Being sick totally sucks! I know — I’ve had the flu for a week and am totally bummed. I love to XC ski and enjoy doing events. We have great conditions in Colorado. I was looking forward to the Latigo 15K, a race I’ve never done, on Sunday. However, I collapsed in bed yesterday after shoveling snow for just 10 minutes yesterday. No Latigo.
Here’s a short column before I crawl back into bed.
When you’re sick you lose fitness because you aren’t exercising. The temptation is to try to train through it. However, the virus / germs are weakening your body and because you’re weaker you can’t train effectively! Don’t try — focus on getting well. Here are four tips:
- Follow medical advice. Here’s what the Mayo Clinic recommends for a cold and for the flu.
- Accept it and listen to your body. The first few days I told myself it was just a sore throat, I’m in great shape and I have a strong immune system. I kept going until I collapsed in bed. Listen to your body. If you’re sick below the neck – congested lungs, achy body, fever — don’t exercise. If you’re just sick above the neck it’s okay to do some light exercise to keep from going stir crazy.
- Use the time to plan your season. About this time of year I work with each client to develop a plan for the year: what are the rider’s goals? Strengths and weaknesses? Events the rider would like to do? I then knit these together into a month-by-month plan with some information about each week. Here’s how you can do the same Planning your Season: Your Best Year Ever.
- Work on mental skills. Almost without exception a roadie can improve more if he or she works on mental skills instead of spending more time on the bike. Mental skills are often the difference between a great ride and just a good ride… or a DNF. You can accomplish a lot if you practice just 10 minutes a day most days of the week. Here’s a series of exercises to make you a better rider: On the Rivet.
Back to bed — see you next week.
Learn From Coach Hughes How to Have Your Best Season Ever
Coach Hughes then shows you how to assess your individual strengths and weakness and set appropriate personal objectives. You then use this information to build a plan including personal training volumes for different seasons and months.
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Coach John Hughes earned coaching certifications from USA Cycling and the National Strength and Conditioning Association. John’s cycling career includes course records in the Boston-Montreal-Boston 1200-km randonnée and the Furnace Creek 508, a Race Across AMerica (RAAM) qualifier. He has ridden solo RAAM twice and is a 5-time finisher of the 1200-km Paris-Brest-Paris. He has written nearly 30 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training and nutrition, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach John Hughes. Click to read John's full bio.