Training with the cold – Carry on or recover?

Exercising whilst suffering with the cold and appropriate periods of rest have long been debated with varying answers depending on what you read and believe so here’s my take on it.

Exercising with a cold is fine as long as its in the head and hasn’t spread to the chest. If it has then you should rest until the bug has cleared and begin slowly on the first session back just in case. This becomes a tricky issue when you are a Personal Trainer. It’s easy to think that we can just soldier on and work through it but we also have a duty of care to our clients. One thing I try to discourage is clients coming for a session whilst affected by a bug or a virus on the principle that they might not necessarily get as much out of a workout and, more importantly, I don’t want heir germs. I had to bear this in mind and this resulted in me taking a couple of days off until I felt better. I also had the concern that this time off wasnt brilliant timing, being bang in the middle of marathon training.

Having taken a whole week off, I was anticipating a hard run today and being a bit off pace so I abandoned my usual speed drill session in favour of heading our with friends from Perth Road Runners. My usual speed drills involve me running at 85% of my top pace so the session could’ve been done anyway albeit the average mile pace being slightly slower. We followed a route with a gradual incline from the North Inch towards Scone and then up past Murrayshall Hotel then back through Scone, through Quarrymill then back to the North Inch and a lap to the finish. I was delighted to find myself speeding up on the inclines and also going downhill although I wasn’t exactly “going for it”. I was pleased to find that my speed sessions on routes involving hills were working however, I was delighted to find that in the last couple of miles, I felt stronger and ran faster and ran a ‘bonus’ lap of the inch as a result and also to take the distance of the run up to 14 miles.

My conclusion was that my body had thanked me for taking the time off to recover from the bug and allowed me to put in a performance that showed I hadn’t really lost anything as a result of missing sessions during the week and proved that the training I have been doing so far has worked and will help me get the marathon time I am aiming for as long as I’m consistent with my training.

This is proof that it is more sensible to listen to your body and take some rest when it’s under attack from some form of bug in order to get rid of it quicker rather than ploughing on regardless and risk prolonging the period of illness.

Another step closer to my goal!


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