Sunday, February 28, 2010
Setbacks suck. Being sick sucks. Getting sick is a part of life, and for most non-athletes, being sick means missing a few days of work while they recover by resting. For athletes however, getting sick can have a huge negative impact on training progress,momentum and competitive goal achievement.
Early last week, my youngest developed a case of pink eye and a cough. It seems that when the pre-schoolers get sick, the parents do too. I've had flu-like symptoms now, going on four days. Sore throat, coughing, night sweats (and day sweats), 'achy' muscles and dizziness are just a few of my problems. Training this week has been next to nothing as I try to rest enough to kick this bug. I'm not one to go to see the doctor unless I absolutely have to , but it looks like I might be making a visit soon to get some medication. Ugh... put me out of misery!
I'm curious to know how others handle illness and training?
I have always taken the approach that rest is key, because you want to bounce back to 100% health asap. Training at all when sick, if it's even possible, seems to prolong the illness, unless you have a simple head cold and you keep your intensity/volume low. When it's time to return to training, using a sensible approach is important. The first couple of days back should be light aerobic and fairly low volume. My experience is that it takes a day or two to get your groove back. The worst thing to do is try and 'catch up' for lost training volume as this could lead to another set back like an overuse injury or even getting sick again.
Getting sick around the time of an important race is a REAL bummer. I've tried to 'race through' an illness before and it's always had negative results. It's probably a wise decision to scratch if you are ill a few days before a race. After all, you race to perform your best and when sick, you're never at 100%. Worst yet, you can dig yourself into an even deeper hole as the intensity and effort on race day can seriously compromise your immune system even further - especially long course racing!
So, I'm hoping to bounce back in a couple of days and get my mojo back. Until that time, please stay healthy and keep your training momentum.
- Coach Troy