Cold weather affects my POWERbreathe training

A rather sad update this week with the harrowing news that I ended up getting ill at the back end of last week and it has taken the week to get over. It all happened because of this rubbish cold weather we are enduring. I know the cold affects people in different ways but it freezes my chin, turns my lips blue and my speech starts to resemble an inebriated embarrassing father at a wedding (slurred and fairly incomprehensible). I also struggle with the ability to pick up a virus rather easily, a combination of poor genetics (thanks parents) and this running lark I do.

From the limited research that has been done, especially for marathon runners, the prolonged high-intensity exercise is associated with an increased risk of infection.

The day that created the illness I was out doing 3x15mins at threshold and it was raining. I have always protested that running in the rain is bad for you but I had to get the session done. I knew that I would be working hard during the session so didn't overload with clothing and although I was shivering a bit when I go out the door, as soon as I got running I knew all would be ok. I also had it in my mind that as soon as I got back from the session I was to get in the shower to warm up. I did all this and still got ill. Upon reflection, not having a hat on was my biggest mistake  of the day. I thought that I had avoided getting anything as I felt fine up until midday. Then, as you can guess, my condition deteriorated during the afternoon. It started with aches down my back, I attempted to fight back with as much medicine as I could stuff down my throat but it was too late, I was doomed to illness. I ended up with a temperature and feeling very drained for the next few days. Running had to take a back seat and making sure it didn't become an issue was top priority.

What has this meant for my POWERbreathe training?

POWERbreathe training really took a turn for the worse as I did. I decided to take a couple of days off the device. Whilst medically I am sure I was perfectly fine to keep training, everything felt really terrible so I didn't.

Once I had got over the worst of it my training didn't come back together instant ally and that was the same with the POWERbreathe. What was really interesting is that after a few days I certainly felt a slight drop in my performance. I wanted to see what the time off would have done to my test scores, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I had only dropped 10 points on the S-index. The first few training sessions back were a little bit lighter than usual, only because I was still struggling.



  • Well Ben I feel terrible because there you were feeling awful yet your description above of how you felt left me laughing. I am so sorry to hear you felt so rotten.

    On a serious note, you were quite right to also stop your POWERbreathe training. Like any training, if you're not feeling tip-top then injury can occur. For instance with POWERbreathe you could strain your neck or shoulders because if you're feeling weak your technique goes, and good technique and posture are important.

    I hope you're feeling better now and able to get outside again, and I'll look forward to hearing of how you get on.

    Best wishes Ben, Vanessa


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