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Old 07-19-12, 08:48 AM   #1
David Bierbaum
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Advice on riding with a cold/sore-throat/whatever-the...

This past week, I've come down with whatever-it-is, that's left my throat feeling like someone sandpapered it then coated it with sharp gravel, along with just feeling run-down and achy.

I seek advice. Do you still ride during times like these? Light riding, regular riding, or don't ride at all? I was wondering if some light exercise might help me feel better, or if I should just stay put and feel miserable inside.
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Old 07-19-12, 10:11 AM   #2
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I've found that, since I started really training, I am far less susceptible to colds and such. I get exposed, feel my body fighting it, and pretty soon I am back to normal. In fact that is happening right now. My step-son picked up a bug at a camp in California, and my wife and I spent 7 hours in the car with him driving home. She came down with the bug, but I haven't (yet... knock wood). I feel myself fighting off the bug, and so far I'm winning. I've maintained my normal riding/training schedule, including a training criterium night before last. The more I ride, and ride hard, the more I fight the bug.

I think it was Bob Roll who said, before the first rest day of this TdF, how some riders catch bugs on the rest days, because the lack of exertion lets the bug take hold.

People are different, and I know some cyclists feel hard training weakens their immune systems - for me, it's the opposite. And I'm glad for it. Not catching the bugs has been one of the great unexpected benefits of hard training.
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Old 07-19-12, 10:59 AM   #3
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Ride with a cold and stay hydrated. Fever above 100, don't ride.

AzTallRider,
I too have found that since weight loss and the new fitness and health(first from walking and now cycling) I don't get sick or as sick as I used to. For about 8 or so years I would get bronchitis in the Winter. Since Winter/Fall 2010, I've not come down with bronchitis since. I do get a flu shot every year(for about 8 or so years), especially since I'm diabetic(type II).
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Old 07-19-12, 11:17 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
This past week, I've come down with whatever-it-is, that's left my throat feeling like someone sandpapered it then coated it with sharp gravel, along with just feeling run-down and achy.

I seek advice. Do you still ride during times like these? Light riding, regular riding, or don't ride at all? I was wondering if some light exercise might help me feel better, or if I should just stay put and feel miserable inside.
We may not be the best for this kind of imformation. The traditional medical wisdom was to take an asprin, insert prescription of choice in some cases, drink fluids and get rest. Check with web MD and list your symptoms. Better to ask your doctor.
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Old 07-19-12, 11:48 AM   #5
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Rest for three days...you don't want to know how it feels to have pneumonia.
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Old 07-19-12, 12:06 PM   #6
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Earlier this year, I had symptoms you described. I rested for three days. I believe it helped.
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Old 07-19-12, 03:15 PM   #7
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Providing I can breath-Get enough fluids inside me and I do not have a headache then I will ride. Slowly mind you and not too far abut I do remember a ride where I could not do that.

I had set up to do a 100 mile offroad with a mate. Woke up at 5am with the same symptoms as you. Slight headache too and no aspirin or other pain relievers in the house. Only thing i could find was a decongestant pill for Catarrh. I took one just as we started riding at 6am and had to take one every 4 hours as it wore off. The ride was hard- it rained- I got cold- and it took 14 hours. I only had 4 pills and took the last one at 4pm. It wore off just as the ride finished and I collapsed into a heap. I have no idea what is in those pills but probably every banned substance under sport doping regs. It also had a side effect in that I became hyper. Could not calm down- could not sleep- could not think or sit still till the effects wore off completely the next day.

OK- I did the ride when i was ill but the side effects were horrendous. And those pills have gone off the market now and I never did find out the reason--Think I know why.

And when the cold did hit--It hit in a big way.
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Old 07-19-12, 05:39 PM   #8
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Rest for three days...you don't want to know how it feels to have pneumonia.
Oh, I know how that feels! Horking out lung-butter isn't one of my favorite activities! Strangely, my cough-o-meter is on low, so that's something to be thankful for. I received this gift from my 84 year old Mother, who's had this for a week, so I've been trying to help her out.

Right now, my energy meter isn't very high, so I'll have to wait it out...
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Old 07-19-12, 05:56 PM   #9
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I stay off the bike (and stay home from work) when I lose my equilibrium; not before.
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Old 07-19-12, 07:04 PM   #10
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Joe Friel says if you feel sick do the neck check. If the symptoms are above your neck (runny nose, nasal congestion) it won't do any harm to ride as long as the intensity is not too great and the duration is not too long. Symptoms below the neck such as chest congestion, achy muscles or fever are signs that you need a day off to recover. (Chapter 7)

I have used cycling to beat back the common cold. It does not always work but there are time when I am convinced that I K.O.d a cold before it could get established.
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Old 07-19-12, 09:06 PM   #11
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In April I got together with some other riders and I had this horrible sinking feeling on the drive as a sore throat developed. I get this about once a year and it takes two weeks to get over it completely. The first morning we were there I woke with a red-hot burning sore throat, sinus congestion and etc. I ate handfuls of aspirin, drank a bunch of black coffee, drank some ginseng extract and took of riding up past McDonald Observatory. No way I was going to let even a severe respiratory illness keep me off the bike I rode most of the week. My initial strength was fine, but endurance not so good. We did the Fort Davis scenic loop which I have ridden twice before. Its 73 miles, but I baled at mile 38 and put the bike on the rack of the SAG car my wife was driving. The last day I rode all the way to McDonald Observatory on the steep spur road. This was the third time to ride the same climb going NW from Fort Davis. During the steepest part of the climb I was puzzled by bright gold-colored objects about the size of a silver dollar I kept seeing on the shoulder. Eventually I figured out they were sun-dried loogies from my previous rides!

