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Should You Run When You're Sick?

Should You Run When You're Sick? by bmoore

There's not a lot that can keep me from running, but I am currently suffering from an unbeleivably painful earache that has really got me down. I am off balance... can't hear in my left ear at all. Yeah - this is keeping me off the road.

Thankfully, these kinds of things don't happen too often, but as the flu season ramps up sooner or later it's going to happen...that scratchy throat, sinus pain, runny nose AUGH! You're sick in the middle of training, so what do you do? Run through it? Take a few days off? A lot of people wonder whether or not it's OK to train while you're sick, so here's the general rule:

Use the "neck check." If all your symptoms are above the neck, it's generally OK to run, Fever and chest congestion are indications that you need to take a couple of days off to allow your body the rest and recovery time it needs. If you have a stomach ailment and have been either vomiting or have had diarreah, be very careful in terms of hydration and definitely take time off to regain strength. Be sure you have been consuming enough liquids (do the "pee test"). Use common sense and don't push yourself too hard.

I have personally found that running with a cold actually makes me feel better, but everyone is different. I actually ran my very first race with strep-throat; definitely NOT recommended.

Take care of yourself - get plenty of rest, eat right and wash your hands frequently. Hopefully you'll make it through the cold and flu season unscathed! Runner Felix Wong has some great tips for staying healthy and on the road - including a home remedy involving a raw onion! I don't know about the onion, but all his tips make a lot of sense to me, especially the part about keeping your house clean.

Let's stay healthy and strong and ready for a great spring season, but if you do end up with the cold or flu, remember "the neck!"

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Posted by: bmoore on Oct 19, 2009 | Comments: 2 | Visits: 2113 | Posted in: Train


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Traxee user bmoore Oh wow! I know you were really training for that race too! You know, it happens a lot - we train hard and can sometimes deplete ourselves and become susceptible to viruses and bacteria. Still, it seems like you have a really good attitude about it. Actually,I think you will be amazed at how fast you recover your training level after some down time. I am glad you are enjoying the site. There is a lot of good searchable content here. I am currently on a hiatus from writing on Traxee due to finishing up a really tough class - but I will be back in the saddle soon! I look forward to following your adventures!
Posted by: bmoore on Nov 28, 2009 at 11:36 AM
Traxee user elizabethm great article! I had been training for my first half marathon, and ready to go up to 5 days before, and BAM I got the flu. :( Also, I had bronchitis. I was so upset, and bummed I worked so hard and spent the money on registration... watched my boyfriend run the race without me. However, I am ready for what's next. I just need a little motivation or new race to sign up and be ready for! I love this website, have gotten great advice thus far.
Posted by: elizabethm on Nov 27, 2009 at 07:20 PM
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