keep your airways moist and reduce the likelihood of asthma symptoms.
  • Consider wearing a mask: If you find that cold air triggers your asthma symptoms, wearing a mask or scarf over your mouth and nose can help warm and humidify the air before it reaches your airways.
  • Listen to your body: Pay attention to any signs or symptoms of asthma during your run, and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re experiencing difficulties breathing.


Taking an inhaler before running can greatly enhance your running experience and help manage exercise-induced asthma symptoms. The timing of when to take your inhaler is crucial, and it’s best to follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider. Remember to also incorporate other strategies for managing asthma symptoms during running, such as warm-ups, proper hydration, and listening to your body.

As a fellow runner with asthma, I know firsthand the importance of finding the right balance and taking care of our respiratory health while pursuing our passion for running. By following these guidelines and consulting with your healthcare provider, you can enjoy your runs while keeping asthma symptoms at bay.