Training When You’re Sick

Just over a week before my next triathlon, I came down with a cold. This is the second time I’ve gotten sick before a race. The last time, I got food poisoning three days before my race and was only back on regular foods the night before.

This always brings up the question of when to push yourself and when to rest. I try to listen to my body’s cues about what it needs when I’m sick. But when I get sick before or during a race, I tend to ignore my body for what gets me through the race. Especially if it’s one I’ve been training months for.

It’s no surprise that most women push themselves more than they should. My 4-1/2 mile run the day after I started feeling poorly turned into a fever and exhaustion. My breakfast afterwards was Mountain Dew and ibuprofen — not the healthiest way to fight of an illness. However, during the dead of winter when I was battling a cold that left me voiceless for days, they only relief I got was when I skied. At the end of the day, the farther I drove down the canyon home the worse I felt. So where’s the line?

I found a helpful article on that gives a guide on when to push through and when to give in. If you’re sick only above the neck, feel free to do a GENTLE workout. If you’re all over sick or running a fever, skip it. I would add that a short walk down the street in the fresh air can do wonders for your mentality. I never workout when I have a stomach bug since doing so would require me to unroll myself from the fetal position and move.

What works for you: workout or bed rest with reruns of HIMYM?

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