Is it okay to run with a cough (Read 633 times)


    I have had a cough now for about a week. So far I have been continuing my training, but am wondering if I should rest a few days to get better. The funny thing is when I run, I don`t cough at all, but when I finish I start coughing again. I have been running on an indoor track to avoid running in the  cold. So the indoor temperature is about 45-50F. Thanks






      My experience is yes, it is OK . . . however, if it persists, it can turn into bronchitis. So my advice is to dial back the training without stopping, and if it persists, stop training and see a doctor.

        I think the golden rule is that if it is in your head, not as much of an issue.  If it is in the chest, no running.  (I think there is an actual quote, "Chest = rest", something to that effect, but you don't want to be pushing a run at all if it is down in your lungs.


        I did try personally to run once in an 8K 2 yrs ago during winter when I had a persistent cough and the crud in the lungs, big mistake.   I got the run done, but it was very painful.  Felt as if my lungs were on fire, and I imagine that doing such probably runs the risk of worsening the condition/creating scar tissue in the lungs, so I will never run again if I have any bronchitis-like symptoms.


        Back to the "in the head" part, easy running should be okay in that situation, but of course pushing it too hard with a really hard run might weaken the immune system + allow things to worsen...  

        The Plan '15 →   ///    "Run Hard, Live Easy."   ∞

          I screwed that up badly once.  It was in my chest and I ran anyway.  I ended up with bronchitis.  Screw it; I ran anyway.  So I ended up with pneumonia and a week flat on my back.  I suppose it depends on what is causing the cough.  If it's just drainage from your nasal passages, then you're probably OK.  If it's coming from your chest, that's a problem.

          Short term goal: 17:59 5K

          Mid term goal:  2:54:59 marathon

          Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life.  (I started running at age 45).


            An awful lot depends on what you consider a bad cough.  For some of us not being able to get enough air to sustain a pace means bad cough.  Don't be one of us.  Big grin


            If it isn't that bad, keep an eye on it.  Moving indoors was probably a good idea.  Run easy, cut back mileage, and take good care of yourself.  Eat well and get plenty of rest.  If it doesn't improve seek medical advice.  I've had pneumonia a few times.  You don't want that.

            A Saucy Wench

              my rule with a cough is not for the first 2-3 days or take it easy.  once all the rest of your symptoms are gone and you just have the lingering cough that can go on for WEEKS go for it.  Sometimes it actually helps.

              I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets


              "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7


                I'll disagree a little bit with some of the previous posters.  I generally keep training as normal if I have a head cold, including interval and tempo workouts.  I may give myself a little break on the paces, under the theory that I'm pushing myself just as hard as normal if you include the added stress from the cold.  Usually I find I don't need to take the extra seconds/mile, though.


                That being said, I would only run if it is in my head, and NOT if it is in my chest, as is the general consensus here.


                  I will second what everyone else has already said... if it's in your chest, you're probably better off resting. That being said, it's not like I've taken this advice in the past. I've paid for it, too. In the beginning of October I got sick with what I thought was a cold... kept thinking "it will go away on its own, no big deal." Major chest congestion. I continued on with my high mileage running, continued on with my planned Fall marathons... and it lasted for more than 6 weeks! Finally went to the doctor and found out I had walking pneumonia. Ugh. Running with that kind of chest crap is NOT easy. Or really fun, for that matter. Got rid of it around Thanksgiving, was well for two weeks, then got sick AGAIN just in time for finals (I'm a student) and my first 50k. Finally getting over it all now.


                  Long story short... be smarter than I was (and smarter than I am now hah). Get well soon!


                    my rule with a cough is not for the first 2-3 days or take it easy.  once all the rest of your symptoms are gone and you just have the lingering cough that can go on for WEEKS go for it.  Sometimes it actually helps.


                    2017 Goals:  Qualify for Boston 2018 at Boston in 2017 & sub 1:39:00 at the Revel Canyon Half in November 2017.

                    Over 45 PR's:

                    5K - 21:21

                    Half - 1:39:49

                    Full - 3:33.47