This week I had a cold, but you can still train with a cold, right? Well, sometimes…
I go by the rule that if the symptoms are above the neck, so, runny nose, sore throat etc you can train but if the symptoms are below the neck like a chest infection or flu then don’t train.
In a study done at Ball State University in America, they had two groups of 30 runners. They inoculated both groups with the common cold. All symptoms were above the neck, so no fever or body aches and pains just nasal symptoms, headaches etc. One group didn’t train for a week and the other group ran every day for 30 to 40 minutes each day. The study showed at the end that there was no difference between the groups with respect to severity or duration of their cold symptoms.
Having said that you do need to listen to your body. If you are suffering from more than a minor cold, are really fatigued or have a temperature, it is better to take a few days rest now than risk potentially prolonging your illness by pushing yourself to run.
So, my Life Fit running buddies and I did 10km on Wednesday, 8km on Thursday and then our long run was 20km. My cold had not improved and if anything was quite a bit worse but symptoms still above the neck so I was running. I got all my gear ready the night before; Vaseline to prevent chafing (my friend Zoye’s tip which worked a treat!); neurofen for my Achilles tendonitis issue; Armaforce to treat my cold; electrolyte drink for hydration; Gastro stop, well to stop….you know.
So running gear all laid out, off to bed nice and early to get a good restorative night’s sleep.
That was the plan.
It worked until 3am when dear hubby started snoring (after a night at the pub with, I hate to say it, two of my running pals, Ant and Geoff, who, I might add, were noticeably absent the next morning for our run!!!!!!)
So from 3am I was awake! Not great prep for a run. Anyway got up at 5am and took all my concoctions, loaded my fuel belt with water and gels and headed out.
We started off on our 20km run with a 5km loop around Kiama then headed off to beautiful Minnamurra for the rest of the run.
By 5km I felt awful! My legs were heavy and tired and I started getting stomach cramps. My mind was working overtime “Just ignore it, keep running, it won’t last, don’t worry, it will be fine”. At 10km I took my first gel. By 13km I was in desperate need of a toilet, “Oh My God, where is the toilet, am I going to make it, oh there it is up ahead, out of my way old man!!”
Finally reached the public toilet and……. Well you can guess the rest.
I don’t know how long I spent in that blessed toilet, delayed somewhat by the tiny little squares of toilet paper!
I finished my run in a record slow time with an average pace of 6.09min/km.
When you have a really bad run the most important thing is to learn from it. What I learnt: