Your Immune System & Running

Around the time of the training/running that you find yourself increasing your mileage or time training, many of you may note new aches and pains.
Also, many of you may come down with colds, flu and other sicknesses that can inhibit your training and sideline you for a week.

Why is that?

Increased mileage and heartier workouts (ie intervals, tempo runs combined with longer slow distance mileage) can do some damage to not only your body’s skeletal system, it can also interfere with your healthy immune system.  This is quite normal.

What can you do to protect yourself against getting sick or run down?

1.  Get plenty of rest – more than you usually do.  Don’t stay up too late or go out every night.  Burning the candle at both ends doesn’t work when training at this level.
2.  Lighten up your load at work and/or at home (if possible).  I know family life and work commitments always come first, however, during this training time, if you can ask for support from those that love you to help you lighten the load just for the next few weeks, go for it!  Just like a pregnant woman in her third tri-mester (yes, I’m talking about me), you deserve some pampering and delegation of your normal duties.
3.  Eat well – proper nutrition goes a loooong way.  No doubt your nutritional and hydration needs are increasing as your mileage increases.  Talk to Melissa Mathes, my local nutrition guru, if you want to devise a better nutrition action plan.  Or check in with a referred nutritionist that knows about running and proper nutrition.
4.  Take probiotics and fish oil/omegas.  Probiotics fends off those nasty fungus and bacteria that are wanting to attack your body by strengthening your immune system.  Fish oil/omega 3′s are great brain “food” and this supplementation can keep your mind and heart healthy while keeping your cardio system fully functioning. 
5.  Take a day off or cross train if you feel lethargic or you have a day where you know you are doing too much.  Powering through or pushing yourself and running anyway is not what I recommend.  Doing it once might work, however, doing it consistently will get you injured, over fatigued and/or sick.  No question.
The “No pain, no gain” hero philosophy doesn’t work well, especially when you get to month 3 and 4 of your training.
6.  Go to a chiropractor and make sure your nervous system and spine are aligned.  Any interference here can cause chemical imbalance and allow for a weaker immune system, leaving you susceptible to illness.
Or check with your local doctor ASAP.

Here’s to your health and happy training!

Yours in Transformational Success,

Lois Tiedemann Koffi

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