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When your body is telling you to rest…

23 Mar

It happens to us all…we work hard, train hard, and push and push – until our body finally kicks back and says STOP. That’s been me for the last 5 days – sick with flu and absolutely no training- it sucks!

I have a fairly demanding job, life and top that with trying to train hard I knew when having a few days away from work that I would cop it. I woke up on the first day and felt under the weather and went downhill from there.

Normally with running if it is in my head and not below my neck I will train, but this went straight on my chest so I stopped. You know when you get that rattle in your chest when breathing? Yep that’s been me. I have been a bit fed up but it has also been good to stop.

Still not feeling great so just waiting until my body allows me to train again, and in the mean time I have been reading and working out my next phase on training and getting my eating back on track after having a few days of not eating LCHF all the time. 

There are heaps of articles about running and sickness. A few things I have learned over the years based on my experience are:

1. If it doesn’t feel 100% right and not like a normal cold then go to the doctor and don’t train until you know things are ok and you feel better.*

2. If it is any sort of sickness that travels to your chest slow right down or stop training.

3. Enjoy the rest. It is clearly your body saying you need it.

4. Don’t stress it and panic you’ll suddenly gain a gazillion kg just because you haven’t trained for a gew days. Seriously if you rely on training that much to maintain your weight you have issues. Diet is the most important and training is secondary. 

5. Use the time to plan your goals, think about how things are going and be productive if you really can’t have a few days not concentrating on training. 

6. Feed that cold with food and water. Stay warm and hydrated. I am a shocker at drinking water but have guzzled lots the last few days.

7. Stay well. Feeling better and recovering from a cold/flu/virus is more important than going back to training sooner. Especially if you have a race coming up or when you are sick. If you do have a race and wake up feeling unwell take it easy and don’t push it (or if feeling really bad – dont run it!!) hard as it could end up far worse than just a few days off training. 

*I’m not a doctor and I always write based on my experience, so ALWAYS seek professional advice and do not take my posts as any form of that..if unwell please see a doctor.

Anyway next time I post I am hoping to be back running and feeling better! 

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Training when sick?

20 Jul

I’ve been offline for the last week or so as both my husband, baby M and I all got sick and it’s been a nightmare. Luckily I wasn’t too bad so it meant I could keep going for everyone but meant I was really tired and visits to the gym went out the window.

I know a good number of people that come rain or shine and sick or not they still train.

Do you train when sick?cold

As soon as I feel unwell I cut right back on training especially cardio and when in a gym environment I am a strong believer that I shouldn’t go as I could pass whatever it is I have onto other people and that’s not fair not to mention I could make myself even worse.

As a runner I really do take it seriously when sick as I have been in a number of races over the last 11 years where people have lined up on the start line and someone has died! A lot of the time it has been an experienced runner who had a virus and didn’t realise they had a virus and thought it was just a cold and pushed it with a fatal result.

Here are a few tips to consider when feeling under the weather and wondering whether to train *

1. Feeling warm?

If you have a high temperature then that can be a good indication that you should take things easy or lay off training completely. Get yourself along to the doctor rather than the gym!

2. Slow down

Feeling slightly under the weather but still want to train – just slow down – instead of those sprints maybe consider an elevated walk, weights or a slow jog and see how it goes. Struggling when slowing down then it’s definitely time to to go to the doctor and stop training.

3. Know your body 

You know yourself better than anyone and if you really do not feel right then simply don’t train. It’s not worth it in the long run you will make things worse and end up unable to train for a lot longer than if you had rested when not feeling well at the start.

Further reading

Womens Health & Fitness published a great article about training when sick you might find interesting too.

*please note these are just my opinions and I am not a qualified doctor/trainer etc so always consult your doctor/physician when starting exercise or feeling unwell or if you have questions regarding your exercise.

Turning a corner – Tips for finding motivation when not being able to train

1 Jun

I posted a while ago that I was frustrated at not being able to run at the moment due to some medical issues. It’s really hard when you are used to doing something you love (I have been running for 11+ years) and are told to stop.

I have gone through a number of psychological emotions and feel like I am finally getting used to the idea.

Initially being told to not run for a while made me rebellious and determined to train as usual – not the best option especially when medical bills start coming in. And then I went through the depressed state of realising that I wasn’t meant to be training and admitting to myself that I should stop training – I felt quite isolated from running friends and suddenly went from seeing lots of people to hardly any at all. I also felt depressed seeing when other people were going running and I wasn’t able to. Then I felt miserable and I didn’t want to see running friends because I was fed up at not being able to run and wanted to stop all the questions around why I wasn’t training.

It's hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

It’s hard when we are unable to train but keeping positive and upbeat is the key.

