The Unelite Athlete

What’s the trick when you’re sick?

It’s that time of year again, where there’s so many colds and viruses flying about with all the coughing and sneezing, and getting wet, getting dry, then getting wet again, it’s so easy to find yourself under the weather.

I had a throat infection for 2 weeks, right after my first run back after a short break, which was frustrating. Going back a couple of years I would have trained through it. I would have ran my normal mileage and did cross training on the days when I felt fatigued.

It wasn’t until last October when I was in Scotland doing an ultra, in some spectacular hills, where I got soaked during the race and ended up losing my voice come Monday morning, that I learned some simple advice.

I had went to the doctor, looking for some antibiotics to clear it up, and learned that for a virus, paracetamol along with lots of water and plenty of rest, is the best medicine. So that’s the advice I took and guess what…it works. So no more training for me when I am not well. It doesn’t do any good.

I find that training with a virus just makes me feel unfit. My heart rate is increased, my body overheats and I don’t get near the pace I want. All that means for me is that, I’m dehydrated, fatigued and feeling worse for going out, than staying in.

So what do I do instead? Some people like sweating it out of them, which can work if you are indoors and keeping well hydrated. I stick to the simple stuff that can be forgot about when I’m in the swing of running up the miles. Stretching!

So many times it’s overlooked. The simple part of aiding recovery and also getting that feeling that you’ve looked after your body. It’s a great way to get you loosened up while you get over an illness, and it stops the habit of sitting on the sofa eating. I’m definitely guilty of that!

That is my take on it. As someone who has tried training through because I’m in the middle of a plan, or pushing hard to hit the target pace, it’s not for me. I prefer taking the rest and coming back strong.

It would be interesting to hear some other thoughts on the subject. Or maybe there is another subject that you’d like my take on. Let me know, and don’t forget to give my FB page a like, if you haven’t already.

Catch up with you soon,



Ulster Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 10-14 John Street, Omagh, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland, BT781DW