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Running sick!?

Running sick!?

by Ben Pine

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Maybe it's because I hadn't run in 10 days.  Maybe it was the cold wind.  Maybe it was the lack of inspiration or desire.  Maybe it was my sinus infection.  Maybe it was all of these reasons my last little 3 mile run felt worse than the full marathon.

I did find this great article from Runner's World discussing whether you should run with sickness, or not.  It seems I may have walked a fine line. 

What's very interesting from the article, is that one study showed the chances of getting sick were 6 times higher after running a marathon!  Chalk me down in that group!

From the article, "David Nieman, Ph.D., who heads the Human Performance Laboratory at Appalachian State University, and has run 58 marathons and ultras, uses the "neck rule." Symptoms below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, body ache) require time off, while symptoms above the neck (runny nose, stuffiness, sneezing) don't pose a risk to runners continuing workouts."

While, most of my sinus infection is above the neck, my lungs certainly felt that run.  Plus, I probably ran faster than I needed to in the cold weather.  It took a little while for my lungs to recover, but I felt fine a little later, and today feel maybe a bit better.  So, while the run didn't feel good, maybe it wasn't such a bad thing to do. 

Here's more interesting information out of the story from my alma mater Ball State University, "This view is supported by research done at Ball State University by Tom Weidner, Ph.D., director of athletic training research. In one study, Weidner took two groups of 30 runners each and inoculated them with the common cold. One group ran 30 to 40 minutes every day for a week. The other group was sedentary. According to Weidner, "the two groups didn't differ in the length or severity of their colds." In another study, he found that running with a cold didn't compromise performance. He concluded that running with a head cold--as long as you don't push beyond accustomed workouts--is beneficial in maintaining fitness and psychological well-being."

However, as the article goes on to say, I was walking, or running, that fine line.  I did use the 72-hour rule, and I am on an antibiotic, but I could have risked making my condition worse. 

From Runner's World, "Sinus infection, or sinusitis, is an inflammation of the sinus cavity that affects 37 million Americans each year. Symptoms include runny nose, cough, headache, and facial pressure. With a full-blown sinus infection, you rarely feel like running. But if you do, consider the 72-hour rule of Jeffrey Hall Dobken, M.D.: "No running for three days," advises the allergist/immunologist and ultramarathoner in Little Silver, New Jersey. Even without the presence of a fever, says Dr. Dobken, some sinus infections, when stressed by exercise, can lead to pneumonia or, in extreme cases, respiratory failure."

Hope this helps all of you out there who feel the need to run, no matter what.  Sometimes, it might not be worth, especially right after a "marathon sickness".

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