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Old 07-19-12, 11:10 PM   #12
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My advice is if you're just off the bike a couple of days, no problem. If it's longer than that, go ahead and get out and ride around however fast you feel like, as getting some activity is a lot better than nothing.
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Old 07-20-12, 06:55 AM   #13
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Suck on some zinc lozenges--they do wonders to shorten the duration of a cold.
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Old 07-20-12, 07:22 AM   #14
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I can often squeeze in a ride or two if it's just a cold, then to the bed for rest I go. If flu symptoms (body aches, fever, lethargy, chills), then I'm in bed resting. The flu usually has me feeling so bad anyway that it's usually not too upsetting to miss a ride or two.
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Old 07-20-12, 11:10 AM   #15
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Fisherman's Friend lozenges were my buy when I caught a Cold
in the middle of my Irish West Coast tour..

Back Home they were behind the counter in the Pharmacy section,
of the big grocery box.

perhaps because we have so many fishermen in need of a friend, here?
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Old 07-20-12, 11:47 AM   #16
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I'm slowly recovering from this multi-phase infection. Right now, I've got the whole muscle-pain headache going, so I've taken an Aleve, and I have gotten well and truly tired of cough-drops, so I've been fixing apple-cinnamon herbal tea in a mug, with two tablespoons of honey, and a splash of milk. I just sip on it all throughout the day, to keep the tissues moist. I think I'm about to the point where I'll be heading out on my bicycle again. Yay!
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Old 07-20-12, 05:27 PM   #17
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With no fever I will ride, with muscle aches I will ride still but slower--on the other hand taking it easy does not hurt either!
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Old 07-23-12, 07:09 AM   #18
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Cue the Aerosmith music! I'm back in the saddle again! I woke up with the usual muscle-ache headache I've had since catching this galumphing-crudbluster, but otherwise feeling pretty chipper, so I finally went out for my early morning sauna... er... ride (Triple digit heat-wave and drought, when will you break?), just a couple of miles, with a stop at the grocery store for milk and bananas, but by the time I got back, I'd lost the headache!

Yay!
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Old 07-23-12, 07:40 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Eventually I figured out they were sun-dried loogies from my previous rides!

Don in Austin
Dude, that is so wrong...

Mandrola would say it's a bad idea to ride with any inflammatory process. His last post about one of the TdF riders (blanking on his name) was provocative, but a bit tangential to this thread. But maybe not.
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Old 07-23-12, 11:02 AM   #20
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I will ride with a cold. I usually get head colds with a stuffed up nose, some nausea (probably from the stuffiness affecting the ears), and generally feeling bad. I have found that riding actually makes me feel better. The exercise seems to have a mild antihistamine effect. Oddly enough, the effect of feeling better ends just about the minute I get off of the bike. When I feel bad and ride anyway, I tend to back off the intensity some. Pushing really hard just does not seem like a good idea. I avoid riding if I have a fever.
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Old 07-23-12, 11:47 AM   #21
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Quote:
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We did the Fort Davis scenic loop which I have ridden twice before. Its 73 miles, but I baled at mile 38 and put the bike on the rack of the SAG car my wife was driving. The last day I rode all the way to McDonald Observatory on the steep spur road. This was the third time to ride the same climb going NW from Fort Davis.

Don in Austin
Which way did you ride the loop? Southwest or northwest from Fort Davis? I've driven it many times, but I'm not close to riding it ... yet.

I was out there in April for the Texas Star Party at the Prude Ranch and took my bike, but I only rode about 30 miles total. All things considered, I was still pleased, given "where I am" in ability and where I'm from, elevation-wise (~100'). I rode about 10 miles out on the loop off the Marfa highway then turned around. The wind was pretty brisk that day.

Didn't see any sun-dried loogies, though.
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Old 07-23-12, 06:04 PM   #22
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Which way did you ride the loop? Southwest or northwest from Fort Davis? I've driven it many times, but I'm not close to riding it ... yet.

I was out there in April for the Texas Star Party at the Prude Ranch and took my bike, but I only rode about 30 miles total. All things considered, I was still pleased, given "where I am" in ability and where I'm from, elevation-wise (~100'). I rode about 10 miles out on the loop off the Marfa highway then turned around. The wind was pretty brisk that day.

Didn't see any sun-dried loogies, though.
I like to ride it counter-clockwise and get the worst of the climbing over first.

It finally rained, according to my daughter who lives in Marfa, so I guess the sun-dried loogies are gone now.

October is the best time, less windy than April.

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