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  1. #1
    Senior Member 7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
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    Looking for a little advice: Sickness and Racing

    Hi,

    Last week I woke up to do a race and my throat hurt so I went back to sleep. I didn't want it to get worse because the following week ( tomorrow ) is my A-Race.

    Unfortunately it got worse and I may have had acute bronchitis/ chest cold. The symptoms peaked around Monday-Wednesday, and by Thursday the congestion decreased.

    Today I went out for an easy ride for an hour and really felt the loss of fitness. When I got back home I felt normal and cough was normal too. By breathing I cannot tell if my lungs are congested, but I do feel a little mucus at times.

    Since tomorrow was supposed to be my A-Race, I'm pre-registered. Now I'm having second thoughts from racing at all because I've heard it can get much worse. I'm recovered from the chest cold but the symptoms are slowly stopping.

    If age has anything to do with it, I'm 19.

    My two choices were to start the race and drop out if I can't take it, or to not race at all. Just wondering if anyone else has also had an experience like this, or could share any advice.

    Thanks!
    http://dbcyclingblog.blogspot.com *Last updated 2/25/2014*

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Are you doing Burlingam or Pescadero? If it's Pescadero I would suggest just taking day off. It's a difficult race. Personally every time I tried to race when I was sick it was a wasted effort.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  3. #3
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    Obviously you wont perform like you would want to. And you'll quite possibly make yourself worse. The decision seems clear.

  4. #4
    Senior Member 7bmwm3gtr's Avatar
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    Oh yes I'm doing Burlingame- a Criterium.

    I won't perform like I want but I don't want to let the pre-registration payment go to nothing.
    http://dbcyclingblog.blogspot.com *Last updated 2/25/2014*

  5. #5
    coffee-stained punk hammy56's Avatar
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    When im sick I'd gladly pay not to be.

  6. #6
    Resident Alien Racer Ex's Avatar
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    Breathing hard will increase the risk of sucking whatever bacteria is present into your lungs. The race effort will give your immune system a nice hit with a hammer which can extend the time it takes for you to get well.

    You're talking about a chump change registration fee going to "waste" so you're going to go risk the above so you can take your loss of fitness and get 28th, if you manage to stay upright in what's normally a crash-fest.

    There's plenty of racing left on the calendar.

  7. #7
    Not actually Tmonk TMonk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammy56 View Post


    When im sick I'd gladly pay not to be.
    I agree.

    And Ex, nicely put.
    "Your beauty is an aeroplane;
    so high, my heart cannot bear the strain." -A.C. Jobim, Triste

  8. #8
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Racer Ex View Post
    Breathing hard will increase the risk of sucking whatever bacteria is present into your lungs. The race effort will give your immune system a nice hit with a hammer which can extend the time it takes for you to get well.


    You're talking about a chump change registration fee going to "waste" so you're going to go risk the above so you can take your loss of fitness and get 28th, if you manage to stay upright in what's normally a crash-fest.

    There's plenty of racing left on the calendar.
    Well said.

    There will be other A races. Look at the calendar. Next Sunday is foothill circuit race. Tons of fun. Then Davis 4th of July. Fun course, great atmosphere.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  9. #9
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    Looks like I'm too late to do the OP any good, but for others out there with a similar question, what little evidence exists suggests that exercising when moderately ill does NOT delay the healing process. You might not perform as well as you do when healthy, but you probably don't need to worry about it setting you back.

    There are, of course, plenty of caveats around this. "Moderately" ill roughly equates to the common cold. No work seems to have been done around pneumonia or true influenza or the like. And the exercise in the studies has been likewise "moderate", not race effort. And it looks like most folks in the studies were runners, though some work has included cyclists.

    Personally, I wouldn't race when feeling crap, due to a worry that slightly off reflexes would heighten the chance of crashing weighed against no chance of performing well. But I don't stop training, and neither do any of the sports med folks that I know.

    - Kaminsky, LA. The effect of exercise training on the severity and duration of a viral upper respiratory illness. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1998 Nov;30(11):1578-83.
    34 college kids exercised at 70% of "reserve" HR (running or cycling), 16 didn't exercise, all were tested pre- and post- infection with rhinovirus (one of the most common "common cold" viruses"); no difference in time to recovery or symptom burden between the exercisers and non-exercisers.

    - Kaminsky, LA. Effect of a rhinovirus-caused upper respiratory illness on pulmonary function test and exercise responses. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 May;29(5):604-9.
    45 college kids were infected with rhinovirus, 10 weren’t, all were exercised; no difference in lung function or graded treadmill exercise tests between the sick and non-sick kids.

    - Schurr, T. Effect of exercise on upper respiratory tract infection in sedentary subjects. Br J Sports Med. 2003 Aug;37(4):304-6.
    22 sedentary college kids with naturally acquired colds were divided into two equal groups, one of which exercised at 70% of reserve HR; no difference in time to recovery or symptoms between exercisers and non-exercisers.

  10. #10
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    OP, so what happened, did you race?
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

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