Sickness and Running

by Kathy
(New Jersey)

It seems that each time I try to increase my mileage I catch whatever sickness is going around. I seem to be stuck in a rut of running 3 miles, 4 or 5 times a week. When I try to go beyond that, I get sick. Any suggestions?

By the way - thanks for a good and informative site! I'm enjoying it!


Answer by Dominique:

Thanks for your question.
It is an interesting one. Some studies have been conducted and it was found that the immune system does get suppressed by running, but there is no conclusive evidence that it will get you sick.

In several studies two running groups were formed. One group had a more balanced running program, the other group went from low intensity / low volume to high intensity / high volume. The studies have found that for the second group the immune system was suppressed more than for the first group.

The immune system returns to normal within less than a day, but you are more susceptible to infections within the first few hours of a hard workout.

Relating it back to your own training, I can only suggest (I am sorry if I get repetitive guys by referring to the same pages) that you try to increase your mileage really slowly.
When you go further, try to go slower. Everybody is an experiment of one, and it might just be that in order to get yourself over that hurdle, you have to take some extra caution.

E.g. do not increase with a mile, but only a half mile per time; slow down a bit when you start doing the extra mileage, etc.

Hope this helps you Kathy.
Enjoy the running and stay healthy!

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