Couch to 5K
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Running with a cold?

I did my W5R2 yesterday and felt great all morning until I started sneezing and within an hour was feeling pretty wretched and since then have been sneezing and coughing almost non-stop. I'm a little better this morning but still not well at all but today is a rest day thank goodness. The problem is I have the dreaded W5R3 scheduled for tomorrow morning!!

Has anyone got any advice about running with a cold? Do's and don'ts?

4 Replies

From personal experience I would say...

Do listen to your body

Don't go for a run if you aren't at least 90% of your usual self.

I ran last month with a cold and it floored me! I had to take extra rest and wasn't happy as I like my routine :) But I learnt that if I'm tired or under the weather to be kind to myself and take a bit of extra time to get back to being me.

If you do choose to go for it, then make sure you are well hydrated before you go and also drink plenty when you get back. And rest!!

Good luck for R3 when you decide to go for it.

1 like

I agree. An extra day off will probably do you good.

A couple of times when I've been not quite 100% but really wanted to go out I've told myself I'll just go for a 'fun run' - ie just start and do what I feel like. If I don't finish the official run no problem, but I've been out and done something for my health anyway. W5R3 would be a good run to do this - put 20 mins of good songs on your ipod (and time them before you go, I trusted itunes' timing for my W5R3 and ended up doing about 23 mins real time...), leave Laura at home, and just see what you feel like doing.

Don't push yourself too hard and good luck whenever you go!


The general rule of thumb that I've heard used for running when ill, is this:

If your symptoms only affect your head and throat, e.g. a runny nose and a sore throat, then you're probably okay to go running.

If your symptoms affect your chest at all, e.g. you have a cough or are so bunged up that you're finding it more difficult than normal to breathe, then you probably shouldn't go running until you're feeling better.

So from what you've said, I would definitely have a rest until you've recovered a bit!


As I thought, lots of common sense. Oh well I just have to face the fact that I'm going to be delaying my schedule a day or two. Thanks very muhc guys :)


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