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Can I Run With a Cold?

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Updated June 16, 2014

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Question: Can I Run With a Cold?
"I have a cold and I don't want to take a break from my training. Can I go running with a cold?"
Answer: When deciding whether you should run with a cold, use the above/below the neck rule. If your symptoms are above the neck (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat) then, yes, you can run. Just take it easy and don't do any intense workouts. Be sure to be aware of any symptoms such as dizziness, nausea or profuse sweating. You should stop running if any of these symptoms occur.

If your symptoms are below the neck (chest congestion, intense coughing, vomiting, diarrhea), let your illness run its course before you start running again. Running under those conditions increases dehydration and may cause more serious issues. You also should never run if you have a high fever. And if your doctor advises you not to run, definitely listen to him or her.

Take off the next few days until you're feeling better. And, don't worry, you won't lose much fitness. You'll be back where you left off in no time.

If you're dealing with an illness that keeps you from running for two weeks or more, find out what to do when you take a break from running.

More FAQs for Beginner Runners:

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