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Thread: Running with a cold

  1. #1
    Master
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    Running with a cold

    In my younger days, if I had a cold I would keep running, but nothing too strenuous: just steady runs, no reps or long distances. It seemed that running would clear my nasal passages well, but I wasn't sure if it might be delaying the recovery. These days, I don't run with a cold, I just go for moderately paced cycle rides or walks.

    What do other people do when they have a cold, and do you feel that continuing to run is beneficial or harmful to recovery? Is there any objective research on this subject?

    [Note: I am referring strictly to the common cold, not flu or any other condition involving a raised temperature.]
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  2. #2
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    i very rarely get colds... in fact, I haven't had one this year since last winter (that'll put the curse on it!)..... however on the rare occasion that I do, I feel that it's harmful to continue, purely from personal experience. Certainly would never bother to attempt an intense session with a cold.

    On the other hand, when I was into Muay Thai, it was more of a balancing act, particularly on the run-up to a fight... often I needed to continue to get the training in, continue restricting calorie intake... the punishing training schedule, coupled with 'making weight' meant I could get run down more easily, and regular as clockwork, I would usually get a howling cold about two weeks out from a fight, when training was at its most intense.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Daletownrunner's Avatar
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    Just getting over one felt a bit ropey last Tuesday but went out for a run and felt shocking, short of breath being the major issue so had 3 days off and then back to it, I generally listen to Mrs DTR, if she says I’m being an idiot then I normally am , ironically she’s had a chest infection and so has had a week off as well, hopefully we’ll get out for a short one together tomorrow, generally I just go on how I feel and hit the lemon and honey, like most people I find it harder to not go out than to stay in

  4. #4
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    First run for six days, today. Last Thursday there was just a hint of cold symptoms, but not enough to affect my run. The cold was worst over the weekend, but now I've only got catarrh left, so I went out. It felt a bit laboured, and I soon abandoned thoughts of going up Beacon Hill, but my time for a shorter route via the Outwoods was quite fast. I do feel better now; it's cleared some of the catarrh.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  5. #5
    As a diver, catching a cold is pretty much the end of the world for me. Blocked sinuses and eustachian tubes would keep me out of the water for 2 or 3 weeks. So I've taken great interest in this and experimented over the years with exercise vs rest and come to the conclusion that several days of rest, during the phase when you're feeling worst, generally reduces the duration of the cold. Translating this to running - if you carry on exercising, you'll only do it half heartedly and gain little of value from the training. If you rest and let the cold run its course more quickly, you'll then very soon recover any lost ground.

    One other thing; I've never been one for spending money on dodgy herbal "remedies". But I used to be a teacher, which involved spending time with large numbers of youngsters doing their best to sneeze in my face. So I would typically catch at least 3 colds each year. Then someone suggested I tried using Echinacea tablets as a preventive measure during the colds season. I took some persuading to try this but, when I did, I found I only got one cold a year on average. I also think (but I'm not certain) that the duration of these colds may have been slightly less than formerly. I believe the science behind this is very shaky but - what works works, I guess.

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