Couch to 5K
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Running while unwell....... what's your experience?

I should have run on Friday but my tonsils are inflamed and I have a pain in my jaw which feels like the start of an abscess. It's almost the end of term and we're all feeling a bit run down but I didn't feel I should run.

I don't want to miss my running, because its helping me lose weight and I have finally made it to week 8. Then there's the my level of fitness. I know it won't disappear overnight, but I don't want to be away from running for too long.

How soon is too soon to start again? What has been your experience?

5 Replies


In the past when I have pushed myself I have felt worse afterwards. Then there are the times when say I'm just getting over a cold and if I don't over do it I feel good. Not over doing it could be splitting a ten minute fun into 2 five minute runs.

It all depends, the other week I felt fine did a run and other exercise again feeling fine, had my shower then felt awful.

Usually though if I haven't been too well or have been over tired I tend to wait until I look forward to running again, if that makes sense?

Just see how you feel. If you feel you can manage it go for it, if you do take it easy and don't be too hard on yourself.

Hope you feel better soon x


I pushed myself too hard to carry on with life when I got the flu at the end of the Paralympics - and I was in bed for over a week straight and poorly for more than two all told. Just allow yourself a break, and go back to week 6.


Sometimes your body is just telling you to take a rest. You won't lose any fitness by missing a run or two and surprisingly little even with a two week break and it is probably better to give your body a chance to fight off whatever bug is threatening. All that said if you just have a head cold or similar and you feel like running it is probably OK to go ahead. If you've got a temperature though the advice is that you shouldn't do strenous exercise until it settles. Good luck and hope you feel better soon!


Thanks for all your responses. Luckily I don't have a temperature, but my throat is swollen and I have a pretty good cough. Seems like running is out of the question for now. But thank you so much for your reassurance! :-)


A little addition. I am finally feeling better!

I went to the beach on Wednesday (in the rain!) and ran about on the beach with my daughter, her friend, and my brother-in-law's little dog. We all had a great time and I was delighted that I wasn't out of breath and didn't start coughing. Hooray!

Time to start running again. I might start with 2x10 minutes and see how it goes. Watch this space.....


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