I have a few tricks that keep me healthy when the season’s turn and I am pushing my body to the max in training and/or racing. Over the years of having young kids around the house, training hard, racing and traveling, the one thing I have realized that might help me the most to keep improving is the ability to make adjustments to my eating and nutrition to stay healthy when I start to reach “the edge”, which is where most people get sick and lose weeks or months of time. Here are 2 of my favorite secret weapons:
Wellness formula either in tablet or capsule (I prefer the tablet but found a deal on these capsules with my new favorite shopping service THRIVE delivery) and Emergen-C or this similar product to take with water a few times a day when I am feeling run-down and on the verge of getting sick.
For myself, feeling a slight sore or swollen throat, frequent sneezing, mucous, change in taste of foods and less hunger all are signs to me to increase or start supplementing with these 2 items. I also take these more when I am flat out pushing the envelope of sleep, training or stress.
Hydration is also paramount and as the weather starts to cool off, and these vitamin C packs are a perfect addition to your daily diet to boost liquid consumption. I start to have herbal tea in the evenings to be sure I stay hydrated, and of course I start each day with warm water with a 1/3rd lemon squeezed into it as I have talked about in previous posts.
I also recommend a good quality multivitamin on a daily basis for insurance. I also supplement with Udo’s oil about 1tbsp per 50 pounds of body weight in a smoothie. When we push our bodies on the bicycle, we can go beyond normal requirements for nutrition because we demand so much more from each cell in our body.
My goal is to stay 100% sickness free. On days/weeks when I have any of the above warning signs I try to do less physically as well, drive more vs. commuting by bike, sit when I can and focus on drinking hot liquids that don’t contain caffeine.
I remember times earlier in my racing career when I would not listen to the warning signs, keep pushing, get sick and not be ready to train hard again for 1-2 weeks. Then I am building back slowly vs. being able to train hard again after a 3-4 day rest block.
Rest blocks are also key to let your connective tissue and muscles get fully recovered to avoid overuse or injury. I generally recommend taking 3-5 days off every 3rd week of hard training. It is ideal to build these rest blocks into travel days or times when you would naturally not be able to ride as much.
Along with smart training, resting is the #1 booster of performance. Rest as hard as you train, and follow the tips above to stay healthy and keep the upward spiral of improvement and progress rolling without losing time to sickness.
Spin to win!