Running With a Cold?

If you are a runner, you are almost guaranteed to run into some circumstance that will cause you to have to take a break from your scheduled training. Whether it is an injury, work, vacation, family emergencies, and so on. I’ve recently been struggling to get over a cold and cough that just will not go away. It has really put a damper on my training routine that I have had planned. So it made me ask the question, when is it okay to continue training when sick and when should rest take a priority?

I absolutely hate to take breaks in my training because too long of a break can throw off the routines that take forever to get setup. At the same time, I’m extremely cautious and make sure I do not work myself into an injury. Avoiding injuries can be easy with proper stretching, preparation and mindfulness. The one thing that you cannot plan for is getting sick. Eating healthy, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough sleep, and removing stress from your life are great ways to stay healthy. But even the healthiest among us will catch a cold from time to time.

The week I have been fighting a cold that involved a sore throat, upset stomach, and headache. As much as I wanted to get out and put some miles under my feet, I had to listen to my body and rest. Three days of medicine and extra hours of sleep and the headache and stomach ache were finally gone and my legs were screaming “LETS GO FOR A RUN!” Unfortunately, the cough had not subsided. So now I’ve got to make a choice, go for a run or keep resting?

running while sick

 

My rule of thumb (and what you’ll most likely see other runners mention) is that if the cold is from the neck up, then you are good to go and train.ย In the past I would go running while congested and by mile two, the sinuses are completely clear. Honestly, I swear a good run will work better then most decongestant medicines. Just be prepared to be wiping you nose every other minute of the run. The reason for saying “from the neck up” is because if your stomach is acting up, then you are risking getting sick while training and throwing up (or it coming out of the other end). It’ll be messy and you really should be focusing on hydrating and eating properly until your stomach settles down.

stop coughing

The issue I was concerned about this time with my cold was the cough. The problem with a cough and running is that at any moment a coughing fit can arise and breathing becomes difficult. Add that to the exertion that happens when running, and there might be some trouble. I decided that I felt well enough to go for a short run and at a comfortable pace. This way if I had to stop mid run I could walk back, and not exerting too much effort by simply jogging means that if my cough does pop up, I can at least slow down and catch my breathe before continuing. Ultimately, it was a great workout. I decided to go for a 3 mile run at a 9 minute pace (that being my half marathon pace). As I turned home, I felt really good and no sign of coughing, so I went one more mile just to get some more steps in for my legs to be happy. Afterwords, I made sure to drink plenty of water and loaded up on the electrolytes by adding in NUUN tablets to the water. After that water was downed, I brewed some green tea to help sooth the throat soreness that had picked back up after the run.

Lesson here that I’ve learned, listen to your body but do not be afraid to push yourself. You can certainly train while sick but be extra cautious and make sure you are prepared to have to stop and take care of yourself. Also, the other lesson here is that it is important to stick to your training plan to insure you hit your race goal, but taking a few days off could and most likely would help your over all training by not pushing yourself into an injury or extended illness.

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you approach training while sick or injured. Please feel free to leave comments here and let’s get a discussion going to help out the rest of the running community!

 

Zucchini Noodle Chicken Bowl

Looking for a healthy meal but don’t have the time to get fancy and make something complicated? We’ve all definitely been there and it can be frustrating to try to find recipes that are quick, easy, and require few ingredients. One issue I always run into when looking at recipes is that almost all recipes require some sort of spice and seasoning that I do not have and it would be a waste of money to go buy them just for one meal. Below is a recipe that I love to make when I need to focus on eating clean but also need to have it be ready quickly.

Zucchini Noodle Chicken Bowl

This is one of my go-to recipes because it is only 5 ingredients, cooks fast, and tastes amazing. Zucchini noodles are just zucchini that have been spiraled instead of chopped. If you do not have a spiralizer in your kitchen, you can get a cheap one here. The idea here is to have the flavor and nutritional benefits of zucchini, but to create the texture of pasta. This will help trick your mind into thinking you are indulging in a bowl of spaghetti, when in fact, you are eating a low carb, low-calorie entrรฉe. The best part of this is you can load up your bowl with as much zucchini as you want and not feel guilty about eating out of a large serving bowl. Another great thing about the recipe is that I mostly use chicken breast for the protein, but you can always change that up to steak, turkey, fish or any other type of protein so that it never gets old. Check out the ingredient list and cooking instructions below:

zucchini-noodle-chicken-pesto-bowl-vertical-b-1600
Zucchini Noodle Chicken Bowl with a tomato salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Zucchini (spiraled)
  • 1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Chop the chicken breast into cubes and cook in a skillet over medium heat. Cook the chicken until the internal temperature is 165F and the inside is no longer pink.
  2. Set Chicken aside and let cool
  3. Spiralize the zucchini (if you don’t have a spiralizer, you can simply chop or julienne the zucchini)
  4. Add zucchini into the skillet and saute over medium heat. Add in garlic salt and pepper (Or whatever seasoning you prefer or have handy). Cook until it starts to become slightly translucent. Try not to over cook/steam the zucchini. If cooked for too long it will lose its density and will be mostly mush.
  5. Add zucchini and chicken into the bowl.
  6. Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves and on top of the bowl.
  7. Finish off the bowl with some garlic salt and pepper
  8. Enjoy a delicious and low carb dinner!

As you can see from the recipe, this is super simple and can be made in under 30 minutes. You can also throw in chili powder or pesto or curry and change the flavor palate so that it never gets old. This is a good trick if you are meal prepping and do not want to be tired of all the food you made for later in the week.

If you are a wine lover and/or want to make this for a special date night dinner, go ahead and grab a nice Chardonnay to pair with this meal!

Hope you enjoy!

 

Finding & Replacing Running Shoes

Anyone who has ever trained for a race and or just runs for fun knows that finding the perfect pair of running shoes is close to impossible. There are so many options out there that it can make one dizzy. There are shoes for short distance, long distance, road running, path/soft surface running, track running, heel to toe landing, flat foot landing, pronation, supination and so many more. So when we runners find a perfect shoe for us, it’s the best feeling in the world and we never want to let them go! Unfortunately, the shoes wear out and most like the company that produced the shoe has changed the design or move on to a new model. This means back to the beginning. So here are a few tips on how to ย find that perfect pair of shoes and how and when to replace them so you don’t cause an injury from worn down shoes.

Tip 1: Finding The Running Shoe For You

  • GO TO A RUNNING STORE! This seems pretty simple, but most people shop online nowadays for the convenience. While shopping online is great and I definitely do that, it’s not worth the injuries you can get from improper shoes. Most stores have treadmills where the sales associate can watch you run for a bit to see what your natural gait is and what your foot strike is like.
  • Don’t worry about the look/color of the shoes at the store. Most will be very bland and we all know runners need something will a little spark to them. After all, “look good, feel good” is one of the more popular saying for runners. The focus of this is to find the best shoe that is the most comfortable for you when you run. If the store doesn’t have the color of the shoe you want, they can most likely order you one or you can order them online. Just make sure you get the brand, model and size information.
  • Once you find the shoe you want, ask the store what their return policy is. Most stores will offer free returns and exchanges for 7 days. This will allow you to take the shoes for a few training runs and make sure the shoes are perfection. Do not be afraid to return them if they are not perfect. Running shoes should fit you so that you forgot they are there and you can focus on the important aspects of running.
  • Once you’ve got those bad boys, hit the road and crush some miles!

Tip 2: When to Replace Running Shoes

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