Sitting on the Sidelines
We are halfway through April and everyone I know has a cold! Aside from putting socks on all the doorknobs to stem the spread of germs, something my wife likes to do, we all inevitably end up getting sick during our training. So, should one continue to run or not while in the throes of a head cold? The best rule of thumb is this: anything from the neck up, you can keep running, but with a caveat or two (more about this in a moment). Anything from the neck down, where you have a cough or lung infection, then stay off the roads and treadmill. The caveat to all this is if you are suffering with a fever, then no running at all.
Now I know what you’re asking yourself: “What about my training?” Relax! Don’t try to make up for lost training by cramming in extra workouts or mileage, as this can lead you down the road to injury. Depending on how much time you’ve missed, just pick up the program where it currently is and put the missed workouts in the rear-view mirror. “What about losing my fitness level,” you ask? Don’t worry too much about this, either. Provided that you have been consistently training all this time, you won’t really lose too much of your fitness if you are forced to take a week off. In fact, aside from feeling a bit sluggish when you return, the loss of fitness would be quite small. Even if you had to stop for two weeks or so, your fitness level would drop only a few percent.
So keep up with the vitamin C and stop worrying!
Coach Sam Davis USATF Level 2 Certified Endurance Coach