Training Through Sickness

By Wayne Kurtz

We all face it, the flu, cold, virus, etc. and how much can we train through the misery. Questions such as do we just stop training and wait for full recovery or just train through it. It’s the time of the year of the flu season so be prepared and the main goal is to get your body back as quickly as possible to regular training but not regressing into the sickness again.

Training while Sick

I have found through the years, especially after an intensive or key event (my immune system is low) that I get sick. We all have higher than normal pain thresholds and sometimes-just push “through it”. It’s important to evaluate how you feel and in most cases you can continue training through the cold, sore throat, or flu like symptoms. However, your energy levels will be reduced thus allowing for a shorter less intense workout. If your facing a fever, no training! General cold like symptoms can be miserable but many times running outside can clear your head and offer a cleansing feeling. You might feel excessive fatigue (which tells me you might of pushed to hard or went to long) after training with a sickness. Focus on immediate replenishment of electrolytes and calories as you may become dehydrated quicker (especially if your taking some medication). I have found that cycling on an indoor trainer or slow jogging on the treadmill work very well to get the workout in but keep the effects of the environment out of the equation.

The common cold and minor flu like symptoms are the easiest to continue training. In many cases, if I experience just a cold I will continue along with normal intensity workouts. If you are facing significant sickness issues then reduce or eliminate all training until your feel your energy back on track. Yes common sense prevails but for minor sickness test it and go by your own feel of training vs. energy. Remember, the key is not to get a setback, which can just lengthen the time to be back to 100%.

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