Have cold, will run


This guy knows what I'm talkin' bout./AP photo

I’m sick. I’ll spare you the gory details, but there’s lots of sneezing, coughing, and dirty looks from co-workers involved. I’m feeling and sounding pretty gross, but what I’m most concerned about is the effect my little cold might have on my weekend running schedule.

Normally, I’m the type to use any excuse not to run — especially I’m scheduled for a long run — including spotting a cloud in the sky and noticing a “Law & Order: SVU” rerun on TNT. However, the Peachtree Road Race is barely a month away, and it’s getting harder and harder to make excuses.

But is illness a legitimate excuse to skip a run? A study tested runners with colds, and had some continue to run and some remain sedentary. Results showed having a cold did not hinder runners who continued to run, nor did running cut down on the length of a cold. So, it seems, running with a head cold is A-OK. But the same article notes that more severe illnesses can be exacerbated by running.

Several articles I read cited the “neck check” : If your symptoms are above the neck — stuffy nose, sneezing — running is OK. If they’re below the neck — chest congestion, high fever — you might want to hold off.

Since my symptoms are all in my head, so to speak, it looks like I don’t have much of an excuse to skip my run. So if you see a girl with big hair using copious amounts of tissue out on the trails, say hi.

Do you run while you’re sick. Do you have any tips for other runners who might be unsure whether running with an illness is OK? Leave your comments below.

One comment Add your comment


June 1st, 2012
8:48 am

I ran while I had a cold one year, it added 15 minutes to my run. You can still participate but slow down or walk when you feel it’s getting too tough, no race is worth passing out and injuring yourself or others.