Running with a cold – Man Up? or Man Down?


We run right?! Sunshine, rain, sleet, snow, hurricane force winds, minus temperatures, heatwaves, us runners just love to run.  I maintain that we run in all of these different weather types purely because it allows us to go out and buy the gear that enables us to run in these varied weather conditions (No? just me? I’ll get my base layers, technical t-shirt, waterproof/ windproof coat, fleece layered gloves and running hat with inbuilt earphones then shall I?!  🙂 ) but what happens when you’re in the middle of a harsh training plan and your 3-year-old pays you back in bucket loads, for sending her to nursery sick, by giving you her cold?

So whilst I sit here wrapped up in my bear like, soft, fluffy dressing gown, having spent the night mopping the 3 year old’s brow, now supping my extra strong “too goddamn early” morning coffee, gulping Berocca, blowing rivers of snot into the finest, softest, cocoa butter infused loo roll (don’t judge me – if its good enough for my ass, it’s good enough for my nose!) I try not to feel too disappointed that the sun is shining, the air is crisp, my legs feel fab, my training runs this week have been nothing short of awesome, my injuries have been boxed up and firmly put in the ‘live n learn’ box and I try not to panic about the sheer volume of half marathon’s I’ve signed up for whilst dying of boredom at work .. OR the serious lack of training days left before the London and Milton Keynes Marathons!. A cold is the last thing I want to have to work through right now. It feels like ever since I started plodding I’ve been injured or ill …. run! they said! it’ll be fun they said! But do I really need to start panicking or should I have a bit of faith in my training plan and my body and look at this current bout of illness as nothing more than a small inconvenience of enforced rest?

Given this extra down time, I trawled the internet for at least 5 minutes to help me make up my mind about running today, and of course, through my streaming eyes and sweaty brow, I happened across the female version of the runners bible with a great article on whether us plodders, should run with a cold. They suggest using the ‘Neck up’ rule which basically means, if your symptoms are from your neck up, you may feel like shyte, but a gentle plod may in fact clear out the old pipes, anything below your neck and it’s best to rest.  So! given my symptoms are all firmly in the “OK” section of the article, I should run right? well sadly no, not for me, not today. For those of you who read my article on EIA,  today would not be a good day for my head to stick 2 fingers up to my body and take it out for a run.  Today the sun is shining in all it’s glory but the ice warnings, minus temperatures and long runs are my asthma triggers, so whilst all of the articles on t’internet say “run-tubby-run” my head is firmly in the “don’t be a tw@t” camp.

There is however, some small comfort in having a cold …. that old saying of “Feed a cold, starve a flu” … I LIVE by this saying, so whilst I gear myself up to turn green with “Facebook envy” at all my running friends getting out there on this beautiful day, I will be sticking my head firmly in the cupboards and not coming up for air until the cupboards are bare.

Happy plodding folks – until next time

SM xx

One thought on “Running with a cold – Man Up? or Man Down?

  1. Hi Kerry. A very wise decision. Running with a cold is never a good idea. Even if you do you feel crap and your running suffers.
    Take a little time to get better. Wrap up warm, take the usual remedies (Beechams, etc.) and don’t forget bedtime toddies (hot or cold). A glass of brandy or rum works wonders.
    Do take care and look after yourself. I hope little one also gets better quick (avoid administering brandy, etc.)
    Many hugs,


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