It’s that weird time of year where you just got over a cold and are starting to get allergies. When we are sick, we often feel like we can’t even make ti out of bed. But runners who are training for a big race really don’t like taking days off.

But for the sake of your health, it’s important to know if you should run if you are stick.

If you are feeling under the weather, an easy rule of thumb is what is referred to as the “neck rule.” That means if your symptom is below the neck, then definitely skip out on your run or workout. These means any body aches, chest colds, swollen glands, diarrhea etc. If you have a fever, absolutely do not workout.

You should take enough rest as you need to so that you can get well soon. It’s better to take the rest needed than making your illness or injury worse.

If your symptoms are above the neck, like allergies, runny rose, sneezing, etc you are okay to run or workout. But you should take it easier than usual. Aim to cut your run or workout in half, and make sure to stay extra hydrated. It’s typically okay to run with the common cold, but you could make it worse if you develop a respiratory infection or sinus infection. If you have a sinus infection, you will need three full days of rest.

If you get dizzy, nauseous or start sweating more than normal than stop running and it’s time to rest.

Because the weather is getting nicer, you will want to hit the trails for your runs. But if you have allergies, you might be sneezing the entire time. Make sure you know what your allergies are and avoid trails that have the trees your are allergic to. Plan for night runs since pollen levels are high in the morning from 5 to 10 a.m. But if it just rained or is raining, a morning run will be okay since the water tones down the allergens.

Do you suffer from allergies? How do you feel when you need a sick day from running?

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