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Another cold this month/training advice

rob39rob39 Posts: 479
For the second time this month I've developed a cold and dry irritating cough, nothing full blown. Trying to train for a 70 mile ride end of April hoping to average 15-16mph.(currently ave 14mph) been off the bike all winter so starting from scratch. Only managed one 25 mile ride and several turbo sessions this month. Should I just stay off the bike for a week or recommend a low intensity turbo session which will benefit training. Currently taking echinachia tea with honey and vitamin C with zinc
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  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    Assuming it is just a virus, it's probably worth sticking with the Vit C and zinc, but beyond that, rest, stay hydrated and eat as varied a diet as you can. In the past I've made the mistake of trying to exercise with what I thought was a mild upper resp tract infection, and ended up with something more serious.
  • rob39 wrote:
    For the second time this month I've developed a cold and dry irritating cough, nothing full blown. Trying to train for a 70 mile ride end of April hoping to average 15-16mph.(currently ave 14mph) been off the bike all winter so starting from scratch. Only managed one 25 mile ride and several turbo sessions this month. Should I just stay off the bike for a week or recommend a low intensity turbo session which will benefit training. Currently taking echinachia tea with honey and vitamin C with zinc

    I would stay off the bike for 3-4 days, concentrate on eating and sleeping well, get yourself right then build back up with a few turbo sessions. Test the water with how you feel on the turbo with a few brief efforts and see how you go. You'll soon know where you at.
  • Was it Obree who spends a chapter in one of his books on how to avoid illness/ colds.

    I'd stay off the bike until I was better.
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,676
    It'll take more than vitamin tablets and some kind of tea, I'm not sure either of those things really do a lot beyond relieving symptoms. Some people apparently benefit from Vitamin D3 supplementation at this time of year.

    I'd recommend lots of raw fresh fruit and veg, perhaps green smoothies, and nutrient-dense foods like beans and eggs. Reduce bread and other starchy foods (what I call 'padding', though I consider porridge an exception), meat & dairy products.

    You needn't avoid exercise but keep it to easy spins on the turbo/rollers or countryside walks to stop the muscles seizing up and help keep the blood flowing.
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I would ride through it. Just take it easy. I think vitamin supplements are snake oil. Everything your body needs is in the food yoi eat. Just eat a varied diet but dont get hung up on eating this food for this health benefit or that food for another benefit.

    Simply eat good food and go ride your bike and your cold will sort itself out in time.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • Good rules:

    1) dress appropriately... a long sleeve jersey or a light windproof jacket are not suitable for winter... don't look at what the PROs wear. Consider a face mask, or at least something to cover your ears and forehead like a headband

    2) Slow down... trying to go fast in winter is pointless... you will end up sweating and as a result getting cold

    Winter miles are supposed to be about keeping the form going, rather than building up power
  • sungodsungod Posts: 12,705
    once you've got a cold, supplements etc. aren't going to make much difference, otherwise plenty of drug companies would be raking it in

    give yourself a break, eat well with a varied diet, plenty of fresh veg

    to reduce risk of colds etc...

    don't exercise long/hard without keeping fueled

    pay attention to hygiene, use a hand sanitiser after touching stuff in public - door handles, pin pads, stair rails - especially around places with non-locals such as airports, hotels, stations etc., as they're an easy route for new versions of cold virus

    keep clear of snotty/sneezy gits who persist in bringing their disease ridden carcasses into your place of work/entertainment/wherever
    my bike - faster than god's and twice as shiny
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,286
    I'm with you on the vitamin supplements, but is there not some evidence that high dose vitamin C and Zinc can reduce the severity of common cold symptoms?

    I'm one of those lucky ones who are very rarely ill; I put it down to my extremely insanitary childhood which must've given my immune system a very thorough workout most days. Probably bollocks.
  • keef66 wrote:
    I'm one of those lucky ones who are very rarely ill; I put it down to my extremely insanitary childhood which must've given my immune system a very thorough workout most days. Probably ****.

    I continue along those lines of poor hygiene... I very rarely wash, especially in winter when I don't sweat much... no longer wash my hair either, apparently even Gary Barlow doesn't... :wink:

    My only beauty products are a tub of cheap toothpaste and a jar of Assos creme, which also doubles up as aftershave

    Needless to say, I very rarely get ill... I had proper flu in 1996 and a few mild colds, those which last a couple of days
  • AK_jnrAK_jnr Posts: 717
    You wot m8?!
  • rob39 wrote:
    For the second time this month I've developed a cold and dry irritating cough, nothing full blown. Trying to train for a 70 mile ride end of April hoping to average 15-16mph.(currently ave 14mph) been off the bike all winter so starting from scratch. Only managed one 25 mile ride and several turbo sessions this month. Should I just stay off the bike for a week or recommend a low intensity turbo session which will benefit training. Currently taking echinachia tea with honey and vitamin C with zinc

    Impressive, posted on 1st month and two already!

