Sick? Or, Sick Of Running? #RunWithRadio1045Johnny

Hello running pals! We’ve had a great stretch of weather for running; I hope you’ve taken advantage of it. I logged a total of 29 Marathon training miles for the week, including a Saturday morning 16 miler. The challenge this week is that I’ve picked up some sort of cold, which hadn't happened in previous training seasons. For those of us who work hard to train for a Half or Full Marathon, you know how frustrating a cold can be, especially if it sets your training back. So, there is always the question of ‘Should I run with a cold?’. I’ve always heard that it’s ok to run if your symptoms are above your neck, but you should not if your symptoms are below your neck (in your chest). With that said, I went to the Internet for more answers, and the conventional wisdom according to is, “Your body is using up a lot of energy to fight whatever bug you caught and it needs to conserve the energy in order to get you back to 100%” So, their recommendation is not to run, though they did confirm my above/below throat check. Also, they did suggest that running at the start of a cold is ok, “since it can open up your airways and blast away the bug. You’ll also get that rush of endorphins from the fabled ‘runner’s high’.”

Ultimately, the best scenario, especially as you get closer to your race, is to NOT GET SICK. Unfortunately, high intensity athletes are more likely to get sick then those who don’t exercise, though moderate intensity exercise does improve your immune system.

So, we all need to be hyper-sensitive to general cold avoidance strategies. Here’s my general strategy which had worked until this week.

  • Avoid contact with sick people! (Obvious, but a good reminder….though I have a daughter who brings their germs straight to me!)
  • Wash your hands regularly.
  • No handshaking – try a fist pump! (I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer next to my desk and go to it after the obligatory hand shake)
  • Shield your hand from door knobs. I use a paper towel when possible.
  • Avoiding sharing cups/water bottles and utensils
  • Avoid crowded areas such as public transportation during rush hour.
  • Keep a product such as Zicam handy, I tend to take more than the prescribed dosage during training season, but I do think it has helped.
  • Drink lots of water (Water helps to carry oxygen to your cells, which helps them function properly. Water also helps remove toxins from your body)
  • Eat healthy food and get enough sleep! (Here’s where I fail; I eat well, but a 5 o’clock alarm clock makes the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep unusual)

Thanks for reading! If you didn’t check out last week's post with Dan Smith from Bastille, watch my interview recapping his training for the London Marathon HERE

Also, if you’re training for a Fall Half or Full Marathon, you may want to join the All-City-Twenty-Miler (Saturday, October 26 at 7am). A bunch of Philly area running groups convene near Azalea Garden (near Boathouse Row in Philly) for a 10 or 20 mile run. It’s lots of fun…at least as much fun as you can have running 20 miles!

Please Tweet me @Radio1045Johnny if you have comments or additional ideas for this #RunWithRadio1045Johnny Blog and I hope to see you out on the running path this week!

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