One of the hardest things for me is getting slammed with sickness right as your training is amping up. Sickness, I think, is truly a karma thing, it always seems to happen at the most inconvenient time. The first time this happened, I wanted to push through, man up and just run it out. Now, with some more experience under my belt, I recognize the surprising benefits that an icky sick day can bring.
Yes, being sick makes you feel lousy, tired, and gross, but think of it as a signal from your body that you aren’t getting enough of the things you need. Whenever I get sick, I reflect on the last few weeks and think, is there something that I’m not getting enough of to keep me healthy? As runners, we are putting a lot of strain on our bodies, and you need to be sure to keep up your base of vitamins, nutrients and most importantly water. This most recent sickness, I think, is a combo of lack of vitamins and training (true life: my winter break has made my running schedule lazy).
But seriously, think about it. Sometimes your sickness can be traced right back to a lack of sleep, not enough water in your daily routine, or maybe your body being completely run down. Try to look at your sick days (as icky as they can be) as a time to take a break from your regular routine and get your body back up to 100%. Chug your water, take lots of vitamins, and the best part, sleep the day away. Some of my favorite remedies are Emergen-C packets, that are packed full of vitamins your body needs to fight off your illness, the tried and true Vicks vapor rub, and the occasional bubble bath. Just be sure to take the day off, I guarantee it’ll do your body good.
Take it from someone who has tried running through a runny nose, manning up sometimes just wears you down. While your out for the count on your sick day, cheer up and think about how much better you’ll feel out on your next run!