“Coach, I’m sick, should I train?”

Our immediate answer is NO…but…it depends…

However, there are a few things you should consider when you’re contemplating showing up but also feeling under the weather:

1. Body signals – your body’s signals are a very good determinant on what you should/shouldn’t do. But, how “in tune” are you with these signals? Can you tell if you’re really sick or do you simply think you’re sick? Having experience in the “listening” department can go a long way and if you’re unsure then I’d recommend you get in tune with what your body’s trying to tell you before you jump to conclusions. When it comes down to it, the best way to find out is to try it out. If you feel like you’re pushing yourself into something you just physically don’t have the strength or energy to do then don’t force it. Period.

2. High intensity training – Weight lifting and breathing really hard don’t mix well with fighting off illnesses. When your immune system is suppressed, resistance training, long endurance training and high intensity style training will only worsen your case. Instead of hard training, think about reducing the intensity significantly and going for a long walk, foam rolling, bike ride or something more restorative based. This type of exercise will probably help your current condition more than hurt you.

3. Be mindful of your surroundings! – what I mean by this is think about what else might be affected by you showing up sick? Are your coaches and your community members susceptible to catching what you have? The same goes for the equipment you touch, will it be affected? Take into account the risk vs reward on showing up sick or simply skipping an extra day to allow your body to truly recover.

Next time you run into this predicament, ask yourself these few questions to assess whether training is worth it for that day:
  • How severe is the illness?
  • Did you just recently get sick?
  • Are you coming off an illness?
  • Is it contagious?
  • How in tune are you with your body’s signals?

If there is any uncertainty on any of the above questions, it may be best to hold off and allow your body to fully recover. And don’t worry, taking an extra couple days off won’t hurt your fitness. Trust us, you’ll be ok 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *