Friday Five 2.0: Sick During Your Training?

It’s Friday and I’m linking up with Running on Happy & Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Five 2.0 linkup!
Join in! Don’t forget to link back to your hostesses and visit some other bloggers.

This week, the topic is FREE so I am appropriately choosing:

What To Do If You Get Sick During Half Marathon Training

I have run 23 half marathons.  And it’s inevitable that I would get sick during a training cycle.

I mean, your body is working hard and using resources for your workouts and recovery, some of which would normally be used to bolster your immune system. As a result, your immune system is weaker than usual.

Plus, in my job, I come in contact with a lot of people.

And yes, this time, the bug hit me.

Did I panic?  Of course.

But it’s not the end of the world.   Here’s some advice:

1.Don’t Run. Rest.

The general rule of thumb says you can start running again if you don’t have a fever or a cough.  Some experts say you’re OK to run if your symptoms are from the neck up. If your symptoms are from the neck down, then rest until they’re gone.

But the most important factor to base your decision on is simply how you feel. If your body feels dead, then it’s telling you it’s not ready for training.

Image result for rest day no running when sick

I bought some Skirt Sports clothes and then registered for 3 races while I was NOT running.

2.  Don’t let getting sidelined by illness destroy your confidence.

A couple of days off should not hurt your training.

It takes an extended period of time for you to see a drop in your fitness level, usually two to three weeks.

3. Adjust your training intensity when you return to running.

Any longer than a few days missed, you should make adjustments.

They recommend trying about a 20 percent reduction initially.  So rather than a 30 mile week, try a 24 mile week. This may mean a 10 mile long run would be only a 8 mile run.

But remember, this is an individual thing just like running and training.  Illness affects everyone differently.

4.5 instead of 10

4.5 instead of 10

4. Listen to your body and be as active as you can handle.

Don’t do anything intense or very long. The best exercise to fit your needs when you’re sick is walking.

A 30-minute walk on days when you’re not able to run should be enough. The main reason walking works as an activity to do when you can’t train is that you are continuing to use your legs.


working the arms and then a one mile walk

5. Accept that you might not perform at the level you were hoping, and move on. There will be more races to PR in in the future.

Run to have fun.  Adjust your goals. Rejoice in the fact that you crossed the finish line rather the time that you crossed it.

Image result for focus on finish times not finish lines
So I hope you all stay healthy and do not need any of the tips above!!

Stay tuned…my Runfessions will be posted tomorrow.I have more than 5!! LOL

Happy Running! Have you ever gotten sick during your training?  Any other tips to share?


22 thoughts on “Friday Five 2.0: Sick During Your Training?

  1. I have gotten sick during training. I’ve missed long runs. I’ve had to cut back when I returned to running. I’ve even been sick during a half (it just started out of the blue that particular morning).

    If you run enough (or don’t rest enough), at some point it will happen.

    I’ve been lucky enough not to be too sick to run any of my halfs — so far. Knock on wood.


  2. At first I read “rest” as “resist” and then I laughed, because you can tell what I’ve been reading about lately. But YES to everything you wrote. Getting sick during training sucks, but it’s all going to be OK (and yes I have panicked as well – no need.)


  3. I love this! Great points and insight. Fortunately, I have managed to not get sick this winter. However, since I’ve been out so long with that dang ankle injury, I think I deserve a break. Feeling like I’m going to get fat is always my first thought when I can’t run …it’s kind of funny actually because I tend to lose more weight when I’m cross training!


  4. so agree!!

    I have not been sick during training but I got sick right before Dublin RnR Half in 2015. Because I’d paid for everything already I went ahead and traveled and took part in the race. But it was tough. Super humid, rainy at the end and breathing was not good at all. I knew at the start it would not be a PR race (it’s not a PR course anyway, THE HILLS!), and knowing, accepting that, helped me just get through it!


  5. Maybe I’ve blocked some out but I only remember getting sick enough during one half marathon training cycle (bronchitis) to the extent I needed to miss runs and I still felt pretty winded and weak on race day. Blech.


  6. Ugh.

    I had a bout of food poisoning during a training cycle and that knocked me right on my butt. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve had a big sickness during training. But I might have blocked it out.

    These are all great tips. Rest is so important and yet so hard to allow ourselves to do. But not resting will only prolong the illness and make things worse.


  7. Agreed…walking is a great way to maintain fitness when you’re not up to running. I did a lot of walking in January (when I didn’t “need” to run or want to be outside in the crazy temps). I feel like my running base came back quickly because I stayed active during my off-season.


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