With the weather stubbornly hanging in the 40's longer than usual, tons of people are getting sick. I've been teetering on the brink of sickness all winter, but luckily (*knock on wood*) I haven't been hit yet. However, I know that if I do end up getting sick, how detrimental it can be to my training.
I came across this little rule of thumb while researching marathon training last spring. There is a trick to training while you're sick, and it's pretty easy to remember:
If your sickness is above your neck, it's OK TO TRAIN!
- Head colds
- Sinus infections
If you're feeling dizzy or faint, get your rest, but if you just have a cold or a mild headache, it's typically okay to lace up and hit the road.
If your sickness is below your neck, it's NOT OK TO TRAIN!
- Stomach bugs
- Chest colds
These are ailments that usually take a long time to recover from, and your body needs all the energy it can get to fight it off. The best thing to do is to take a few days off to let your body recover. If you still feel the need to exercise when you're experiencing a below-the-neck sickness, try something low-impact like some band exercises or yoga.
Obviously, I'm not a doctor, and this rule probably won't work for everyone, but I find that it's a good way to figure out if I should push through the pain or sit out a day or two. Gauge how you feel, and go from there, and if you're really not sure, check with your doctor or athletic trainer before continuing your training regimen.
Good luck, and stay healthy! Spring will come soon! (I hope...)