When to cry UNCLE

21 01 2011

As a coach I write workouts for folks, but more importantly I prioritize workouts.  To me, it’s much more valuable when I am able to look at a week with missed workouts (whether it’s due to schedule, illness or just plain burnout) and re-prioritize the workouts.  More often than not my athletes will try to scramble to fit it all in, which would just end up in a bunch of sub-par workouts – rather than taking a good hard look at what you missed, why you missed it and which workouts you really need to get done.

I have had my share of illness over the last few years.  Flu – ugh, Feb. is my official flu month.  About two weeks every year – except of course the year that I had MONO instead!  That was a fun two months.  So, through all this illness of mine I have learned one important word:  UNCLE.  Seriously – if I’m sick I stop all together and heal before I get going again.  No more “it’s just a low grade fever, I can do an easy swim.”

Wednesday around dinner I started to feel achey.  By the end of dinner my head was down on the table and I had to crawl to the couch to lay down.  I missed my son’s basketball game.  I missed a meeting.  I missed coaching a swim practice.   I was down for the count.  So on Thursday around noon when I started to feel better, instead of throwing on the suit for my scheduled workout I sat down with my schedule.  Here is what it looked like before:

Thurs:  long swim & endurance bike (trainer)

Friday:  long run

Saturday:  off

Sunday:  bike & run

Knowing that my *maybe* marathon is the biggest challenge on my schedule I knew that the Friday run was THE workout that has to get done.  Also knowing that I am traveling this weekend making it almost impossible to do a long run made it clear that Friday is the day for my long run.  So, I threw out Thursdays workouts.  I don’t feel bad, I don’t feel guilt – recovery and rest is what my body needed at that time and that’s what it’s getting.

I’m going to try and do my 2 hour run today.  I’m feeling much better and am hopeful.  Whatever else I get done this weekend will just be icing on the cake if I am able to get 2 hours under my belt.  Even if I end up with no more workouts and just some good rest and maybe some good yoga the week will be a success because I realized my body’s needs and limits and worked within them.




9 responses

21 01 2011

I don’t sit still well either; even if it is from being kinda or even really sick. Good luck on getting those improtant sessions on

21 01 2011

I am the WORST. WORST. At crying uncle. I did miss 2 workouts after the holidays because of flu. And really, it was best, but mentally I was kind of thrown for a loop. the more I do this stuff, the more I have come to appreciate rest and listening to your body.

21 01 2011

I’ve been dealing with this lately too. We finally stayed at my parent’s house last night and it was the best sleep ever!!! I feel so much better and I think my Monday i’ll be back up and running and feeling extra ready to start my workouts. Glad to know I’m not the only one…Sometimes you just feel like everyone else is doing all this stuff and never gets sick or just skips because of work or burnout.

21 01 2011

This is such a great lesson to learn. We all need to rest.

21 01 2011
Jeff Irvin

I missed my bike on Wed, swim & Run yesterday, and will miss bike and swim today. All because of being sick. I hate missing workouts and rarely do, but I am in such bad shape that attempting them isn’t even an option — So rest is the best!

21 01 2011
Jessi Thompson

Really great post. My husband was down at the Olympic training center for a summer and their cycling coach really hammered into them how continuing to train while sick (his rule was always below the neck) set back your recovery double time for every day you continued training. This reminder about how training at the wrong time can actually make things worse in the long haul is a great reminder to me.

Appreciate you also talking about re-prioritizing workouts. KEY!

21 01 2011

I hope you’re OK. Being sick SUCKS….but, out of our control as we both know. Very smart just to take things as they come, and I have a feeling everything will fall into place. 4 weeks chica and you and I will be inthe sunshine drinking maragritas!

21 01 2011

This is a great post. I find with almost all of my clients trying to cram everything in is their biggest fault (and mine too, probably!). I think rest/recovery has to be a priority…even when we are not sick! I hope you are feeling better!

23 01 2011
Colleen Kingery

Great lesson! Hope you are in fact feeling better! 🙂

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