Running While Sick

A couple days ago, I came down with a head cold.  I have all the usual symptoms, and have been taking all the usual steps to get better.  However, I had a long run scheduled for yesterday.  Granted, it was the long run of a recovery week, so it was only 4 miles, but I still get kind of amped up when I know I have a long run coming.  Since running isn’t exactly “rest and drink fluids,” I went back and forth on whether or not I should head out for my run as scheduled or take another rest day.

I did a little bit of research, and found several different articles referring to the “neck” rule or the “shoulder” rule.  Meaning, if symptoms are above the neck or shoulders, running is ok, but it is important to be aware of any increased symptoms during the workout (and cut it short).  If symptoms are below the neck and shoulders (especially in the lungs), it is worth it to stay home and rest.  And, if you have a fever – stay home!  You can read more about this here.

So, I went.  I felt ok during my 4 miles, though my pace was slower than usual.  For a few hours, my energy level was better.  Later in the evening, however, I kind of crashed.  I felt much worse, so I went to bed early – but I slept like a baby!  I slept for 10 hours (rare for me) and actually feel a bit better today.  Last night was my first good night of sleep since I got sick, and I think my workout helped with that.

My verdict – if my symptoms aren’t too severe, and are above the neck/shoulders, I will run.  If they are much worse than they were yesterday, though, I will take a day off.  Today is a yoga day, so I will take it easy, and get ready for a mid-week long run!  We are supposed to have GORGEOUS weather (for January) on Wednesday and Thursday, so I am changing my schedule around to make sure I get in a nice workout while I can!

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