In this week’s podcast episode the team discussed how to train (or not) while battling a cold/illness. I recently posted a blog on what I monitor or adjust while training during a cold/illness, and I also shared some of the daily choices I make to help support athlete immunity.
What do you monitor or change with training if you are battling a cold/illness?
Here are some areas that I continuously monitor during a cold or illness:
Nutrition/Supplementation: I will pay close attention to nutrition during a cold or illness. I increase citrus and berry consumption. I will decrease the consumption of wheat. I avoid excess sugar and sodium. I typically increase ascorbic acid to (5,000-10,000mg per day) and lung/sinus/bronchial support (2-3 tablets, three times per day).
Hydration: Got water? Lots of it? Drink up. Sure, it increases the trips to the bathroom, but it also helps support the body and recovery.
Heart Rate: I will keep a close eye on my heart rate during training and while resting. If unusually high, greater than 10 bpm of typical, I will reduce the intensity or duration of my training sessions.
Fever: No training. It is not worth the risk.
Sinus/Chest Congestion: In general, I have found that continued training, even if reduced, can help to clear and move sinus and chest congestion. I will remain indoor on a trainer (for bike) or treadmill (for runs) if the outside air temperature is below 50°F/10°C. If the congestion does not improve, I will reduce or stop training depending on the severity.
Sauna: We love our infrared sauna, especially during the winter months. The increased heat warms the body, sinuses, and lungs helping to improve circulation, recovery, and healing.
Rest: Should this be at the top of the list? Probably. It’s easy to say that six-or-seven hours of sleep is enough. We’re all different, but eight or more, minimum, is best when battling a cold.