Monday, August 19, 2013

Should You Run with a Cold?

Today's Workout:
5 mile run

Hello friends and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I had a great weekend, but what's even more great is the fact that my cold is gone!! Woohooooo! After 7 long days, it's finally subsiding. I started feeling really tired on Monday, but I ran anyway. When I woke up on Tuesday, I was still feeling tired, but I figured it was symptomatic of my pregnancy. I decided to run on Tuesday, but by the time I got home that evening, I was completely spent. I knew something was wrong. Sure enough, I felt like a train had hit me on Wednesday morning. What's worse is that pregnant women's immune systems run very slow in order to keep our bodies from rejecting the baby. The down side of this, is that our bodies don't fight off colds and flus as well as they normally would.

Of course, this put me in a predicament because I really wanted to run, but my body just wouldn't allow it. Anyway, I ended up taking a few days off and now I feel great. Getting sick during training always poses a struggle for me because I know I shouldn't run, but I often end up doing the opposite. Don't be stubborn like me! I did some research to find out if we (athletes) should run when we have a cold or flu and the research blatantly stated "NO!"

According to coach Jay Johnson, when we get a cold we should be thinking of moving forward versus moving backwards. So what exactly does he mean by that? It's a simple theoretical concept: If you take days off while you're sick, then you will probably miss fewer days later on during your training. However, if you run while you're sick, you will prolong the duration of your sickness.

85-90% Better

Coach Johnson has a simple rule: If you feel 85-90% better, then you can start running again. You must be honest with yourself though. If you wake up feeling 85-90% better, then you can ease into an easy run without overdoing it. For example, if you normally run 5 miles on an easy day, run 3-4 miles instead. On the following day, if you feel closer to 100% better, then you could run your normal 5 miles at an easy pace.

Coach Johnson also warns about the "post-run high" that we feel after our first run when we come back from a cold. You may feel 100% better after that run, but the true assessment should be done the following day. So be mindful of that phenomenon and don't fool yourself. Believe me, I hate taking days off from training, but doing so will actually help you out in the long run. Not only will you recover faster, but you will come back stronger. When we get a cold, that's usually a sign that something wrong is going on in our body (i.e., stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, etc).

Have you ever ran with a cold? How did it feel?
Transforming Your Morning Challenge:
Gratitude Journal: I am grateful for the sound advice I receive from my family.
Quote: "When people think of themselves as successful, they succeed. When you believe in yourself, others tend to believe in you. When they see your self-confidence and positive expectancy about your goals, they believe in you and begin to accept your ideas." -Paul J. Meyer
Positive Affirmation: My feet dance through life.

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