Wednesday, June 4, 2008

How sick is too sick?

I’ve recovered well from my flu, and am feeling a lot better. I still have a lingering cough; the remnants of a bronchial infection. However, I am always unsure of when it is safe to start training after flu. We’ve all heard horror stories about guys dropping dead because the decided to run a marathon too soon after a bout of flu.

This then begs the question: How sick is too sick to train? I found this at

“A good rule of thumb is that if symptoms are confined to the neck or above, it is probably fine to work out but at a reduced level initially and then advance the intensity and duration as tolerated. On the other hand, if symptoms occur below the neck, one should rest until the problem resolves. A fever means the body’s temperature regulation centre already has its hands full and may not be able to tolerate additional physical stress of training. Exercising with a fever can also be a recipe for dehydration. Muscle aches, diarrhoea, and difficulty breathing all indicate that an infection is more serious and that the body needs rest in order to heal.”

So if I still have chest problems (ie below the neck) I shouldn’t train. But I don’t have a fever any more, so is it alright? Well, I think that training at a reduced level should be OK, as long as I don’t induce a coughing fit, at which point I’ll be forced to back off anyhow.

I guess I’ll be riding alone though; the last thing any cyclist wants is someone coughing their germs all over the bunch!

Thanks for reading.