The goal of this blog is “learning from my mistakes.” That’s exactly what I’m doing right now. I’m sick. It’s no fun. What makes it worse is that there are a million things I’d rather be doing right now than trying to get better and get back to normal life.

But, it could be worse. I could be laying in bed I’m so sick. I could be 2 weeks or less from my A race. But I’m not. I’m 5 weeks out and still able to function. And the best part is that I think I have learned from my mistakes in the past and I’m handling my training better this time around. So, how do you handle training when your sick?

Hydrate
The number one thing you need to do is to stay hydrated. That should be an everyday practice, especially for athletes, but even more so when you are sick. Drink lots of water, and even hot liquids. As I type this I’m sipping on some Skratch Labs Warm Apples and Cinnamon. This morning my wife made me drink honey and lemon water. Drink, drink, drink!

Rest
Again, this is a no brainer. We know we need to rest, but we just want to keep going. Take it easy. Put your feet up. Treat this like a recovery week… or at least a recovery few days. Your body is recovering just like after a race or particularly hard workout. All your systems are stressed and training to fight that cold, so don’t add any more stress to the system.

Light Exercise
I know I just told you to rest, but if you don’t feel too bad, try some light exercise. Getting the heart erase up will help open your airways and dialate blood vessels. It gets all your systems moving so you can get more oxygen and energy to the parts of your body that need it the most. This is all on a person to person basis and depends totally on how you feel. The general rule is that if your sickness is above the shoulders, you are safe to go ahead and exercise. I still wouldn’t go too hard, but don’t feel like you are totally sidelined.

This is the area that gets me the most. Earlier this week I felt good enough to get a bike ride in, but the last two days I’ve been taking it completely off. A few years ago I would have thought “man, its above the shoulders, I can go ride!” And that’s exactly how I gave myself the worst case of bronchitis I’ve ever had… ok… the only case of it, but it was totally exercise induced. I went for a hard hour on the bike and when I came back I had the worst pain ever in my chest. I think I learned my lesson.

So, don’t feel like you have to get out there and keep training. You won’t loose fitness that fast. Your number one priority is to rest and get better. And HYDRATE! Did I say that already?