Let’s face it getting sick is no fun, but getting sick when you are on a training routine is the pits. Luckily, I have been pretty blessed so far during all my times of training. No injuries or sickness, but I do have friends who have had to make the decision not to run a race for fear of their cold leading to something worse.
This morning I woke up at 4 am with that feeling of congestion in my head and the early signs of a scratchy throat. “Oh man, not today!” I muttered. I drank some water and rolled back over in bed saying a small prayer that it would just be the dry air from the heater that was making me feel this way. 5:45–the alarm went off. “Ugh, what a drag,” I thought. “Forget it, I’m not getting up now for the gym.” But my mind got the better of me. “Get up, you aren’t sick. You’ll feel better after a good run. Sweating cures all.” And up I bounced, or well dragged myself, out of bed.
So I stuck to my schedule, I did my sprint routine (4 miles of alternating between walk-jog-sprint as noted in my post a few days ago). And after getting over the initial feeling of lethargy I was the fastest person moving in the gym.
But in all seriousness, should you run when you are not feeling well? David Nieman, Ph.D., who leads the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University advises athletes to follow the “neck rule.” “Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don’t pose a risk to runners continuing workouts” (Bloom, Marc, Should You Run When You’re Sick? Runner’s World, August 2004).
It’s often tough for me to say no to a workout but I know that giving my body adequate rest time is only going to help it in the long run. Good news: tomorrow is a rest day in my training routine! And I’ll be drinking plenty of green tea to keep this cold at bay!