Thursday, February 26, 2009

Illness and Training

It tickles in the throat, taunting you, daring you to get out in the cold and train through. There may or may not be a little voice in your head mocking you:

"If you were a real hardman, a little cold wouldn't bother you."

"What doesn't kill you will only make you stronger."

"Do you think that [insert arch rival/nemesis's name here] takes the day off due to such a minor cold."

"------ is probably training right now!"


Competitive cyclists are a dedicated lot. We train through the worst weather and endure grueling training regiments, all while balancing an adult life complete with mortgages, careers, student loans, household chores, significant others, family, other interests and even non-cycling friends.

Training through illness seems natural, after the privations of normal training. But unlike pushing a little harder on Watertower Hill, pushing through illness will only weaken you.

Every March, I become run down. I get a cold and have to take a few days off from training. And every March I beat myself up as a slacker, a laggart and a softy for succumbing to the illness.

This morning in the shower, I had the first signs of a cold, slightly scratchy throat, runny nose. I am curious how other competitive cyclists handle a slight cold.

Do they train through;

do they take a day off;

do they go easy in their workouts;

or do they power through and come out the other side as anointed hardmen?


Bailey said...

I've sought advice on this a few times and have received the following answers:

1) If it's in just in your head (e.g. sinuses), train but rest a lot after. If it's in your chest, rest.

2) Rest until symptoms start to improve, then wait a day before getting back on the bike with some low intensity stuff.

#1 sounded like a bad idea, but I tried it in Jan, on the advice of someone who's been at this much longer than I, and didn't have a major issue. Kept my same workouts and even did a field test.

RMM said...

But Mr. Bailey, should I really accept advice from an arch-rival such as yourself?

Thanks for the advice though.

zack said...

There was a local guy, big racer, super nice fella--Peter Teeuwen--who rode through a cough/cold. Then it turned into pneuomia. Now there is a Peter Teeuwen Memorial Ride.

A week off the bike isn't going to kill you. A week on the bike....just maybe.

Why fuck around with your health?

nixie the mighty said...

yeah man i am with zack on this one.
i say leave your masochism for the bedroom there pal.