A runny nose, a chesty cough, a sore head – these are the all-too-common symptoms runners dread in the winter. The common cold is something that will affect most of us at least once as the cold nights draw in. Follow these simple steps, however, and reduce your chances of being struck down by man-flu.

Pocket alcohol gel
Your hands are a cesspool of germs. From touching door handles, railings in the street or chairs on public transport. Without realising it, you’re constantly picking up other peoples germs. By applying alcohol gel at the right times – before eating, after being outside – you limit the amount of germs put into your system and thus limit your chance of getting ill.

Eat well
Not refuelling the body properly after training is probably one of the biggest causes of getting ill. After training your body is weak, depleted and at its most vulnerable to illness. It is, therefore, extremely important to eat promptly and correctly after training. A recent study has shown milk to be one of the best drinks for recovery. Drink a glass of milk within 30 minutes of finishing and then eat a meal rich in carbs and protein.

Listen to your body
During the winter months, your body is constantly working harder to fight off germs. Thus, if you wake up and have a scratchy throat or a bit of a sore head, don’t be scared to take the day off running. See if it develops into anything; allow the body to fight it off. By training on a cold, you make it much worse and you could end up being out of training for 10-14 days.


Change out of wet clothes
There are going to be times in the winter when you travel home soaking wet or get caught up doing something in the house and end up in your damp clothes for an hour. This is a terrible habit; being in wet clothes after you run makes the body cold, damp and consequently more susceptible to infection and illness. Take spare clothes in the car and make sure you have a shower/bath as soon as you get in.


Get your vitamins
A healthy diet can help to keep the cold at bay, but consider supplementing it with some vitamins. CurraNZ are a New Zealand blackcurrant extract capsules, they are full of health-promoting antioxidant compounds, which are anti-inflammatory and great for energy. One tablet a day will aid a strong immune system and they can be found at Use discount code RUNHEALTH for a 15% discount.