running with a cold

Aaagh! Four days until London and I've gone and got a cold. I felt it coming on on Monday but the last couple of days my nose has been streaming, I've got a slight hacking cough and feel a bit spaced out. On the plus side I don't have much of a temperature, my heart rate is normal and I don't feel totally wiped out. I'm able to function pretty much as normal, but not sure I could tacklle 10km at the moment let alone run 26 miles

This would be my sixth marathon and my training had suggested I was on for a big PB of c.3:20. I'll be devastated if I can't run, but the question is should I and, if I do, should I run as normal and hope, or scrap the PB and just take it easy?

Having a bit of a panic so any advice very welcome. Thanks all


  • TmapTmap ✭✭✭

    I've run it twice with colds.

    Once was when I was at my peak in 2006.  I had very heavily blocked nose even on the day of the race and felt dizzy and spaced out the day before, but a quick 2-miler the Saturday suggested I could still run and I didn't have any temperature.  I took it reasonably easy to 16 and accelerated a little after that and got what is still a PB.

    On the other hand, I had a nasty cough in 2010 and tried to run, and had to withdraw from the race at 18 miles feeling shivery, and was properly ill afterwards.

    So I would suggest you should give it a go but be prepared to back right off or indeed stop if you get odd symptoms - obviously the difficult thing is recognising odd symptoms from all of the other awful things that are normal 18 miles in (!).  Especially if your heart rate is OK - it's not always easy to tell with pre-race nerves.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Bail out. You have the most valid reason too despite what the resident hero's on this site would have you do.
  • That's tough, I sympathise. If not for the cough I'd say go for it, but all the advice I've seen says run only if the symptoms do not go below the throat. Search the RW forums, plenty of good advice there, although some of it conflicting. Really bad luck. If it was me, I would still run, but I would only do it for the fun, I would not "race it".
  • TmapTmap ✭✭✭
    RicF wrote (see)
    Bail out. You have the most valid reason too despite what the resident hero's on this site would have you do.


    Purpose of the forum is to share experience with others.  I've had cold twice in this same race (out of 10 starts), so am in a better position than some to provide experience, and my advice is to warn that there's a significant risk of not being able to finish the race, but it's possible it might be OK, especially with a steady heart rate.  So I don't think there's really any reason at all to sneer.

    Also, you don't need an apostrophe for a plural.

  • they say if its above the head then you should be safe to run......

    but as you are on for a PB......i would be inclined to bin it and find another marathon quite soon to get the time you deserve......

    the chances are you will finish London but not in the time you are capable of.....and then you will be knackered to race again at this distance for a while.......

    depends on what your priorities are at the moment

    good luck
  • Above the neck isnt it, above the head would be a hair cold ... dont think they are much trouble!

  • "above the neck - what the heck,
    on the chest - give it a rest"

    Wish I had taken that advice for the NYM in 2011.

    I finished in a personal worst time and then spent two days in bed really ill . . . my partner said she almost called an ambulance for me the next day.

  • Thanks for all the advice. Still a bit bunged up, but feeling much than Wednesday. Hopefully will continue to improve and be ready on Sunday...although given the amount of drugs in my body this week, I'd best be careful not to win it!
  • Hi LD, glad your feeling better and really hope you make it to the line and have a good race. Best of luck.
  • BIG thanks to everyone for their helpful words of advice.  I decided to give it a go in the end and, in spite of feeling a bit rough in the early miles, came home in a new PB of 3:20.51.  Am paying for it now with a sore throat and hacking cough, but definitely worth it.  Hope everyone else had a successful run too image
  • I was reading this in the early hours of Sunday monring, with my nose leaking like an open tap, hours before the Toronto Marathon, thinking should I bail; or grit my teeth and carry on! Lame Duck; your advice was bang on! I ran the Marathon and achived a sub 3:30 time! 

    The day after the marathon; I'm feeling as fine as I would've been feeling if I hadn't run, seinus is still a bit congested, but all in all my advice would be run.   

  • WonaWona ✭✭✭

    yes id say too..if you feel ok below the neck then chill it and run slow if  you dont like missing races, but stop if you feel bad at all..... below the neck,,chest etc...a no no id say.


  • In the same boat aswell.

    About to take a tube into rotterdam to pick up my number for tommorows marathon.

    Had a head cold for last 3 days,slight cough,but I don't feel good.

    Up at 4am to drive here from west of London.7 and half hours travel.

    So feeling tired from that aswell.

    Hoping to get a good nights sleep to feel better in morning,then run 3.15 ???

    Taking advice on here though..if I don't feel better I wil back off and take it easy.
  • Didn't sleep as well as I hoped,but I've always been light sleeper.

    Started the race feeling up for it,excitement at the event,but still not feeling 100%.

    Caught up with the 3.15 pacer at 10 miles but had been running much too fast.

    Stayed with the pacer group for 5 miles...then crashed.

    Dropped right off,felt like cold sweats.the race went back into city centre and I think if I spotted the wife and kids I would of dropped out.

    So with 7-8 miles of stop and start I got back 1 min away from my PB of 3.27.

    So 3.28,but if I was well I think I could of got close to 3.15.

    Rotterdam marathon is a amazing event,I will do it again.

    Crowd support is fantastic,and really well organised.
  • I have this too out of the blue, London marathon tomorrow.  gulp.  Pleased with these stories, though thanks.  I am hoping it's a psychosomatic thing brought on by stress and excitement!


  • Ouch reading this and I'm having a picnic! I feel it could be psychosomatic too, but can't quite tell. I am doing the Dover CTS trail marathon( actually 29 miles) this Saturday, and feeling a bit lethargic, slightly coughy, and a bit spaced out. Will go for a run this evening to see what my heart rate is like....


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