Running With A Cough: How Will You Manage To Run Even When You Are Sick?


Runners are especially motivated when it comes to facing hurdles when running. They are dedicated to run even on rainy days, even in freezing points, and in hot, humid season. They are often pressured to train even more even when they feel the weather.


They are persistent even when they catch colds and cough. They would push real hard not to miss a single sprint. But, are they doing the right thing? Is running with a cough okay to do? When do you need to stop and have some rest?

Running With A Cough: Is It A Right Thing To Do?

When having a cough, especially a cough that is unproductive for an extended period, you are most likely contracting your abdominal muscles. You are also constricting your intercostals, or the muscles in between your ribs, to let the air out.

But you start to run, your abs act to a certain range of motion, allowing your oblique muscles to stimulate a rhythmic movement. Moreover, your abdominal muscles do not have to be contracted so tightly and too short. When the contraction happens, you will feel cumbersome and slow.

If you also have a cough, you will feel sluggish when you are sprinting. But, it can just be brought by the inclement weather and shortened abdominal muscles, as well as the intercostals.

If you feel that you can still move around and run for a short distance, you are ready to go. The illness will just pass in a couple of days.

In general, moving around and running for a short duration is good for you when you are feeling sick. By doing so, your developing your immune system when you keep moving. You must remember that you need to run slowly and gently.

This way you will aid in circulating your lymph. When your problem needs more serious attention, especially if it involves difficulty in breathing, you must consult your doctor right away.

How to Run With Cough?

Fortunately, there are some methods you may consider to increase your resilience whenever you are ill. Here are some of these ways:

#1 Doing The Neck Check

A rule of thumb whenever you are deciding whether you need, or you need to do your runs is to consider the neck check. But, how do you do it? If the symptoms of your illness start above your neck, you can perform your sprints with caution.

For instance, when you are experiencing runny or stuffy nose, sore throat, etc. However, if the symptoms begin below your neck, you need to take some rest before training again.

For example, you are experiencing congestion, difficulty breathing, fatigue, body pain, etc. These symptoms may indicate a more serious illness that you need to consult with your physician for further management.

#2 Train With Extra Caution

When you have a mild cough, you may have your slow sprints for a few minutes. Thus, you need to know your limits. You may utilize your slow-twitching muscles that can use simple sugars to fuel your immune system.

These muscle fibers help you fight against your illness, especially when your immune system is quite down. If you do not want to give up your efforts when running, you need to measure your duration and your mileage.

Instead of running for over an hour, you must lessen the length of your runs. You must also ensure that you recover after these sprints.

Also, you must also avoid boosting the volume and intensity of your runs all at once. Through these, your immune system may recover faster.

#3 Managing Your Stress

You see, your body instantly identifies strenuous exercises as a stress stimulus. When you did your serious run a day before, your body’s immune system may be affected.

All of the work also adds incentive to your mental capacity. Thus, when you have to train for a marathon, or you just want to have your regular run, make sure that you lower down its intensity.

Also, try to meditate after your sprints for about a few minutes to back down your stress level. When you are meditating, also make sure that you focus on your breathing.

Try to inhale air through your nose. Then, you may pause for a while and expel the air out slowly.

#4 Consider Resting And Having Enough Sleep

Enough rest periods and sleep are also vital when you are ill. It also amps your performance and your general well-being. After doing your runs and other physical activities, you need to sleep to restore your body.

It has been proven that inadequate sleep and rest lower down your immune system by up to 50 percent. Studies have claimed that runners who lack sleep develop URTI or an upper respiratory infection higher than those who get plenty of rest.

If you cannot sleep properly, ensure that you are considering the time you are going to sleep and wake up. You must take into account waking up and sleeping at the same schedule per day. You must start relaxing around 30 minutes before you consider your bedtime and listening to relaxing music with your earplugs in bed can help people fall asleep faster and enjoy more restful sleep.

#5 Eating A Balanced Meal

For you to fully heal and recover, you need to eat well. When you are at the peak of your training, and you develop an illness, especially cough, you need to make sure that you get the right dietary fibers and nutrients.

You must include a lot of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory foods in your meal plan. These foods include vegetables, fruits, beans, whole grains, healthy fats from avocados, olive oil, and nuts.

You must also include herbs and spices, tea, and dark chocolate in your diet. You must also include protein and carbohydrates in moderation.

These foods slowly release stress and fires up the release of white blood cells, which are essential to combat respiratory problems.

Essential Tips As You Run During Sickness

  • For sick runners who want to feel better, you may eat chicken soup. The ingredients combined in this soup are proven to have an anti-inflammatory result.
  • You must obtain a hand sanitizer when you feel like running. Use it before and after your sprints to avoid spreading your illness.
  • Remember to continue eating a balanced meal.
  • Bring some water and other fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Always make sure to have some rest and sleep to recover fully.
  • Get a whole body massage to increase the circulation of your white blood cells to fight infection.
  • If you want to have a supplement to boost your immune system, you may try vitamin C or D, glutamine, and beta-glucan.
  • If your cough and colds progress after a few days, you may consult your doctor for more advice, suggestions, and further management.


The good news here is that if you only have a cough and colds with mild symptoms, you can still pursue your moderate workouts, including your sprints. However, if you are unlucky enough, you may take some rest for a few days.

You should be cautious, especially if you are developing more severe symptoms of a chest cold. If this happens, you must seek the advice of your physician and work on how you can get better.

Want to know more about running while having cough and other illness? Feel free to visit our website and you may leave some of your concerns, questions, and suggestions.


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