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Should you run if you are sick?

Sick runner juggler jogglingIt happened Sunday. Woke up and felt a hot sensation behind my eyes. My throat was scratchy and then my tinnitus kicked in. A cold had taken hold. Now, I don’t mind getting colds. Sickness makes you appreciate the days when you’re not sick.

But I had plans for this morning, specifically the annual Rudolph Ramble along Chicago’s Lakefront. My plan was simple. Joggle 4 miles to the race, joggle the 8K as fast as possible, and leisurely joggle the 4 miles back home. A 13 mile trip. I did it, but it made me wonder, should you go running while you are sick? Here’s what some of the experts say.

1. Running makes you more susceptible to infection. And you thought training was only good for you.

2. Don’t work out if you feel really ill. It can actually increase your risk of the infection affecting your heart. No kidding. But if you’re a little sick it’s ok.

3. Try the “neck check”. If your symptoms are above the neck sore throat, congestion, tinnitus, it’s ok to go out. Make it an easy workout.

4. Pushing too hard can prolong the illness. Want to make your sickness last longer, joggle more.

5. Your performance may not be up to par. Don’t expect to set a PR when you’re sick. My time in the ramble was 36 minutes which is 4 minutes off my personal best. Excellent, an excuse for ineptness.

Then the experts will tell you that you should avoid getting sick by washing your hands, sleeping right, eating well, blah blah blah. I say embrace the sickness. It’ll go away soon enough and you’ll appreciate your joggling self much more.

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