    But, yeah, as the above. In December I basically had a cold, the, entire, month. Never have them. But this one. And lost my hearing. Mostly recovered from that now but that's a bit disconcerting.
    My blog: http://www.roubaixcycling.cc (kit reviews and other musings)
    https://twitter.com/roubaixcc
    Facebook? No. Just say no.
  • AK_jnr wrote:
    You wot m8?!

    You talking to me?
  • cyclecliniccycleclinic Posts: 6,865
    I shower every day and rarely get ill so i dont think the frequency of washing your self has anything to do with how frequently you get ill. I get covered in muck daily when cycling and i have workshop smells to clean of me.
    http://www.thecycleclinic.co.uk -wheel building and other stuff.
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,712
    Thinking you will get ill because you wash frequently is similar to believing you will get cold by being cold. You get infections off other people, by washing your hands frequently you have less chance of catching one.
  • webboo wrote:
    Thinking you will get ill because you wash frequently is similar to believing you will get cold by being cold. You get infections off other people, by washing your hands frequently you have less chance of catching one.

    It's more complicated than that and doesn't necessarily apply to cold directly... nevermind
  • webboowebboo Posts: 2,712
    webboo wrote:
    Thinking you will get ill because you wash frequently is similar to believing you will get cold by being cold. You get infections off other people, by washing your hands frequently you have less chance of catching one.

    It's more complicated than that and doesn't necessarily apply to cold directly... nevermind
    I sort of know that.
  • Step 1 mate -rest until symptoms reduce.

    Golden rule from my old coach- anything below the neck e.g. Chest don't train if you feel rough, sometimes rest is best. If you pr snot (sorry) is green don't train if clear steady steady only.

    Multivits are ok and a good diet, layer up when riding and plenty of fluids esp when you feel rough.

    Step 2 - when better long steady miles for a week, then week 2 put some hard but short 30 sec efforts in. Try and learn to spin your legs faster rather than push big gears.

    Step 3 - find a short 2-3 mile loop and work on riding around it at 70-85% for as many laps until you are 10% slower than your first lap remember it's not max just a hard constant effort.

    And enjoy it!
  • The problem is not whether to catch or not to catch a cold. But if you do and it lasts for weeks, there is an underlying problem with your immune system and that's what needs to be addressed. A common cold with no temperature should last 2-4 days. Whether it is bad diet, bad habits, training too hard, too much work related stress, only the OP knows.
    Drugs don't help, in fact they make things worse by hiding symptoms and making you do things you would not otherwise.
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,362
    Over the years I've gradually developed a strategy that seems to work well for me in minimising the frequency and severity of winter colds.

    - Take vitamin D (d3) and calcium every day from about the end of September right through until about the end of April. You need to take a decent amount, for me 50ug of Vit. D seems to be the magic number. Some winters I've tried taking only 25ug per day and it doesn't seem to work as well. Basically you are not getting any at all from the sun during the winter at UK latitudes and it has a definite function in the immune system. Most people are deficient during the winter and there is a mounting body of evidence that this could be contributing to a number of short and longer term health problems. Although the jury is still out (there basically isn't enough epidemiological data yet), I've looked into this at length on a few occasions and have come to the conclusion that I'm more likely to be doing myself harm by not taking it than by taking it, and that 50ug represents an ideal compromise between likely benefits and minimising unknown risks (you can probably actually take far more than that without doing yourself any harm, but I'm cautious about as-yet-undiscovered long-term side effects). I usually have a buffer period of two or three weeks at the start and end of the winter when I ease into it gradually, so I might start by taking 25ug every other day and work up to the full daily 50ug. It just strikes me as a bad idea to start and stop suddenly without giving your body time to adjust. During the summer if you are cycling regularly outside you shouldn't need to take it at all, your body will manufacture as much as it needs using sunlight.

    - Forget vitamin C and other vitamins, you should be getting these in your diet and there's little evidence that they help. And taking large amounts regularly may actually be harmful (but see below for zinc).

