Training when ill

It always seems to be the way, you get to the weekend, with big plans for back-to-back long runs, or something similarly ambitious that you can’t do during the week, and then you wake up on Saturday morning with what is clearly the beginning of a cold. It’s not that bad, but we all know we shouldn’t overtrain when ill: running, especially in cold air, can worsen problems in the nasal passages and respiratory tract, while elevating your heart rate when you have a fever can cause your temperature to rise dangerously high.

  
So, hopefully you will wisely park your most ambitious plans, but what can you do? I found myself in this frustrating position this weekend, and settled for the following:

  • Saturday, no run, but a long walk, eating well, and taking advantage of the time not spent running to do a proper stretching, rolling and flexibility session of the kind I rarely get time for. Time spent working on flexibility is rarely time wasted, so at least I feel I’ve got something out of the day.
  • Sunday, a gentle 4-mile run focusing on heart rate rather than speed, to ensure I wasn’t over-exerting myself.

Must-have kit list for an ill running weekend:

  • Heart rate monitor
  • Foam roller
  • Lemsip.

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