Running A Half Marathon With A Cold

Catching a cold just before a race is a real bummer! If you’re not ready to miss your half marathon because of a head cold here’s what to do . . .

To Run or Not Run? That is The Question

Answering to this question any athlete should be guided by the “neck rule”. What does that mean? If you have the symptoms above the neck something likes running nose, stuffiness or sneezing in this case you don’t have to cancel a race.

Running can even can help you with some nasal congestion because when you run your body produces the hormone adrenaline which works as a natural decongestant and helps you to clear out your nasal passages.

But if symptoms exist below the neck – bronchial infections, sore throat, cough, chills, chest cold, muscle aches, jumbo lymph nodes or vomiting it would be better to consult a doctor immediately and perhaps avoid your half marathon. Sometimes one rash decision can result in worsening of your health or a simple cold can transform into something serious and dangerous. So the main thing here is to listen to your body, it always tells you what to do.

How to Use Cold Medications?

To take medicines or not to take is a very difficult and very personal choice which you have to do under your doctor`s care. I can only tell you how such medicines act on your body.

Cold medications usually dry out the nasal passages and may influence other systems. For example, some medicines can dehydrate you and increase your heart rate. Others can lead to your feeling dizzy or weak.

And of course, you shouldn’t take new medicine in any case on the day of the race.

If You Decide to Race:

  • You should consider taking along a handkerchief.
  • You should drink more water than you normally drink to keep yourself hydrated.
  • You should find out before the half marathon where the medical tent is and if you feel feverish or just not well you have to visit the medical tent right away.
  • You shouldn`t take medicine right before the race.
  • You should be attentive to your body.

Thus, when deciding to run or not to run you have to think very carefully, determine all risks, weigh the pros and cons and of course, consult with your physician.

Keep in mind that if you`re not sure, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Written by Helen Rogers

One Response to Running A Half Marathon With A Cold

  1. JB November 12, 2019 at 12:20 pm #

    Hmmm…that’s a good question! For a shorter race, I’ll probably do it but it’s just too taxing for a longer one like a marathon or half marathon.

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