running with a cold

For all kinds of running related discussions, from sprinting to marathon, training to equipment. Also the forum for international <a href="http://www.veganrunners.org">veganrunners.org</a> network.

Moderators: hardcore iv, bronco, fredrikw, JP, Rochellita

running with a cold

Postby wannabefitter » Sat Aug 15, 2009 9:05 pm

Should I run if I have a cold virus? Does excersise do more harm than good when unwell?
wannabefitter
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:26 pm
Location: Devon UK

Re: running with a cold

Postby fredrikw » Sun Aug 16, 2009 7:16 am

Yes. When you have a virus infection in your body there's really nothing good that come out of training, rather the opposite where you risk spreading the virus to your heart muscles which can lead to several months of no training, or in the worst cases death. Perfectly healthy, fit and strong people have died from this, so please avoid this. I have friends who got away with "just" getting really sick from this, and had to stop training for several months.
--- non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me ---
User avatar
fredrikw
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10738
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:46 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby wannabefitter » Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:19 am

Wow. That's an answer. Thankyou.
wannabefitter
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2008 2:26 pm
Location: Devon UK

Postby bruncle » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:03 am

There's a lot of superstition about this topic. Everyone has advice, but it's basically all based on a study of one. It pleased me no end to discover that there actually has been some research done into whether you should continue training with a cold. Some masochistic (or financially motivated?) volunteers were infected with a strain of Rhinovirus (which causes the common cold) and after they'd all succumbed to the symptoms, the ruthless scientists put them on a treadmill to find out what would happen.

There were actually two separate studies: one to determine whether performance is affected by having a cold; and one to determine whether training through a cold would affect recovery time.

The results showed that performance level (as defined by a treadmill based fitness test) is not at all affected by cold symptoms. The participants did say that their perceived level of exertion was much higher, but they were still able to run just as fast as they could before as long as they ignored the headaches, snotty noses, phlegmy throats, etc. that they were all suffering from.

The other half of the study also came out with interesting results. The participants were split into two groups: a control group and an exercising group (not quite a double blind study, but the best they could do under the circumstances). The exercising group continued running after they had been infected by the cold, while the control group were free to lie in bed and moan all day. In the end, there was no significant difference in recovery time between the two groups.

Conclusion: HTFU and keep training.

(Can't find the actual citation but there's another synopsis of the study here http://www.consorthealth.com/news-detai ... ewsID=2160)

This only applies to colds though. The flu or anything more serious requires a bit of time off.

Something to be aware of for runners is the 'window of opportunity' for getting sick. After a hard/long run, your immune system is temporarily suppressed due to the stress you're placing on your body. So it's probably a good idea to stay away from sick people and crowds for a few hours after you're done running to reduce the risk of picking up something. Eating carbs straight afterwards is meant to help reduce this problem, but it's still there.
bruncle
Active Member
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Postby skoptic » Sun Aug 23, 2009 10:38 am

I always go with the entirely unscientific rule of

"If the symptoms are above your neck (like a head cold / headache etc.) .. you can keep on training .. if they are below (like a cough) ... don't"

I'm not saying it's right .. but I haven't died yet :-)
User avatar
skoptic
Facebook Admin
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: Kensworth

Postby fredrikw » Sun Aug 23, 2009 11:53 am

I think it's a semantical difference in play here, for me cold means you have congestion, sore throat, cough, and possibly a fever. The below the shoulder rule of thumb is a pretty good one I think, because if it's anything apart from local congestion it sounds likely that it's a virus infection in your body.

I think it's hard to give advice based on this, but it's better to be safe than sorry when we don't have the whole background story.
--- non-racers. the emptiness of those lives shocks me ---
User avatar
fredrikw
Site Admin
 
Posts: 10738
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 12:46 pm
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Postby cyclebot » Sun Aug 23, 2009 3:26 pm

skoptic wrote:I always go with the entirely unscientific rule of

"If the symptoms are above your neck (like a head cold / headache etc.) .. you can keep on training .. if they are below (like a cough) ... don't"

I'm not saying it's right .. but I haven't died yet :-)


YET!
I bet you will one day!
User avatar
cyclebot
Active Member
 
Posts: 172
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:43 pm
Location: Ghent - Belgium

Postby bruncle » Sun Aug 23, 2009 9:22 pm

I think that rule is actually quite scientific (good definition of a cold) and most sports doctors would agree with it.
bruncle
Active Member
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:51 pm
Location: Melbourne Australia

Postby Gelert » Mon Aug 24, 2009 9:58 am

cold = Nostly upper respiratory tract infection

flu = Always lower respiratory tract infection

Shoulder rule, roughly said.

You may get away with just making a cold worse, but you may get killed if you have influenza. Those with long memories may recall the last time swine flu caused panic. It was in 1976, and it was down to a young, fit and healthy US Army recruit going on long route marches while infected with it. Caused international panic and a metric ton of lawsuits. All down to a mild infection aggravated by exercise.

The other thing to bear in mind is that training with a fever can be quite dangerous, as your body's thermostat is faulty and may not deal with the excess heat generated by training, or training in a cold place.
User avatar
Gelert
Active Member
 
Posts: 6935
Joined: Sat Aug 20, 2005 10:19 pm

Postby skoptic » Wed Aug 26, 2009 3:47 pm

cyclebot wrote:YET!
I bet you will one day!


LOL - Thanks for the vote of confidence!! :-)
User avatar
skoptic
Facebook Admin
 
Posts: 1070
Joined: Thu May 21, 2009 4:12 pm
Location: Kensworth

Postby Tardigrada » Sun Nov 08, 2009 8:52 pm

How long should you wait before starting to train again?
User avatar
Tardigrada
New Member
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:49 am
Location: Finland

Postby xrodolfox » Mon Nov 09, 2009 10:30 pm

Gelert wrote:You may get killed [training] if you have influenza.


troof.

however, I find that if I just have serious congestion, and what's generally considered a "cold", I get better quicker when I train.

However, if I at all feel more tired than usual, or at all feel ill in my lungs or below the neck, I don't do anything but rest and eat lots of soup.
"The worker has the right to leave his boss, but can she do it? And if she does quit him, is it in order to lead a free life; where she will have no master but herself? No, she leaves to sell herself to another employer. She's driven by the same hunger. Thus the worker's liberty is only a theoretical freedom, lacking any means of realization; an utter falsehood."
-Bakunin
User avatar
xrodolfox
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3579
Joined: Mon Jul 31, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Eugene, OR


Return to Vegan Runners

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest