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Friday, 10 April 2009

To train or not to train - that is the question.

Whether 'tis nobler to suffer to on the couch or on the road....  (That work is a lot harder to paraphrase than I originally thought.)

This is a question that I always falter on whenever I get sick.  Is it better to sit tight and let the cold pass, or can you continue to train without dragging the cold for weeks on end?  Yesterday I did a fairly comfortable 10k run with my cold, but today I can barely climb a flight of stairs without getting winded.  Would a short ride be okay?  What about resistance training?

More than one source discusses the mantra that I'm used to:
If the symptoms are above the neck, train as normal, but with a slightly lower intensity.
If the symptoms are below the neck, train with a very low intensity.
A very large number of sources say that training in any fashion during a cold will make you feel better simply because you're doing something that makes you feel good - mentally and physically.  Many strength training sites (including this one) identify that you tend to be stronger when you're sick, making your training even more effective.

Then there are sites (like this one), and they are just as numerous, that say only very, very easy aka Zone 1 training is allowed, and only if your symptoms are above the neck.  Here, the thought is that it's better to be out a few days rather than a few weeks.

All my research didn't really help me out today.  Well, except for one theme that was rather consistent in all sites I came across:
If you don't feel like training, don't.
Short.  Concise.  But not guilt free.  :)  

Here's another consistent theme I found:
If it's the flu, skip training altogether.
I've taken today rather easy.  I was blessed with sleeping in until 8am, and hung around the house in my comfy clothes until about 11am.  I took the Christmas lights down, cleaned up the garage, and played outside with my daughter and one of the neighbor's girls.  After a fun lunch, we headed out again to play more.  And now, it's quiet time in the house - for my daughter and for me.

And there will be no training today.  Rest, more rest and heaps of Vitamin C.  And hopefully that will lead to a run or a ride outdoors this weekend yet.

1 comment:

Brian said...

This too shall pass. Rest. Your body will thank you.