This is a complex topic but many people ask me what they should do when they feel sick or have a cold.
I’m going to explain what do I do and what is my personal experience about this for the last 20 years of training for rowing.
First I want to say loud and clear that this is MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, WHAT I HAVE DONE and WHAT I DO.
If you are part of a ROWING TEAM ASK YOUR COACH and FOLLOW HIS ADVICE. This is my personal experience and what I do. I coach myself SO I MAKE MY OWN CHOICES.
If I have fever I DON’T WORKOUT at ALL! If I’m taking a fever reducer and don’t have fever I don’t workout.
If I don’t have fever but feel sick this is what I do:
Ok let’s here list the 4 more classic scenarios i get exposed to:
1) I decided to train and do what it was scheduled and It was a hard workout and keep with my normal day.
2) I decided to train and reduce volume and intensity and sweat it out and keep with my normal day.
3) I decided to rest but keep with my normal day of school, work.
4) I decided to rest all day.
Here I’m going to list 4 possible situations I can be on:
a) If I’m part of a Team and I’m fighting for a seat or selection and my coach doesn’t like people calling sick.
b) I have a very busy school or work load and cannot afford to miss one day of work.
c) I can take time off to recover no problem.
d) How seriously I take my training and performance, what my real goals are with my rowing or what my life really can give to rowing at this moment, family, work…
ok now let’s talk about my personal experience.
The SMARTEST choice to take when you feel sick is to don’t WORKOUT but this is not what I do. I like to decide as I go. If I feel sick I always reduce the volume and the intensity and many times the idea of sweat it out works well for me. It is not the same for everybody. I have done hard workouts when I have felt sick and have gotten much worst. This is a decision many rowers take because they feel bad not working out. This is a hard one because you can make things much worst.
Another issue here is how your life day goes. If you have a good control of your day and work load and can take a day off or rest at home, then if you risk getting worst by training you can then rest and stay home.
If you cannot afford to take a day off and need to keep going, then things can get really bad and you might just get on this non stop bad direction where you might end up really sick.
As you get more years of training and experience also you get to know better and better your body.
Your body is like a clock and it works perfectly if you are consistent and pay attention to details and feedback from it.
If I’m going rowing and I don’t feel sick but feel really tired I know that there is something going on on my body that might not have shown up yet but is already there.
Training is a good way to be able to anticipate sickness. Rowers are so connected to their bodies that can easily feel when something is wrong. If you feel that something is wrong, stop the pieces or the hard work and just do easy rowing. Let’s keep like that until you feel better.
Lactate work and high intensity work are hard on your body and make you more vulnerable to getting sick.
If you have plenty of work at high intensity, you have more chances to get sick. Just be sure you pay attention to your daily performance on the water and on the ergo and if you see a drop of speed it might that something si going on. It can be overtraining or that you are getting sick.
Obviously if you are an elite athlete and use overtraining as part of your strategy to get stronger and don’t get sick then you can keep going but I believe this is only the 0.001 of the rowing population out there and sure enough not me.
To finish I would like to give the TOP 5 KEY DIRECTIONS I use for me if I feel sick:
1) If I have fever I stay home and don’t workout.
2) If I feel sick, don’t have fever but have a busy day, I don’t workout! The day by itself is a workout!
3) If I feel sick, have an easy day but feel like not working out, I don’t!
4) If I feel sick, have an easy day but feel like working out easy, I try but I go easy and don’t go outside if it is raining or too cold or both.
5) If I feel sick, have an easy day and feel like doing what it is scheduled, I use to take the risk and it could go either way. I still do sometimes and feel bad when things get worst! I think:
WHY DIDN’T I JUST REST? MAYBE MY INSIDE VOICE IS TELLING ME THAT NOT WORKING OUT IS NOT GOOD FOR ME WHEN I’M REALLY NOT MAKING SMART CHOICES FOR MYSELF…..