Can I Train When I Am Sick?

Is it starve a cold, feed a fever? Or, Starve a fever, feed a cold? If you’re like me you can never remember. So, when is it ok train if you are sick?

This is big question when you’re training for a marathon or half marathon that is 8 weeks away. You’re schedule is calling for big mileage. You don’t want to lose your conditioning. You wonder how you are going to make up those miles you lost by not training. Some of you will train no matter the situation.

Here are some guidelines to help you make an informed decision. Please consider that it is always better to be on the safe side and discuss your symptoms with a certified medical doctor and proceed accordingly.

The last 7 days in LA have been busy and cold. I have been running most mornings in the 30s which is cold for this So Cal kid. I grew up in LA and never really live in a different climate. I don’t really know cold and either does my body. Annually, around this time of year I get a head cold.

Well it happened again this year. I have a stuffy nose as I write this. I also have 3 marathons coming up. What do I need to know?

  • Colds are viruses
  • Colds typically last 8 – 10 days but can last up to 3 weeks
  • Antibiotics don’t work on colds
  • Colds are passed by contact, wash your hands regularly when during cold and flu season

But can I train when I am sick? Here’s the general rule:

Above the Neck YES

Below the Neck NO

Most of the time rest, lots of water and healthy food is the best remedy but if you feel you need to train:

Keep the Intensity Low

To try and speed up your recovery you can take over the counter products but typically they only reduce symptoms. I like Cold Eze and Emergency C.

Going back to the first question, “Is it starve a cold, feed a fever?” From what I found, you never starve yourself. Rely on rest, lots of water and healthy food.

Train Focused,

Steve Mackel – Head Coach, Sole Runners Full and Half Marathon Training Programs

The Marathon of Yoga – 108 Sun Salutations – Thursday, Jan 8 and 15 at 6:30 PM at Breakthru Fitness in Pasadena

108 Sun Salutations are a yoga tradition and what I like to call the “Marathon of Yoga”. I did my first 108 Sun Salutations 12 or 13 years ago and I was hooked but I’m not quite sure why. They are difficult, It takes a long time, it can hurt, I can feel like a wuss and the list goes on. But when you finish, and it doesn’t matter if you did all of them or half of them you feel good.

Some of Last Years Crew

Yoga and running have gone hand in hand for me when I started training for my first marathon. In 2001, I was training for the 2002 LA Marathon and quickly made yoga part of my training. I had taken a couple of classes and got my butt kicked. So, I thought I dig a little deeper. I took a beginners class twice a week. It was great balance for my running. In fact, I probably worked harder on yoga than running.

In the following years I would keep up the yoga while training for marathons, half marathon, biking and swimming. I really liked yoga and it was making me stronger and more flexible, physically and mentally. Then I went to my first 108 Sun Salutation practice. It became tradition. I did them on Solstices, Equinox(s), and right around the beginning of a new year.

In 2009, I started an annual 108 Sun Salutation class at Breakthru Fitness. But the class schedule difficult to fit in all 108, so I broke it into two sessions, like half marathons. We didn’t have 2 and a half hours. Plus, 54 quality Sun Salutations at a time are hard enough. 6 years later and they are still difficult. Since it was around the New Year I decided to make the first 54 about PURGING out behaviors and negative thoughts starting now. We write down these behaviors and negative thoughts before class and then burn them after class. The second 54 will be for setting our intentions/goals for the new year.

Burning the things we are purging from our lives
The rest is history. Join us tonight or next Thursday, January 15, at 6:30 PM at Breakthru fitness in Pasadena. 345 South Lake Ave Pasadena, CA 91105 Phone: (626) 396-1700

It’s only $10 for non-members.
108 BTF 2015

Train Focused, Coach Steve Mackel – Yogi in Training

2015 Goals and the 70.3 St George, Utah, Triathlon – Part 1

“Begin Again and Again” -Steve Ilg

Happy New Year!

What does that mean to you? For me it provides another great opportunity to begin again. I’ve been thinking about where I’m going to start. First, I’ll breakdown it down into categories, in no particular order.

  • Fitness
  • Professional Development
  • Financial
  • Relationships
  • Spiritual Development
  • Personal Development

I’ll keep this post focused on Fitness and my main race goal for 2015

2014 wasn’t a great racing year for me. I was dealing with a couple of minor but nagging injuries. I didn’t have strong feelings about any of the races on my calendar. I had a few good trips that required me to stay in good shape, a 7-day backpacking trip in Yellowstone and the French Riviera Marathon but no real time goals. And, for the first time in 14 years, I didn’t participate in a triathlon. Time to change things.

For 2015 I have already signed up for Ironman 70.3 St. George, Utah, on Saturday, May 2. This is going to be my main focus for the first half of this year. My goal for this race is to go sub 5:30:00. In order to do this lets go through some very basic goal setting structure.

  • Create Your Goal
  • Get Specific and Detailed
  • Make a Plan
  • Work Hard

I have to figure out what splits I will need for the swim, bike and run. The picture below is gives us an idea of what I need to shoot for based on previous race splits. A sub 5:30:00 will be a 70.3 PR (Personal Record) for me. I will have consider the difficulty of the course since St George is known as a difficult race.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 11.08.32 PM
I have my goal and and the specific details to achieve it, now I have to create a plan.

Time to get to work. That’s a job for this week. I’ll update you next week.

Leave one of your goals in the comment section.

Train Focused,

Steve Mackel – Triathlon Coach