Thursday, February 17, 2011


Over the last week now, I have been enjoying getting back into my routine of training, and trying to get back to full compliance with my training plan after nearly the whole predecing week battling sickness. It seems like nearly everyone is sick these days. Jocelyn has been battling different bugs and infections, a few of the athletes I coach have bad sicknesses, and a lot of my coworkers are sick as well. I came down with a moderate intensity stomach flu the night of 2/3, it seemed right in the middle of my bike workout for the day. I was churning it out, doing some low-cadence intervals and I could just see my power numbers dropping as the workout went on, my stomach became more and more unsettled, and I also was becoming increasingly lightheaded and woozy. Friday through Super Bowl weekend was pretty bad with hardly any appetite to speak of, and just general stomach discomfort, nausea and malaise. I thought I was better by the following Monday, but then it came back with a vengeance. Luckily all along I wasn't actually getting sick and vomiting at all, but there was a fair amount of option #2, the Big D. Sorry for the gory details, but you all should know by now that I don't pull any punches with my blog writeups! So in anycase, just about a week later I was just getting over the never ending stomach flu, just in time for a three day stretch of scheduled trainer rides for last weekend! I did three solid rides in about 40 hours time from Friday night through Sunday morning, and really got some good work in for the legs, but my nether regions were definitely being tested as well!
All in all though I have fallen back into the routine of training and it hasn't been too difficult to
get back on track. I am really hoping that this will be it for significant sicknesses for this winter season and am really going to make more of a concerted effort than usual to stay healthy and avoid ambient germs.

Good read on EC's website that seems particularly applicable to me right now, entitled Close that Window: Infection Risk Following Strenuous Exercise by Bob Albright, D.O.

There are some really good points in there, and while some are totally obvious and ones any serious endurance athlete should already be doing, like get adequate sleep and hydration, the one big one that I am extremely guilty of is touching my face way too often. It's a bad habit that as a teenager would give you zits, but now I am more concerned about all of the nasty bacteria and viruses that I am likely transferring too close to my mucous membranes. Not good! So I will try my best to cut this bad practice out and then do all of the other good things to stay healthy and moving forward. Then of course there is the old guideline that if you do get sick and it is of the cold variety, use the neck test. Symptoms above the neck, ok to do light exercise, but if it's below your neck and you can feel mucous seated in your chest, it's best to sit it out until that clears up. It's better to sacrifice some workouts in the short-term and get better sooner, rather than dig yourself a deeper hole and compromise long-term health and training consistency.

Here's hoping that everyone stays healthy and is getting in some quality training. Spring is just around the corner!


James Thornton said...

Hi, Jeremy.

Excellent blog as always and very informative.

I would like to add one item I gleaned from an interview I did sometime in the distant past about touching ones face--particularly nose, mouth, and eyes--and the role this plays in transmitting cold and other viruses.

You are correct in writing this is a very common means of transmission. However, the likelihood of we humans being able to stop it appears next to nil.

This, the source (an expert in infectious disease) told me, was brought home pretty forcefully by studies of surgeons in the operating room.

If anyone should know how critical it is to avoid bringing hands to face it's these guys: scrubbed up, disinfected, and masked scalpel-wielding surgeons who have been told their entire professional lives not to touch their noses, PARTICULARLY DURING AN OPERATION.

But still, it turns out, they do it. The reflex is so strong and unconscious that we humans just can't help ourselves.

Good luck with your attempts here, but don't feel too guilty if your success rate is not any higher than the surgical community's.

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