TW Relay Team: James’s Run Blog #3

Well this week was almost a complete write-off. After catching a debilitating strain of man flu, I've been bed-ridden and missed work for three days straight. I diligently followed the 'neck rule'; any ailment that affects you below the neck (chesty coughs, injuries, stomach pains) means no training.

Unfortunately, this is all completely my fault. After a stag weekend in Valencia, my immune system was considerably weakened. This, followed by a flight back to London in a pressurised cabin with passengers who refuse to 'catch it, bin it, kill it', meant that the only run I've managed to squeeze in was a short 3-miler on the weekend.

I get ill with the flu quite a lot. You might put that down to inadequate hand-washing or lack of proper nutrition. I put it down to bad luck and poor company. But either way, while training for a race I'm almost always scuppered with a cold at some point. In fact, in the last three marathons I've run, I've picked up something in the weeks leading to the race.

Two tips for avoiding a cold (without becoming a recluse):

De-stress:
Apparently, training can cause a rise in the hormone cortisol which causes stress. This stress can affect the immune system, which can make you more susceptible to infection! So plan your rest days well and factor in plenty of sleep.

Wash your hands:
You might feel like you have OCD, but a little bottle of hand sanitiser in your desk at work will avoid the spread of germs from hand to mouth. Especially those using public transport and working in open plan offices. Hand rails and door handles are rife with germs (and generally, harder surfaces retain germs for longer).

Of course, if you have a cold this is all too little, too late. So check out this article on what to do if you feel a cold coming on or it's already full-blown.

As you can imagine, I'm slightly concerned that I've fallen behind in training. This, coupled with the fact that my last post received a bit of a grilling due to the lack of weekly runs in my training plan, means that nerves are running very high in the Barnard camp.

Speed session this week (post illness): 3x200m with 30sec rest – 3 minute break (repeat 3 times)