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
Your Best Season Ever Bundle
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.
Hey Coach — Hope you are feeling better soon!
I agree with all your tips, but have an extra grudging respect for “listen to your body.” I’m gearing up for a 200K and today had a 2-hour ride scheduled. Unfortunately, I woke up tired and feel like I’ve been hit by a bus — simply could not get going at all so rescheduling for tomorrow (which is probably the smartest thing I could do).
Take care and get well.