I got an email question from an athlete the other day saying that they were a feeling a bit under the weather. Not full on 'flu virus', but just a little bit under the weather. They asked what to do training-wise.
As usual the disclaimer...I am NOT a doctor, I don't play one on TV or any other time, so DO NOT take this as medical advice. I'd like to think that what I write here is worth more than the $0.00 you pay for it...but we'll just assume that it's not. Make your own decisions or go pay a doctor to help you with them.
As usual, I have an opinion on training when either sick, near sick, or generally compromised. I'll go with the 'rules' method of putting them down.
- Rule #1: Some training is better than no training. That gets you consistency. And, consistency gets you improvement. - Rule #2: If you'd call in sick to work or miss school or whatever, you probably shouldn't train either. - Rule #3: Is it in your head only? By that I don't mean are you mental. I mean is the sickness above your neck in that you are stuffy, have a headache, or have some sinus congestion. If the answer to that is yes, then I would train, but at a much reduced intensity. If the answer is that it is in your head AND below your neck...you have a cough or wheezing or serious stomach ache or are just running from all ends...go see a doctor. - Rule #4: IF you decide to train, go easier and go shorter. Maintain the frequency, but don't worry about the intensity. - Rule #5: What have you done in the days before being sick and what do you have in the coming days. If it's been a week or more without a day off, then maybe take one. If you have a week until your next scheduled day off, then maybe take one now. - Rule #6: Going slower now or taking a single day off now is better than being put out of comission for a week or more...see rule #1. - Rule #7: Revert to rule #2 if you aren't sure. - Rule #8: Is it really 'in your head'? If that's the case, then you've got bigger problems than your little runny nose.
What about taking meds? See the medical disclaimer. I don't like them. I will take an over the counter medication occassionally. I really try to shy away from antibiotics. IF they are necessary, they can help, but I think that they can also really compromise your system. 1/2 the time though, by the time we/you go to the doc, you are probably about 1/2 way through whatever you have 'running its course' as my mom (a nurse) used to say...so you might be better off just toughing it out. If it's sinus related, I'll use a saline/sinus rinse 2x a day to keep things flowing. Generally, we try to stay away from 'medication', but we do take a multi-V and some fish-oil...and probably have expensive pee b/c of it.
So, there you go. What to do if you're sick. Summer is here, flu season should be over, we're all getting our Vitamin D from our outside training, our Vitamin C from fruits and veggies, so we're not going to get sick anyway, right!?