And then I turned a corner.

I decided enough was enough with the pity party. It isn’t going to be forever that  I can’t train much, just the situation I have found myself in right now.

Here are  a few tips for keeping positive and motivated when you can’t train.

Encourage friends – become the encourager

If you are in the same situation and not being able to train I urge you not to isolate yourself but to become the encourager.

I have made it my mission to keep in touch with friends and to encourage them in their training. It’s great to see how well some of the people I have been running with for a while are now doing – that’s the great thing about running – keep doing it and you will see progress.

Volunteer

Volunteering is a great way to keep connected with the sport you love even if you can’t do it.

I decided to volunteer with an established running group and went along for the first time today and it was great.

I was the run ‘photographer’ which was perfect me being an avid photographer and I photographed people as they started and finished the race – it was great fun being a spectator for a change and seeing how hard people were working and cheering them on to finish. I found even though I wasn’t able to be one of the runners that I felt every bit as involved and I will be doing it on a regular basis as well as hopefully soon taking part in the run itself.

Plan for when you can train 

I am already planning my races for when  I can train again and have the New York full Marathon, Sydney Half, Melbourne Half and Gold Coast full Marathon in mind for 2014/15 and I am seeing my not training hard now as rest time as I know once I am fully training again it’s going to be a lot of work to get back to where I was and some – but it is giving me  real motivation to know what’s around the corner.

Stay positive

It’s very easy to fall into that trap of being negative and ‘woe is me’ because something isn’t going your way but it’s a lot healthier to stay focussed, positive and surrounding yourself with positive people. The negative ones have to go especially when you are going through things you need friends to support you with, and keep those positive affirmations up.  I have a few awesome friends who have been there for me and who I can chat to about all sorts of things, and helps keep me going.

Do what you can within your limits

Walking, weights and my XBox 360 have become my friend of late. I walk with my lovely friend 4+ times a week and we drag our dogs out, and then I have a few fitness games on the XBox which are surprisingly effective that I have been doing as well. I am also able to still do weights within reason so I am trying to keep my fitness up as much as I can so when it is time to go back to training it won’t be from zero. Depending on why you can’t train have a think about what is within your ability and go for it.

Plan to treat yourself to stay focussed

I know for me, when I am able to train again I have money aside to buy a new road bike and also new running kit to celebrate being able to train again. Figured there was no point right now buying the bike until I can actually use it but it’s good to have something to look forward to to motivate and keep you even more focussed when training starts again.

Stay on track with eating 

The first thing I did when I was told I couldn’t run for a while was turn to Ice Cream and snacks in feeling miserable. I soon found that – that came with consequences – 3kg of them! I have got most of the weight back off now but it was scary how easy it was to become a different person eating wise just because I couldn’t train and felt down. Gaining weight and feeling miserable about it go hand in hand so I have tried to stay focussed and continue as normal with my healthy eating.

Most of all though – remember you are not alone. Lots of people are unable to train and it all comes down to how you choose to deal with it. It is hard and frustrating – but hang in there and try and stay positive.  

Hope these tips help. If you have any others feel free to share in the comments box below.

Happy weekend and happy training!

Sick again and missed the Mothers Day 4k :-(

13 May

I am feeling sorry for myself today.

For the last 4 days I have been stuck in bed, (or when not I should have been) with a cold. I have been training so well and was all set for the Mother’s Day race which took place today without me participating. My friend ran and did very well but I had to stay away and was not happy. I’ve been training hard and was so annoyed that this week had to be the week I was sick. It seems to be going round at the moment so I was very unlucky.

I really wanted to do the Mothers Day as it was for a great cause and I was finally going to race again, but alas it was not to be, and hey for all the mothers out there – Happy Mothers Day! My mother has to get used to having her Mothers Day card on the Australian date as I never remember the UK date!

Happy Mothers Day mum! Hope you got the card! 

The body never lies

I must admit I felt really lethargic in training about 4 days before I got sick, I figured it was all the training I was doing catching up with me, now I know better. My HR was up as well so I should listen to my body more often! If I had slowed down earlier I might not have been so sick for so long!

My favourite item at the moment is currently the tissue which is helping me get through the day as well as strepsils and my all important Nespresso machine! I’m also addicted to would you believe, Semolina – it’s stodgy and awesome as I am finding I want to eat story food whilst sick, a salad just doesn’t cut it – give me soup, mashed potato and semolina and I am a very happy sick girl!

I am over being sick but almost there. I figure when you get to the tissue phase it’s on its way out so I am preparing to be better and to get back into my trainers!

Here’s to another week of training once I get better!

Have a good week.