Running WITH a cold

Winter is quickly approaching which means those nasty, disgusting germs are coming out to party. SO many are getting sick with the cold and flu. I was sick all last week. I am just now starting to get better and able to breathe through my nose! I hate the fact that the dry, cold, air irritates my nasal passage.

So while I was sick, there was the obvious question…can I run? Or do I have to wait until I’m completely 100% better? I am going to answer these questions out of experience. I am not a professional or a doctor, these are just my opinions and from experience from past illness.

I have pretty much one rule to keep  me in bed, or get out the door. It’s the “neck rule” some of you already follow. Any symptoms above the neck like stuffy runny nose and sneezing, then it shouldn’t affect your cold and you should be OK to run. But if you have any symptoms below the neck like, coughing, chest discomfort, or body aches, then you should stay at home and rest.

rest day

Us runners are a little stubborn when it comes to training. We are notorious to run no matter what. But there are some times that rest is more important than squeezing in some miles.

First and foremost, whenever sick with anything, seeing a Doctor is always the best way to go. But being how we are, we try to cure illnesses ourselves so I will try to help you from making your virus worse.

One thing I noticed on the nasal decongestant I got to help me breathe was that it accelerates the heart rate. If you have high blood pressure or other heart conditions, maybe no running is best while taking these kinds of medications. Because if the medicine is already accelerating your heart, and going for a run does that as well, that is a lot of dangerous stress on the heart and body.

If you do suffer from asthma, or if getting sick aggravates it, maybe seeing your doctor before you go out for a run is best. The Doc can just double your pump dose and still run, or you might have to wait the virus out. Lungs that aren’t 100% ready is something I wouldn’t mess with. And if you have a fever, obviously you gotta stay in bed. A fever stresses your body because your body starts trying to fight. Running with a fever, isn’t the smartest choice to make.


Running with a weak immune system isn’t ideal for many reasons. You aren’t giving your body enough time to recover, and by running sick, you can actually make it worse for yourself.

In my experience, it’s BEST TO REST and give your body the time it needs to recover before you run again. I’ve done running during all my sick stages and it was the most horrible ever! I did run a race with the flu and a 103 fever. My muscles started to shut down and I nearly collapsed at the finish line. Unnecessary pain and stupidity in my part. Listen to your body and take care of it.


Some ways to prevent a cold:

  • WASH YOUR HANDS! Keeping your hands clean after touching dirty surfaces all day is a great way to keep the germs away! Wash for at least 20 seconds.
  • Drinking tea will help stimulate the hair follicles in your nose and they will move the germs better.
  • Eat protein rich foods to keep your immune system healthy.(yogurt, eggs)
  • Wipe things down with an antibacterial wipe. At the gym especially.
  • Zinc helps fight those nasty germs. Pop a cold eeze when you feel a cold coming on.
  • Don’t touch stuff! The stair railings, the door handles, shopping carts, all are perfect for housing germs. Use a hand sanitizer, don’t touch it, or wipe it down with an antibacterial wipe.
  • Don’t put your hands in your mouth or touch your face. You’d be surprised how many germs you come across. Your cell phone being #1.
  • Keep hydrated. Don’t know how true it is, but I’ve heard it helps stimulate immune system. But regardless, drinking water keeps you healthy.

-the Scoliosis runner




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: