05 – Running with coughs and colds

This week my training’s been interrupted by an ear infection. I planned to run 2 x 6 miles during the week and an 11 miler on Sunday.

I ignored my grogginess, grabbed a nice head band to look after the ears and went out running twice! 2 x 5 miles. On both occasions I’ve had to deal with the old runners’ conscience battle, ‘Am I too ill to run or just avoiding the cold and rain outside?’

I think a lot of runners beat themselves up about being lazy when they decide to take a break for illness. This comes from the pressures of a heavy training schedule and a daunting challenge ahead. This force can often make people run when they really should rest.

So my question is; How do you know when you’re being lazy vs. actually too ill to run?

When people ask me about illness, I always advise not to run if someone’s feeling under the weather, “rest up and let your body recover till you’re feeling better” I’d say. But is that an easy route out of a training run?! The thing is I never listen to my own advice and I’m starting to wonder whether it’s is the best thing to advise. Almost every time I’ve been out when I’ve felt under the weather, a run has made me feel much better mentally and physically. I feel stronger in fact.

I’d still say, you know your body best so use how you’re feeling as a true indicator of whether you should exercise or not. My advice: Get out there and run, you’ll soon know whether you’re too poorly to keep running!

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