Unfortunately we’re in that time of year in which everyone is sick. Germs are spreading rapidly and it seems like anyone who even thinks about “sick” ends up sick. Do you or do you not run?
The general rule of thumb for runners is that you can work out if your illness is above the neck- head cold, runny nose, etc- UNLESS you have a fever. If your illness is below the neck (chest cold, bronchial infection, etc), it may be best to get some rest. Keep in mind, this is the general rule of thumb. You should also follow your instincts and if you’re on the fence, it may not hurt you to do your workout but keep it slow and take walk and water breaks when necessary.
It seems that running with a head cold–as long as you don’t push beyond accustomed workouts–is beneficial in maintaining fitness and psychological well-being. Sometimes a little fresh air is all we need to start feeling better.
If you are really sick (“below the neck sick”) and decide to take time off from running, do it right. Drink lots of fluids and ease back into your workouts. You can come back to running once you’re feeling better or once your fever is gone, but ease back into it. You shouldn’t do your toughest workouts until you’re feeling stronger.