Over the last few days I have been struck down with ‘Man Flu’. Now I know that all the males reading this will have a full understanding of the effect that ‘Man Flu’ has on the male body, there may well be others who will dismiss this horrendous and debilitating illness. Just because some people will never be able to contract ‘Man Flu’ does not mean that it doesn’t exist. Just ask any male. I’m sure that they will be able to give you some gorey details as to how ‘Man Flu’ knocks you for the proverbial six…….
Anyway, in all seriousness a question that is commonly asked when we are struggling with a cold or sickness is whether we should train or not?
Dependent on what you read there are those that are for training during a cold or sickness and there are those who are against. The bottom line is this – you know your body and you will know how your sickness affects how you work but there are a few things you should remember:
Your fitness will not disappear overnight
If you stop training for a few days to get over an illness it does not mean that you will lose your fitness. If you have been training consistently and have a good base level of fitness you don’t have to rush back into training. If you have been a little less consistent it may take you a little longer to get back to your target level of fitness. Bottom line – Don’t panic.
You can still train
You may find that you can still train when you are sick. You may not be able to train at the same intensity, but that does not mean that you can’t do anything. You may be able to do something at less intensity. You could also concentrate on aspects of your training that may take a back seat when you are in full flow. Take this time to do some more flexibility training, or some technique work. You may even find that if you do some form of light workout that it helps you. Light training may help flush useful healing nutrients through your body and help expel toxins. Bottom line – Listen to your body and adapt your training accordingly.
You can’t rush your body
If you rush your training and train hard through a cold or sickness you could end up with a negative training effect. Train too hard and you risk not only hindering your body’s ability to recover but you also risk a reduced fitness output. Your body will have to cope with not only the effect from the cold/sickness but also the effect of your training. Bottom line – take your time. Train effectively and ensure that you don’t overload your body.
If you need to take time out don’t see this as negative. Remain focused on the bigger picture and what it is you are trying to achieve through training. Look back at what you have achieved and be mindful of what you are going to achieve when you get back to full health. Bottom line – Feeling below par now does not mean that you will be below par forever.
Feeling unwell can seem like a curse when you are following a training plan or even if you are getting into fitness. Colds and sickness are common, especially this time of year and it can be hard to stick to a training plan when you are not feeling 100% due to your health. However, if you manage your cold/sickness well it won’t be long before you are back on the fitness trail and the time away will soon be forgotten.
Have a fit and healthy day