Q: When you are sick, should you run?

Hi Lauren,

First of all, HUGE fan of Picky Bars. Serious delicious.

I’m currently ramping up my workouts for a marathon (revenge tour) in June. I plan to redeem myself after a very humbling first experience post college (played Field Hockey, not a runner at the time.)

I’ve been fighting this mild to moderate winter sickness that’s mutating and growing stronger in my veterinary school for nearly 3 weeks. Some days I feel fine to run, and do, including some longer and harder runs, but then I just don’t seem to (EVER) get better.

What is your rule on running while sick?? Run with a little cold, run with a cough, run with a persistent cold?

-Hedda Burnett



Hi Hedda,

I’m extremely conservative when it comes to getting sick and running.  If I feel the slightest inkling of getting sick, I take the day off and change my workout schedule around so that the next day can be easy as well.  90% of the time, this knocks it out and it never amounts to anything, (leaving me feeling like a big wuss who unnecessarily took time off.)

Then I determine my effort level for the next few days by a few things:

  • Fever- Never run, go to the doctor.
  • Infection below the neck – only run easy (avoiding chest infections)
  • Above the neck – go ahead and get after it (but avoid balls-out 100% efforts).

I know you are bent on marathon revenge, but pushing through chronic illness without seeing a doc is a great way to totally screw the pooch.

If it were me, I’d see a doc about getting on antibiotics.  If you’ve already seen a doc and they’ve done the typical “its a virus, dear, so there’s nothing we can do so drink your fluids and rest” thing, try not to kill the doctor and follow the three bullet points above until you are better.  As long as you are avoiding maximal efforts, and you are hydrating and eating properly, your marathon revenge is right around the corner.


P.S. That’s totally badass that you are a Field Hockey convert to running.  And excited to hear you are a Picky Bar fan!