Fitness Magazine

Should i Run When i Am Sick?

By Xmarkm @matthews_mark
One of the ways I try to fit in longer training runs and binges at the keyboard writing novels is to schedule days off from work and focus on these passions. This means that my obsessions cause less interruptions to the family, and it lets me pursue these things guilt and interruption free.
I had one of those days this week. With a half marathon coming soon, I had a 12 mile run planned. My longest run of late is at 11 miles, and this was 2 weeks ago. Unfortunately, my throat was sore as if it had been scraped at with an exacto knife. It hurt to swallow, and mucus was gathering in my nose ready to explode like green fireworks across the sky.
Should I run?
If you google "Should I run sick?" you'll often hear the concept that “above the neck it’s okay to run, below the neck, or with a fever, do not run.”  Well,  I think that’s a bit of crap. For one, is a sore throat above or below the neck? It is the damn neck. You see why nobody can be trusted. This is a conspiracy to drive me crazy. I have ran with such symptoms before and caused some serious problems, and I've run with some symptoms all over my body, and felt better for it. It seems to me severity of illness, not location on the body, is more pertinent. My symptoms this week were pretty darn acute, and sure to get uglier if I pushed it.


But dammit, if I don’t get this run in, after running a pathetic number of miles a week, this half-marathon is in jeopardy. 
 

It's not that I am worried that I won't feel good on the run. It seems no matter how sick I am, I know that after 2 or 3 miles I will feel great. My breathing will clear out my nasal passages, I will resort to periodic snot rockets and pepper the sidewalk with phlegm bombs, but during the run will be the greatest I feel all day.
 Ah, but afterwords the sickness will return with a vengeance. Bronchitis awaits. More sick days await. Regrets, I’ve had a few, and running in a sinus infection is one of them.
 But dammit, I wanted to run. Get my 12 miles in, and recover later.  As with any big decision, I relied on some googling, and if you google enough things, you can always find the answer worded in the way that fits your needs.

So I did, and there is something especially karmic or cosmic about coming across your own blog article when you google something, which happened to me (about 3 pages in). I came across my own blog post, where I discussed how running 6 miles while being sick triggered the apocalypse. Check it out
 I have come to believe that, if I have to even ask the question, "should I run sick" I probably shouldn't run. If I don't' think twice about it, but go out the door and think, 'my throat is a little sore and I'm stuffy' then it's probably not a sickness that can't be run through. This idea of waiting until you are 85-90% well is mentioned here.
 So, I hearby am debunking the 'above the neck' theory and using the 'if you have to ask' theory, and since I did, I stayed home. Today, I am a touch better, so hopefully by Sunday I can get in a 12 miler and apologize to the family for being away for a couple hours. With my extra time, I was able to finish a kick-ass story that I hope Grey Matter Press will accept. (pssst,,, I turned it in 2 weeks past the deadline. One should not run sick nor miss deadlines)
Know your own bodies, we are all experiment of one. A good virus does not kill its host, it goes along for the run, and comes back a bit more stronger to kill you in your sleep.

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