Running With Hayfever & Allergies

Running With Hayfever & Allergies


This time of year can be troublesome with hayfever, allergies and Summer colds all threatening our running training and racing. Should you keep running?

We sought out a sympathetic expert who could help us answer the question of whether or not to run if we suffer with hayfever, coughs and sniffles during the Spring and Summer months. Dr Juliet McGrattan is a GP in Lancashire, a mum of three – and a marathon runner. Here’s her advice.

Running With A Summer Cold

Dr McGrattan says: “Don’t let a light summer cold stop you running. As long as you don’t have a chesty cough or a temperature then it’s safe to run, but take it slowly at first and don’t set out on a really tough session.  Be prepared to stop if you feel unwell.”

The verdict:

It’s OK to run with a mild Summer cold, but now is not the time to do your toughest training session

Running With Hayfever

Dr McGrattan says: “Hayfever can be a real problem for some runners.  Follow my top tips (below) all of which should help ease the worst of it. There are lots of medicines you can get over the counter and your pharmacist can advise on what will suit you best. If you’re still struggling, then opt for a treadmill run or a form of cross-training when the pollen count is highest.”

The verdict:

Running with hayfever isn’t harmful but can be very tough. Take preventative measures and avoid high pollen counts.

Top Tips For Hayfever Sufferers

– Do your longer runs when the pollen counts are lowest.

– Wear wrap-around running sunglasses if you get itchy eyes.

– Try dabbing some Vaseline in your nostrils to keep out pollen.

– Cover your mouth with a light scarf if it’s not too hot to do so.

– Shower and wash your hair as soon as you get back from your run to remove pollen.

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