Tuesday, 26 June 2012

The Effects of Illness

Last week I learned a bit more about how illness - even an apparently mild cold - can effect fitness. I'd had a cold over the previous weekend, and having missed most of my runs, I was looking forward to getting stuck in again last week.

However, things didn't turn out as I had hoped. On Monday I wanted to run 10 miles, but felt very sluggish and slow, and cut the run short to 6.2miles.

Found a great new route across a field and over train tracks!

 On Tuesday, I had to pop in to work in the afternoon, when I normally would have done a bike ride. I decided to cycle to work, as it's only about 3.5 miles away, and I did, but my legs felt really heavy, and I found a long uphill more difficult than usual.

I did my usual 4 mile early morning run on Wednesday, and was a bit slower than usual, at 8.56 min/miles pace. I thought I was almost back to normal, but then on Friday I had a terrible headache. This was a product of all the congestion in my head , and something I often get after a cold.

Adfter a lot of humming and haaing, I did run on Friday, but only after taking ibuprofen, and it wasn't a great run, at 9.05 min/mile pace for 5 miles.

Later I listened to Jillian Michaels' podcast, in which she criticised people for continuing to workout when ill. I knew she was right. Really, what good are you doing yourself? I just didn't want my mileage count for June to be too badly affected - how ridiculous!

So when I still had a terrible headache all weekend, I didn't run. I did have a little bike ride, but I spent a lot of  time in a dark room, waiting to get better (and watching the UK athletic Olympic Trials - great!).

Now I'm feeling more human, but not back to 100% yet. So I'm going to give myself a break, and not push myself too hard. Logically I know that this is not the time to train hard - hopefully I've got plenty more weeks of injury and illness-free running ahead, before I do any races.

In total last week, I ran 3 times, which amounted to 15.2 miles, and cycled 16.1 miles. Not bad for a bit of a wiped out week!


  1. I totally agree - why do we do this to ourselves when we're not feeling well? It really makes no sense! I've also been taking things very easy since I've been sick and not beating myself up for it.

  2. PS Hope you're feeling better soon!

  3. I"m always afraid if I stop running I will never start again. I hate not to do a planned run.

  4. It's always a little surprising how much a bout of sickness can affect us and how long it can take to get over it. I hope the worst of it's behind you now and you're feeling a lot better.

  5. Ugh! Hope that stuff vacates the body soon. Good job keeping up with a few workouts though...I'm sure it felt good to do something.

  6. Bugs abound over here too :( I hope you are feeling better ASAP!

  7. Yeah, a little bit of any bug really mucks up my running, too. I've had pneumonia and bronchitis so often that I won't run at all if I have even the slightest chest thing going on.

    I hope you feel better soon, Liz!

    My Running Shortz