What I Do When I’m Not Feeling 100%

Ever since Saturday morning, I have felt slightly off. I’m not super sick, but I have a little bit of congestion, and I’ve been sleeping a lot more than normal. The other concerning factor was that on Tuesdays ride I got into low tempo a few times on the climbs and my chest had some pain.

Unfortunately, getting sick is something that happens to most people every once in a while. I have found that if I get enough sleep, and eat healthy foods, getting sick is super uncommon. But even despite my best efforts, every year or so, it seems something small comes around.

Thankfully, with this illness the symptoms are very mild. But they’re strong enough to make me re-think my training a little bit. I had planned for 16 hours on the bike, and a couple of hours skiing, and 5-10 minutes a day of strength work this week. But I’ve pulled back a little bit due to not feeling well and will probably end up with closer to 12 hours on the bike and one hour skiing, and I’ve skipped strength a couple of days.

The reason I back off is because if I push hard while training, it can make the sickness worse, or prolong it’s effects. And next week I’m racing on Friday and Saturday in Missoula MT and I want to be fully healthy by then. I would rather have less ideal training and feel 100% healthy on race day, than to have ideal training and feel a little bit sick.

The other element I always work in when I’m not feeling well is more yoga. Not hard yoga, but easy, relaxing yoga. I find that engaging in yoga allows me to get a better sense of how my body is feeling, and what kind of stress it can take on. It also is a great stress relief and for me I have seen it improve my recovery time from both illness, and training fatigue. It’s so good for both the mind and the body. It is my opinion that yoga is one of the most under-utilized tools available to cyclists.

I also buckle down on my nutrition when I feel a little bit under the weather. I completely eliminate sugar, and dairy, and try to really listen to my body, getting lot’s of good vegetables, and staying hydrated.

When I feel sickness coming on, I’ve found it to be really helpful to be really careful with my training, nutrition, and sleep, as soon as I notice any symptoms. This has allowed many illnesses to come and go with minimal damage, allowing me to get back to normal training as quickly as possible.

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