What to do when you have a cold?

We’re coming into the time of the year when the age old question for runners gets frequently asked: what should I do if I catch a cold?

The advice I have always heard is to consider where the symptoms are. Generally speaking, if the symptoms are above the shoulders (nasal congestion, sore throat, cough that isn’t too bad, etc.) then go ahead and run but stick to easy runs. If the symptoms are below the shoulders (chest congestion, bad cough, muscle aches, etc.) then it’s time to take off.

But what does the science say?

It turns out the science agrees. Keep it easy but keep running if you wish for head colds. If they settle into the body, take time off.

Thoughts for young runners

I’ve gone MIA this fall in part because I was following my daughter’s first high school cross country season and figuring out how to make things work with a new time commitment.

As I followed my daughter’s team, I observed her team up close and many other teams from a distance. One of the things I liked most was how my daughter’s team was always having fun and were true friends. Other teams would seem to be having fun but not visibly as much as my daughter’s team. Less visibly, these girls were having even more fun than you would see at meets.

Why do I mention this? I told my daughter that I think that’s a part of the team’s success. They are good friends, they are staying loose and not psyching themselves out or raising the stress level higher than necessary. Most important, they just aren’t taking themselves too seriously.

Well, it turns out the women’s NCAA champions apparently would agree with this philosophy. I also happen to know some things about the men’s NCAA champions and I suspect a very similar story could be written about them.

Work hard but don’t forget to have fun. An important message for young runners and one we older runners should also remember.

I also wanted to throw something else out: some examples of what can happen when those in positions of authority convince high school runners to take things too seriously.

Thoughts on nutrition/fueling

The headline of this article feels a little misleading. Surprising? New? Not all of it. But some of it might be a little surprising. Some of it seems new. All of it is good and/or thought provoking advice on nutrition for endurance athletes.

One final note

I just wanted to mention my blogging schedule for December. Because I didn’t account for the fact that tomorrow is December, I’m pushing this post out on Wednesday evening instead of Thursday morning. For the same reason, I won’t be posting on the first Thursday of December. So, for December, my plan is to post original content on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month (the 8th and 22nd) and a roundup on the final Thursday (the 29th). The plan as we roll into 2023 is to get on a regular schedule of original content on the first and third Thursdays of the month and a roundup on the final Thursday.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top