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3063 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2010 6:52 PM by theyork6
Ali-Gator Expert 43 posts since
Jan 2, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Sep 30, 2010 6:47 AM

Racing while sick

Big bummer!  My first half-marathon is scheduled for Saturday night, and I came down with strep throat on Tuesday.  I've been on antibiotics since Tuesday afternoon, and my doctor says I should be all clear to run as long as am rested and well-hydrated.  It's Thursday morning, and the bodyaches are thankfully gone, although my throat still feels like broken glass.  I am going to listen to my body and make a decision Friday night, but I am curious:


Have any of you raced while sick or recovering?  What was your experience?



3/7/10: Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K  --  28:53

3/27/10:  March for Misty 5k Fun Run  -- 28:47

5/1/10: Fiesta of Five Flags 10k -- 1:01:46

6/5/10:  Billy Bowlegs Night 5k --  27:18

10/2/10: Epcot Wine & Dine Half Marathon  -- 2:20:53

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  • Run Coach Robert Legend 782 posts since
    Jan 7, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Sep 30, 2010 11:52 AM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    I have run with bronchitis, but don't recommend it. The general rule is: If you don't have a fever, you are probably okay to run. 

    Robert Martin

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  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Sep 30, 2010 1:13 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    I haven't raced with strep or even a bad cold.  If your doctor cleared you then you have to make an individual decision based on how you feel on the day of the race.  Keep in mind that you may need to slow down.  Also you'll need to keep a better watch on your health immediately after the race, since it can depress the immune system somewhat.  (Though that's more common at the marathon distance.)




  • JasonFitz1 Legend 578 posts since
    Jun 19, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Oct 1, 2010 12:19 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    You can race but your performance will likely suffer. I ran my entire outdoor track season in college with a chest infection that I couldn't get rid of. I won a few races so I don't think it will affect you negatively 100% of the time.


    Just listen to your body and take it easy if you start feeling bad. I've done it before and you have to treat it on a case by case basis.


    Good luck!

    - Fitz.

    Strength Running
  • AsphaltRunner Legend 302 posts since
    Nov 25, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Oct 1, 2010 12:25 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    I would make it a race day decision.  Wake up early and prep to go to the race.  If you really feel under-the-weather then I would just sleep in.


    If you do race, just do not race it.  Take it easy and see how it goes.  If it was me, I would do the race  =)


    I have raced many times with bad colds - cough, congestion, and/or sore throat.  I actually do alright even with bad colds.  Once I was coming down with the flu, but didn't know it at the start of the race.  During the race I wasnt running well, much slower than usual and I didn't know why.  After the race (LV marathon), it hit me hard.  Almost immediately after finishing.  I was sick with the flu for over a week.  I think that marathon prolonged the illness.

  • grantg5 Rookie 2 posts since
    Aug 31, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Oct 2, 2010 6:42 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    One of the biggest meets of the season just happened to be as a was starting to recover from strep throat. I ran terribly, and I was struggling badly throughout the whole thing. However it was a great experience and a good reality check that I still had to keep working to make up for the fitness I lost while sick.

  • TMachen Pro 114 posts since
    Jul 22, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Oct 3, 2010 6:14 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    Oh no, Alison! I'm so sorry to hear this!  I was thinking about you yesterday but didn't realize you were sick.

    Did you run???

    ~ Tracy

    My blog about Life and other stuff

    Perfer et obdura; dolor hic tibi proderit olim.

    Be patient and tough; some day this pain will be useful to you.


  • theyork6 Pro 74 posts since
    Jan 27, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Oct 5, 2010 6:52 PM (in response to Ali-Gator)
    Re: Racing while sick

    I ran my first Half with a cold, I just took meds and cough drops beforehand.  Once I started, it cleared some of it out and I did ok.  My time suffered a little but I was happy to finish since it was my very first race ever.   I ran my 1st 10k with bad allergies, couldnt breathe through my nose and had lots of drainage.....once again, it affected my time but I made it.

    Moes Better Half Marathon 03/07/10--- 2:26:37 (my very first race)

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