Wednesday, April 02, 2008

And Speaking of Bugs

What to do about riding when you're starting to get sick? It's a rhetorical question, but certainly feel free to offer an opinion if you have one. I'll go first...

I don't support the old adage of "Ride if it's above the neck, otherwise rest". If like me, you're vulnerable to sinus infections, then I don't think it's smart to ride at all if you have a full-blown cold, even if it's just in your head. Cold viruses last 2-4 days and that amount of time off the bike is not going to hurt too much. Be flexible, and call it a rest period. Hey, if you're a bike racer, no doubt you've procrastinated a lot of other stuff... use the time off to catch up!

Anyway, Adam Hodges Myerson makes sense in this article and he's a real coach and everything.

The trickier question is what to do when you first detect symptoms of a cold. You should know your body well enough to notice the warning signs--slight throat swelling, minor runny nose, a bit achy--before it hits with full force. Is it possible to head it off, or at least minimize it's impact? I think so. Add a couple hours of sleep, drink a lot more fluids, ...the usual advice. But what about riding? I think it's okay to spin easy and probably also okay to do sprints, but definitely avoid hard anaerobic work and don't spend any time in your higher aerobic zone either.

That's what I'm doing... I'll tell you later if it works.

9 comments:

TnA said...

Damn...I hope what you got isn't that crud that's been going around. It doesn't hit you super hard, but it takes literally weeks before you feel "normal" again...damned viruses!

Definitely don't add to the stress if you're feeling "off", so I agree with the "light spinning" if anything. Not sure if I'd even do sprints...

TnA said...

BTW, Adam's approach to "coming back" is pretty much what I did with when I was just sick...I even experienced the surprisingly good performance he mentions at the end after getting back into it a bit. A quick look at the Performance Manager Chart in WKO+ pointed out pretty clearly why that would be so...I didn't lose much "fitness" with the layoff and I was relatively "fresh" still after a couple of workouts that were more than just spinning around for an hour. Kind of like "opening up" rides at the end of a taper :-)

Anonymous said...

Mild exercise (HR zone 1-2 for 30min) will facilitate lymph movement, which will cause a more potent immune response. Definitely don't do any "efforts" and don't over-stress your body. It will still take some time to get over, but it is best to keep moving, and stay hydrated.

Chester said...

When I start to detect my body coming down with somthing I normally rest. The problem is I usually end up getting sick anyway and am forced to take more time off the bike- so three days turns into 7. Then I regret taking those first few days off when I could've been riding. But Im definitley not the guy to talk to. I've been sick a lot this year. Its also hard with my asthma and allergies because I tend to get in the chest harder then most.
Ive also been sick A LOT this year. Even so I try to look at them as productive. A week or two off here and there is NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. After all, Im just a rookie.

Kk said...

Hi Marco. My two or three cents:
First take an Airborne tablet! I swear taking those at the first telltale signs has nipped the bug in the bud and kept me cold free for the last two years.
Secondly, I agree with Chester, if it's going to get you anyway may as well get a ride in before you end up knee deep in kleenex.
What I know from my own sports experience is that the body is happiest when the metabolism is revving and everything is moving through the system quickly. Working up a good sweat gets the toxins out and encourages extra fluid consumption...

Anonymous said...

and don't forget......Take plenty of Platinum ;-)

John

Chester said...

Yeah +1 to Johns point- The whole line of platinum products has changed my whole life- really turned it all around. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Acute symptoms for the flu lasts 7 days, symptoms for a cold last a week.

Given that you don't recover from hard efforts as well as you once did at a younger age, what makes you thinks it's any different for recovering from a virus that invades every cell in your body.

You're asking your body to recover from a training load and a virus at the same time, your nuts.

Rest. At your advanced age you don't want a simple cold to manifest itself into something larger (bronchitis, walking pneumonia, something worse).

Remember this comes from the person who has had viral symptoms for approximately 5 weeks and raced San Dimas coughing up oysters.

Train on.

cook

Marco Fanelli said...

In summary, I clearly had initial symptoms of a cold Monday morning, I took it easy (mostly) M-F, and feel fine today (Sat) and went pretty hard. So far, so good...

Your mileage may vary.