Triathlon/immune system

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14/01/2004 at 10:04
Seems to be well know that the more highly trained you are, the harder you get hit by illness. I was speaking to someone the other day who had done a couple of ironmans (qualified for and did Kona, so no slouch!) and found his immune system was really in trouble and took ages to get back to being able fight things off - anyone have experience of this and what if anything you can do to prevent it?
cougie    pirate
14/01/2004 at 10:31
I guess its because you constantly put the body in a weakened state, and it can't fight things off as it's just too busy repairing itself.

Plus a heavy training schedule and you might feel tempted to try and train through things that you'd be better off resting up with.

Rest days are v important, and it's easy to knock yourself back if training whilst ill. The benefit that you can gain from that single session is minimal compared to the risk.
14/01/2004 at 10:40
marathons.. & the 24hr thing really take it out of me...

i've often ended up with a cold shortly after a marathon.

i try to counter it now with plenty of vitC before and after... and during particularly tough training weeks
cougie    pirate
14/01/2004 at 10:41
Ed - are you watching that Hercules thing on Beeb 3?

I would have thought it was up your street with 24hr racving and stuff.
14/01/2004 at 10:42
yeh.. not sure about the hanging thing.... but the giant hamster wheel looked ace :)
cougie    pirate
14/01/2004 at 10:44
On first sight I didn't think it looked that hard, but it's no picnic pushing it round is it ?

They'll all be in oxygen tents by day 4 !
14/01/2004 at 10:52
What's the wear on an ordinary domestic car?
Compare it to an F1 machine.

there's also the comparative effect. People who are at the peak of their health and fitness are going to feel knocked sideways by a bug that would just leave a couch potato - who doesn't know what peak health is - feeling a bit more under the weather than usual.
14/01/2004 at 11:15
i suffer hell of a lot through colds, flus etc. Had tonsillitis for first 1-2 years when I gave up squash and footy for running, etc. Some people just have weeker immune systems than others and when you reach a certain level of hard training you'll suppress it even further.

I've tried echinacea and othe rherbal 'remedies', vit-c and protein overload (an atkins effort for a week does help!), plenty of water.

But just have to be sensible - keep warm, change as quickly as poss out of damp clothes when it's cold. Keep your hands clean (I bite my nails a bit......ever read THAT article about whats lurks on underground train seats!?), etc

14/01/2004 at 11:19
acksherly i think there's a peak somewhere...

at a certain training level my immune system seems invincible... there have been alot of bugs i should have picked up from or via my wife from her school.. but rarely do.. and her nurse/doctor has been amazed that i haven't.

if i was in couch potato mode i think i would have been much more likely to succumb.

however, as i said above when a marathon or similar pushes me toward total exhaustion i frequently pick something up at the drop of a hat (mixed metaphores?)

so really jj i'd prefer a clapped out banger... brand new car.. and f1 machine analogy ;)
14/01/2004 at 11:21
heavy training, and particularly stacked sessions, releases large quantities of the 'fight or flight' hormone, cortisol

one of the nasty effects of this is that it suppresses the immune system

lots and frequent doses of vitamin c helps (it washes through the body quickly, so a tablet every morning doesn't help much) (also, other citrus chemicals such as bioflavonoids aid its absorption, so a tablet every morning helps even less)

eat an orange every few hours or something

leaving more than 6 hours between training sessions allows cortisol levels to susbside, and a quick sleep helps even more (so morning and night, rather than morning and lunchtime)

glutamine imbalance has been linked to suppressed immune system too... there's some evidence to suggest that glutamine supplementation can to some extent counterract cortisol build up when training hard or racing
14/01/2004 at 11:24
yeah see... what the man said
14/01/2004 at 11:28
anyway i'm not sure how ed managed to get a cold after his 24 hour run... he only went about 6 or 7 miles to my recollection
14/01/2004 at 11:29

speaking as a clapped out old banger, I'll leave the sensible stuff to other people. Not quite up to it today, I guess.
WildWill    pirate
14/01/2004 at 11:30
My boss objects when i try to have a quick sleep
14/01/2004 at 11:40
errr... i didnt get a cold after the 24hr
14/01/2004 at 11:48
14/01/2004 at 11:55
ah, makes sense then
14/01/2004 at 12:01
how do you know your boss objects if you are asleep, Will?

He doesn't wake you up to tell you does he?

How inconsiderate
14/01/2004 at 12:07
Sleep deffo works for me - run/sleep/swim particularly. And an afternoon nap is so civilised...
cougie    pirate
14/01/2004 at 12:09
Napping - the 4th discipline.

Anyone ever nod off on the bike at all ?
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