Training and Sickness: When to Push Through and Back Off
Well hello there Tuesday! What a glorious day you are. Let’s chat health and wellness for a minute.
Last week I fell sick. Last nasty, bad, can’t-even-think sick. I am not a girl to be put on hold but my body said otherwise.
I get this question often:
“should I push through my sickness when marathon training?”
Let me just blanket answer this for all training:
I realize that there may be a few folks out there who may strongly disagree with me and say “push through ya weenie!” But, I personally believe that it takes a much stronger individual to know when to sit it out. Your body getting sick is it’s sweet little signal that something’s not up to par and it’s time to baby it. However, light exercise such as yoga, tai chi, or walking are perfect alternatives during this time. These movements are great for circulation which could aid in helping boost your immune system. But, since we are athlete’s we need to get right back to our training ASAP before we go completely coo-coo! So here’s a few ideas to help speed up recovery.
Quick sick solutions:
- Hot tea (or just hot water) with ginger, lemon, honey. The key ingredient here being honey needs to be locally sourced. NOT the big plastic bear. For several reasons:
- Rest. You must lie down. I didn’t feel better until I took a whole day to lounge and rest.
- This is a good time to read, binge on Netflix documentary videos, YouTube, or just binge tv. If you’re like me, even when sick, I have such a hard time sitting still for fear I’m wasting time. So by passively engaging your mind you may feel as if you’re doing something productive. Although it must be noted that allowing your body to rest is actively productive. What would not be so productive would be continuing to push your body to the max while it needs true rest. You risk feeling sick for even longer…
- Oh and for heaven’s sake, please avoid the gym. Just don’t share the snot love. Ya dig?
- If you’re feeling up to it practice yoga, tai chi, run through your stability exercises, or simply go for a walk.
- If you’re running a high fever avoid stressful exercise! Now is the time to lie your body down, take some Tylenol (or here’s a list of 6 alternatives if you’re not into meds.) and hydrate.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This is the best way to rid your body of a virus. Pee the nasty booger out! Add some electrolytes like NUUN Vitamins*. NUUN just came out with new drink and it is da bomb!
- When you finally do feel ready to get back to training, depending on your level of fitness and length of illness, you will want to ease back into training. Don’t have the #GoHardorGohome mentality at this point. Maybe start with an “easier” speed session. For example, if you originally had 8 x 800m repeats consider backing off to 5 x 800 or cut back slightly more with 8 x 10 meter strides during the middle of an easy run.
- Most importantly, you live in your body. NO one else does. Take care of it and it will take care of you!
Naturally with falling sick this past week it got me to thinking about insurance and that sort of thing. Since going totally self-employeed I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect solution for our family. I wanted to introduce you to MediShare, a Christian organization that works more like I think insurance should work. How often is it that your insurance agent (although MediShare is technically not insurance.) offers to pray over you and your family? Sweet. Anyway, I wanted to share this with you because it’s a very real struggle for many folks like myself who want to branch out on their own but can’t figure out a way to stay insured at an affordable rate. Plus, their site has tons of informational gems like THIS ONE that speaks about the vegan fueled athlete. Which I’m tempted to venture on…more about that at a later date. But, I’ll leave you with this one reason:
From their site: “Vegan diets have been associated with a number of health benefits: lower risk of death from heart disease, lower LDL cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of type 2 diabetes, lower body mass index, and lower rates of cancers.”
If you’re curious about what MediShare is here’s a quick link with some great info. For the record, I wasn’t compensated for this post. I’m pretty sure they don’t even realize my blog exist. I simply wanted to share an option that’s out there!
The last but most important thing I would like to mention: be gentle with yourself. The human body is indeed an incredible miracle and pillar of strength. But, when it’s feeling weak it’s totally okay to embrace the healing time required to get you back up to par.
Do you run and/or train while sick? Any other get-well-soon tips you would add?
*As a NUUN Ambassador for #TeamNUUN I do receive a discount on all NUUN products. I was not paid however, to post about their products. All opinions and thoughts expressed here are strictly my own. And yes, I love NUUN! Even before I became their ambassador.
24 Jan 2017 / runpinkjess / 2