[056] Sick, again

Swim: 2,000 m/46,000 m

Bike: 0/149.1 miles

Run: 0/75.8 miles

On Friday evening, the same day as my bike/run brick from my last post, I started feeling those familiar twinges of soreness in the throat that signal sickness. It doesn’t seem like anything major – pretty much the same thing I experienced in early February that kept me out of the gym and off the streets for a week or two. The main symptom, other than congestion, is the overwhelming feeling of fatigue – I can take a two-hour afternoon nap and still not feel any better.

This puts kind of a damper on my training plans. With a 10k coming up in only two weeks, this coming week was set to be an important one in the build-up to that event. I had hoped for at least one more longer run before the event, plus another speed session or two before starting a short taper in the latter part of next week. I still may be able to get in an easier, longer run next weekend, depending on how my recovery goes, but for now I am pretty much relegated to the pool.

As someone who rarely gets sick – a situation I have attributed to running and fitness – it’s disheartening for me to experience this illness twice in two months. I’ve read so much about how training too hard and inadequate nutrition can lead athletes to frequent illness, and I’m starting to wonder if my training is at least partly to blame. I think back to Friday’s brick workout where I rode hard for 18 miles and then ran 3.5 miles in the low 7’s. There was no reason for me to run that fast after that ride, but my mind and body were making me feel as if I was hardly moving. Perhaps in future brick workouts I need to break out my old Garmin to help me keep my pace.  

As for the nutrition aspect – I am pretty good about eating the right foods, but with the increase in my training this year I feel like I’ve been lagging in the quantity of food I eat. I’m always hungry and I’ve lost about 15 lbs. in the past six months, about 7 to 10 of those since my triathlon training started January 1 (and I’m not trying to lose any weight).

While it’s impossible to put a finger on exactly what’s causing this illness, I think that there are probably several factors that help contribute to a compromised immune system. And I have a daughter in preschool who happens to get a cold about once a month. The past couple months I have fallen ill shortly after she has been sick – I don’t blame her, but wonder if my overall fatigue from heavier training makes it easier for me to pick up the bugs she brings home, which I was previously able to avoid or fight off.

In all, I can’t complain. As illnesses go, this is a very minor one, and I’ll be back to normal within a week or so. And I can even swim comfortably in the interim. But it would be nice to know if my training is a factor so I can make the proper adjustments to avoid this in the coming months.

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