Right about now, a lot of runners are probably asking themselves “am I too sick to run?” For the past day or so, I have been feeling the tickle in my throat and the swollen glands that signal an impending cold. How do you know if you should continue running or take a rest day? I know that rest days are very difficult for a lot of runners–the same obsessive nature that drives us to pound the pavement can prevent us from giving our bodies the rest they need.
The general rule is that if your symptoms are only from the neck or above, you can run— think stuffy nose, runny nose, etc. However, if your symptoms are below the neck, i.e. chest congestion, body aches, bronchitis, and any temperature over 99 degrees, take a rest day. You should also take special care if you are a high mileage runner (above 60 miles per week) or have just finished a marathon. According to David Nieman, Ph.D., of the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, your odds of getting sick after a marathon are six times higher and twice as high if you are a high mileage runner (excerpt from Runner’s World.).
On a less sickly note, I was very happy to pick up a new pair of Saucony Kinvaras at my favorite running store. I am going to break them in for my speed workout this morning (also picked up the Body Glide–no more chub rub for this mother!). I am also excited to have found the perfect spring half marathon to attempt a new PR for the distance. I will be taking a little racecation with a friend to the Anthem Half Marathon (part of the Shamrock Marathon series) in Virginia Beach on March 18.