Illness Before Race

by Jake

I was planning to run a 10k race in 2.5 weeks. I've been training for a while (running about 3 times a week, total about 10-15 miles per week), but annoyingly for the last 5 days I was not able to run due to bad cold/mild flu.

I'm still not completely well, but I'm worried that if I don't get back into training soon, it will be impossible for me to participate in the race.

How late do you think I can get back into training and still participate? Also, is it really bad to train with a cold? I'd be happy to hear your advice on this.

Answer by Dominique:

Hi Jake,
Thanks for your running training question. It can be really frustrating, getting sick just before your race. I just had a few days of sickness as well, I guess the frequent change of weather in spring and autumn does not help.

Missing a week of running training is annoying but not a total disaster. You have done most of the training already. As long as you are not sick anymore you should be able to do your race.

Regarding running with a cold: I would definitely not run when you have got a full-blown fever. But when it is just a cold, provided the cold does not make you feel absolutely horrible, I don't see too much wrong with going for short runs.

Some research concludes that longer runs (> 60 mins) and an increase in intensity or mileage have a short-term negative effect on your immune system. When your immune system is already down, this may just tip you over the edge and get you sick (again).

So, I would not increase your mileage and/or do speed sessions just after having been sick.

Hope you'll be all fit for your Big Day.
Best of luck!
Kind regards,

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