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My Throat Hurts When I Run

author image Jae Allen
Jae Allen has been a writer since 1999, with articles published in "The Hub," "Innocent Words" and "Rhythm." She has worked as a medical writer, paralegal, veterinary assistant, stage manager, session musician, ghostwriter and university professor. Allen specializes in travel, health/fitness, animals and other topics.
My Throat Hurts When I Run
Cold air can induce a sore throat while running. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Running is a good form of cardiovascular exercise because it makes you breathe faster and more deeply. However, depending on your state of health, breathing techniques and other environmental factors, such fast, deep breathing may lead to a sore throat. As you inhale and exhale more air during a run, this air has to pass your throat on the way to and from your lungs. The throat may become irritated and sore.

Mouth Breathing

If you breathe in with your mouth open while running, this could contribute to your getting a sore throat. MedlinePlus website indicates that breathing through the mouth can both dry and irritate your throat, leading to a sensation of soreness. If you can, when running it is best to inhale through your nose -- your nasal passage both warms and filters the air, so that there is less of an irritant effect on your throat lining.

Air Temperature

If you are running outside during the cold winter, inhaling very cold air may give you a sore throat over time. The University of Maryland Medical Center indicates that cold air exposure can cause a sore throat, including the condition pharyngitis. Pharyngitis is a common cause of a sore throat, occurring when the back of the throat becomes inflamed and painful. You can prevent a sore throat from cold air temperature by covering your nose and mouth with a scarf when you run.


Running in a dry climate -- whether the air is hot or cold -- can contribute to developing a sore throat during running. Very dry air can dry out the lining of your throat as you breathe heavily during a run. Environmental allergens, such as pollen, also can contribute to a drying and irritating effect on your throat. If you run on a treadmill indoors, you can use a humidifier to increase the air humidity where you work out.


Preventive measures for a sore throat while running include breathing through your nose, avoiding polluted, dry, hot or cold running environments, and keeping yourself well-hydrated before, during and after a run. If you develop a sore throat, some remedies and solutions include drinking plenty of warm liquids, such as tea with honey and lemon. Gargling with salt water -- 1/2 a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water -- also may alleviate throat soreness, according to MedlinePlus.

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