Now, I might not be the best person to talk about listening your body to determine when to push yourself and when to admit defeat. However, there are certain signs that should be listened to... When I went to the Expo for the STL 1/2 marathon, there was a booth that was handing out free Women's Running Magazine.
I found this one article, particularly interesting about the impact of running, how regular runs can lead to better health but also when a run might actually compromise your health.
One point that was made is that regular runs can improve your immune system. This is is because during exercise and three hours after there is a greater circulation of important immune cells. Helping you to fight off illness and actually improve your overall health.
Another point, which I have to say I found was the most interesting and held true for me is that you are more likely to get sick immedately folowing a marathon. At that many mils, the immune system no longer functions normally... But have no fear! This doesn't mean that you can't run a marathon or a half marathon, it just means that you need to take control of the things that are in your power, such as getting lots of sleep, reduce mental stress, and don't loose weight rapidly while training!
Now sick days do exist for runners and it is important to realize when you should take a a legitimate sick day. Here are three tips for determining a sick day:
1. Follow the "neck-up rule" - If yor symptoms are from the neck up then a moderate to light workout would probably be alright, but if the symptoms are muscle aches or a chest cold, you can do more harm if you try to run and workout.
2. NEVER EVER RUN WITH A FEVER! This one probably seems pretty obvious, but some people are so determined to get a training run in that they will run even when they shouldn't. The main reason that you shouldn't run with a fever is because running increases your core temperature which can put you at risk for hyperthermia or over-heating.
3. Even if you have been sick and are feeling better, it is best to ease back into your run. Don't start out at your typical pace. If you are recovering from some severe symptoms, it is best to rest for 2 weeks and consult your Doctor.
Running Lesson: Listen to your body, the only way to truly determine if you should run is by listening to yourself! Only you can make that decision!
Currently Rocking out to: Break Even by The Script