It can be done, but is it worth the risk?
Many of us, me included, feel a psychologically need to exercise that can often lead us to neglect our health. I always tell myself and my athletes that it is better to take 4-7 days off now than 4+ weeks later.
As for intensity, even when you are “kind of sick” it is too risky. After hard exercise your immune system response is blunted for 24-48+ hours, making you more susceptible to infections. If I was your coach and I knew you were sick, I would use the following steps;
- a) No training for “a few days”, and if that isn’t popular
b) Eliminate all intensity until you are well (using resting heart rate
ratios: prone at rest, standing immediately after rising and standing after
2-3 minutes at rest)
c) Easy aerobic threshold training only, and shortened durations to minimize
I’ll emphasize the risk of upper respiratory track infection (i.e.
common cold or similar) developing into bronchitis if improperly treated.
Bronchitis can become pneumonia, and once you’ve had pneumonia once you are
more likely to get it again, and even easier the next time, and so on.
Detraining, or the loss of all that hard training you have accomplished can
will only begin to take effect after 2-3 weeks of absolute couch potato like
activity. A break of 4-7 days will have little to no effect except
psychological, and that in itself is a tough one to overcome.
Follow Scott’s advice and stretch more instead of working out more. You can
also tackle your technical needs while staying home by visualizing your
stroke, surfing skills and even remounting the ski. If you can see yourself
doing the action correctly you are well on your way to doing it in real
life. That being said, don’t substitute visualization for actual training
once you’re healthy again…