Any runners out there having chemo?

Interested to know if anyone has managed to run through their chemo and radiotherapy? I’m kind of assuming I’ll manage somehow, won’t be fast, but I think it will help lift my spirits! Anyone thinking the same?

Hi there,

I’ve posted many times about running through treatment, but usually get people telling me I am either a nutcase, or I must have had it easy as they can’t even walk around the block!

I took inspiration from Jane Tomlinson who ran the London marathon on chemo.

Yes, I ran all through treatment. I would take a week or so off after each chemo, but would be out running again as soon as I felt able. I always felt better for going out for a run - energised.

I had 4 x FEC and 4 x Tax last year, followed by 20 rads. I ran all the way through, although I found the tax really weakened my muscles. I did the race for life in between tax 2 & 3. Before tax (but after FEC) I could still run the 5k, but by the time I did the Race I had to stop and walk a little half way round, then I ran again. By the end of tax I could barely run 1/2 a mile, but I was still trying!

I hit a high point this summer, running going really well, but am going downhill again now. I think it is the herceptin catching up with me (which I finished yesterday - hurray!). So hope it will get better in the new year.

I ran throughout my treatment for my primary diagnosis although I didn’t have chemo. I was diagnosed with secondaries to the lung two and a half years ago but continued running while having FEC. If I felt tired I would just walk but I always felt better for getting out. It’s also a social thing as I ran with a group of friends. This time last year while I was on another chemo the pleural effusion in my lung worsened and although drained the lung has not re expanded and I am unable to run. I am currently on weekly Taxol and trying to keep walking but really miss being able to go out for a run. It annoys me that cancer has got the better of me in that respect. I do just listen to my body and don’t push myself but did do a half marathon after finishing FEC

Hi ejenks,

I am not a serious runner though in my heyday did do 2 half marathons! I do run a bit still and also like mt biking.

I did a bit of mt biking through my chemo though mostly much shorter routes, maybe only going out for 45 to 60 mins at a time. I also did a little running and walked as much as I could. It really gave me a boost doing some exercise both mentally and physically.

However there were days when I would go for a short walk in the park and find that I was very tired and constantly looking for somewhere to sit down. On those days I didn’t push myself at all and would never have attempted a run or bike ride. I did think it was important not to tire myself out with exercise because I wanted my body to have the energy to deal with the chemo.

I think if you are fit and used to running you should carry on and just try to maintain as much of your fitness as you can.

Good luck.


Hurrah! Nice to know I’m not completely mad! You’re right, everyone raises their eyebrows when you mention you want to get back running! Can’t do it at the moment as scabs still on after surgery (nice!!!), chemo meant to start next week so will probably be trying around Xmas time!! If nothing else as you’ve all said to get out and clear heads is a positive thing. I don’t care if I can’t run far or fast, but I’m damned if I want to give in!

Thank you ladies, you’re all inspirational.

Emma xxxx

Hi ejenks… I just wanted to post my support to you in pursuing your running through yucky treatment. I realise the topic does attract alot of mixed posts and totally appreciate that exercise can be a topic that alienates and leaves people feeling indadequate etc… but those feelings are just as easily felt by those who take this route and are then ostracised…

I would like to be able to run but since it was never a strong point in the first place (10K my limit) I’m not going to bother till im well. Im on cycle four of EPI and so far Iv managed a half hour walk most days even when iv felt very sick. I have often felt better after if a bit tired. In fact the combination of walk then a nap has left me feeling a bit better on my very bad days… On better days I have walked in the country side most weeks, sometimes twice and often for over an hour. Iv managed a few hour bike rides and some short ones on weaker days. I think this is very personal but if exercise was part of your life before chemo then it has every right to be in your life while you are on chemo, especially if you want it to be. Good luck and let us know how you get on. Word of warning… some days i wish i lived in a bungalow i feel so weak!!!
My sadness re exercise is centred on not swimming, that was my favourite. Still it won’t be too long till i can do a few lengths.

Bless you Carmel that was a lovely post! Start chemo tomorrow, so we’ll see how I get on. Feel my fitness levels have dropped quite a lot as still not doing anything since surgery because of the healing. Did think about digging out my rebounder and bouncing whilst watching tv. That’ll give the neighbours something to talk about whilst I bounce around my front room!!! xx