How to avoid getting sick before the race day

08 May, 2019 • by Admin

There’s certainly a good chance it might happen and its in your best interest to do everything you can to try to prevent it

No one wants to be sidelined from a big race because of a cold, flu, or other infection. After months of planning, training, and anticipation, it can be tough to decide whether or not you should skip the race because you’re sick.

Listen to your body and be honest about what you feel you can handle. You’ll get zero benefits from running while beging sick. And worse, if you do, it could lead to getting dangerous or an injury. There will always be another race to sign up for.

To ensure you remain in tip-top health before a race or marathon, here are some simple tips you should consider:

Avoid Intense Training

The intense training make your immune system less effective and you more vulnerable to sickness. Athletes in hard training are in no way immunodeficient, and are still fully capable of fighting off infections and keeping their body healthy. However, the small but measurable drop in immune function during intense training makes them more vulnerable, statistically speaking, to infectious disease

Light-to-moderate training seems to provide a small protective boost to your immune system. But as your training becomes more serious, you become somewhat more vulnerable to minor illnesses like the common cold.

It’s natural to be nervous before the marathon. Most runners question if they trained hard enough to make it through, especially if it’s their first race. But it’s important to trust the training and miles you put in. Overtraining prior to the race will just leave you fatigued and irritable at the start line.

Be Careful Running in the Cold

Cold weather actually might activate your immune system, increasing your norepinephrine, a hormone that works as a natural decongestant. However, some aspects of the winter season might increase your chances of getting sick. Cold air causes vasoconstriction, or the narrowing of blood vessels, in your nose and airways, leading to dryness.

By taking a few precautions, you can safely run outside, even if the weather is "frightful." Layering your clothing properly is the key to staying warm and dry on a winter run. Your innermost layer should be a fast-drying, synthetic fabric. A fleece jacket or shirt will hold in your warmth and a wind-resistant or, better yet, waterproof outer shell will keep the wind and precipitation from affecting you. Wear a hat, gloves and warm socks, and think about investing in waterproof running shoes for combating slushy streets. Run into the wind on your way out, placing it at your back on your return home to avoid windchill.

Beware Indoor Flu

Flu virus germs are airborne, so anytime you’re in a crowded room or have close contact with other people, you’re likely to be exposed to cold and flu germs. I’m not suggesting that telling you not to stay at home or avoid seeing your friends; your friends — when you’re undergoing intense training, you have likely already estranged a few! However, you may want to avoid sick contacts who are sick as you get closer to the Kaiser Permanente 5K and Half Marathon and 5K.

Always keep your hands clean and minimize touching your face, especially your nose and eyes, which are direct routes into the nasal passages for germs. Germs can survive on common surfaces such as doorknobs for as long as three hours, so don’t touch your face after opening doors, shaking hands, or touching anything else where germs may lurk.

Don’t go Carb Crazy

Adding an extra serving of carbs to each meal the week before the race is a good idea. Carbohydrate loading can increase the amount of glycogen in your muscles, giving you more energy for an endurance event. But don’t go overboard on bread and pasta. Runners who eat too many carbs may experience weight gain, mostly from water weight. This can slow you down on race day.

To avoid this, stick to your normal diet as much as possible. Adding a banana or small piece of bread to each meal will give you the extra energy you need. The night before the race, eat a well-balanced meal: a good amount of quality carbs with a balance of healthy proteins and fats.

Tape Off

It's important to cut back on the mileage in the final two to three weeks before the race day. This tapering period will allow your body to recover from all the hard training you've been undergoing.

It’s crucial to get plenty of rest in the week before a marathon. Resting your body will help you recover from training. Even if your nerves keep you from getting much sleep the night before the race, you’ll still feel great at the start line.

Try to relax as much as possible, stress is one of the main culprits that contribute to illness, causing sleepless night and create an overall sense of unwellness. Getting proper sleep at least seven to eight hours per night will help boost your immune system, avoid stimulants like caffeine.


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