I’m getting ready to run my 4th half marathon. Just when I think I’m ready for the big day… I get sick. The kind of sick even coffee can’t cure.
You become more suspectible to getting the flu when you’re training. So how do you know when to run or when to throw in the towel. Looks like I’m going to have to face that decision in a couple days. I did some research (read: Googled) and came up with the following.
If you’re just congested, you’re usually good to go. However, if you have flu-like symptoms, especially a fever, you should not run. A fever is a rise in your bodies internal temperature in response to bacterial or viral infections. Running, too, will elevate your bodies internal temperature. Therefore, running on a fever could cause long-term damage.
According to Runner’s World, a basic rule of thumb is the neck rule. If you have symptoms below the neck, such as chest pain or aches, you should take a break. Take extra precaution with anything worse than a minor cold, as the stress of exercise could lead to pneumonia or even respiratory failure.
If you are in the middle of your training, go ahead and take a break. I know it can be hard to stop, but just remember it takes 10 days to start to lose significant running fitness. Be patient with your body and give it the rest it needs.
That being said, I’ve taken two days off of running and am already getting antsy for this weekend’s run and, namely, my decision to go for the half or opt instead for the 10k. Guess we will have to see.
What is your rule of thumb regarding working out when you’re sick?