Dealing with allergies while training for Gate River Run

By Crystal Chen - Assignment editor/reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Gate River Run is just days away and runners are kicking their training into high gear. But with the influx of pollen and lingering cases of the flu, some are running off track and putting their bodies at risk by running through illnesses.

Skipping a day of training to stay in bed is the last thing any avid runner wants to do- especially in the days leading up to a big race. But doctors are warning that racing toward the finish line while you're sick can make your symptoms worse.

In Clay County at the CareSpot in Middleburg, runners need to watch out for bronchitis, and sinus infections from seasonal allergies. Nurses suggests showering and washing your hair right after being outdoors to get rid trapped pollen that can make allergy symptoms linger.

In Nassau County, at the CareSpot in Yulee, they're staying busy with the flu and upper respiratory infections from pollen. Runners who have a fever, body aches and a cough should think twice before lacing up for a run. Your immune system is already week and running can add additional stress.

In St. Johns County, Dr. Soleymani with Avecina Medical in Julington Creek says not much has changed since last week. The majority of his patients are sick with an upper respiratory infection or strep throat. 

In Duval County, Dr. Thornton with Jacksonville Pediatrics in Riverside said flu is still going around but colds, strep throat and seasonal allergies are in the spotlight this week. To avoid an allergy flareup, he suggests taking a non-drowsy antihistamine like  Zyrtec, Claritin,or even a nasal steroid spray like Flonase. These over the counter drugs are non-drying and less likely to cause dehydration. It's suggested that you take an antihistamine before heading outdoors.

Try running around lunch time or after work. Morning runs between 5-10 a.m. can be tough when pollen counts are the highest.

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