    - This is more anecdotal, but as soon as I feel the slightest inkling that I might be starting to get a cold I: (a) take a small zinc supplement (15 mg), and (b) take a snort of this stuff. I'm convinced it works for me, but of course I might me deluding myself. Shouldn't do any harm anyway. The nasal spray basically just contains a gunk from seaweed that may help to trap bugs and make them easier to expel (a bit like natural mucus does I suppose, but before your body has had time to react by producing its own mucus - immediate action as soon as you sneeze or feel a tickle is paramount!). Vics do something very similar, but that also has some kind of really strong menthol in it which is nasty to snort. The scientific evidence for this stuff is very ambiguous, but a awful lot of people swear by it. For zinc, there is some evidence it may help and again, if you are only taking a small dose once in a blue moon when you feel a cold possibly starting, it isn't going to do any harm.

    Just my 2p. May or may not work for you.
  • simon_esimon_e Posts: 1,676
    I am trying a daily dose of Vitamin D3 this winter - 1000 UID (25ug a day), after listening to an interview with Graham Close from Liverpool John Moores University about Vitamin D:

    https://guruperformance.com/episode-12- ... close-phd/
    Aspire not to have more, but to be more.
  • keef66 wrote:
    I'm one of those lucky ones who are very rarely ill; I put it down to my extremely insanitary childhood which must've given my immune system a very thorough workout most days. Probably ****.

    I continue along those lines of poor hygiene... I very rarely wash, especially in winter when I don't sweat much... no longer wash my hair either, apparently even Gary Barlow doesn't... :wink:

    My only beauty products are a tub of cheap toothpaste and a jar of Assos creme, which also doubles up as aftershave

    Needless to say, I very rarely get ill... I had proper flu in 1996 and a few mild colds, those which last a couple of days


    Do you wipe your bottom?
    "You really think you can burn off sugar with exercise?" downhill paul
  • neebneeb Posts: 4,362
    Simon E wrote:
    I am trying a daily dose of Vitamin D3 this winter - 1000 UID (25ug a day), after listening to an interview with Graham Close from Liverpool John Moores University about Vitamin D:

    https://guruperformance.com/episode-12- ... close-phd/
    Interesting piece. One thing I realised while listening to that is that I should get my blood levels of Vit. D tested, and that right now is the time to do it - I've been taking 50 ug (2000 IU) daily since the autumn so my blood levels now (before the sun comes back) will tell me if I've been taking the right amount, and then I can tweak it for next year..
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    If its any comfort on how not to get a winter ailment perhaps.
    I have spent my working week in a large teaching hospital since last September. if one place is full of ill people, it is there but 99% of the time commuted in, so
    thats the fresh air
    I have had to swab/wash my hands a lot, yes a lot
    I have walked a lot
    I do use that Vicks nasal spray if I feel something amiss ..( it may be a panacea... however )
    but not taken any additional supplements but now I am only just back on the beetroot juice from start of Feb.
    My feet have hurt.... but no bugs.
  • mamba80mamba80 Posts: 5,086
    cant praise the vicks first defence spray enough, a team Doc with UK athletics put me onto it.

    will only work if you use it at the very first sign of a cold, not the next morning, this Dr also used it before and during flights as a prophylactic, i carry it with me in case i end up working along side someone who is ill, its not a 100% fix but it does seem to work.

    Washing hands is important too as is avoiding public places after a heavy turbo session etc, your immunity is lowered after intense exercise.
  • Fighting bacteria (or viruses) by killing bacteria is a 20th century strategy, which only led to depletion of antibiotic stocks and general depletion of immune systems among the population.

    Expecting to avoid a cold by staying afar from a source of contagion is a middle ages strategy, at the time it was the plague...

    Modern medicine, which unfortunately is not very widespread among GPs, recognises that we are not humans in the usual sense, but a symbiotic creature made up of quite a large mass of bacteria... some live on our skin, many more in our gut. Killing bacteria with any method, will remove potentially mildly harmful bugs as well as colonies of symbiotic bacteria, which are essential for life as we know it... what goes to replace them can be good or can be bad... it's a lottery.

    If your immune system cannot cope with mild infections, which are part of life, you have a problem and by trying to avoid contagion with compulsive cleaning or by avoiding personal contact you are only making it worse.

    I encourage the OP to live a normal life, without being scared of common bugs and viruses... eat a healthy diet and stay clear of antibacterial products as much as possible, being that sprays, pills, soaps or else. They were meant to save lives in desperate situations and now they are used as a preventative measure...

    Would you remove your testicles as a preventative measure for cancer? So why killing your bacteria, which are just as important, in fact more? Leave them alone, you need them badly!
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,026
    The point we being highly trained athletes on this forum is very valid... we are at our weakest when we are at our strongest.....
    if you havent hit the highly trained athlete level yet, dont worry, means you're fit and well.
  • Good rules:

    1) dress appropriately... a long sleeve jersey or a light windproof jacket are not suitable for winter... don't look at what the PROs wear. Consider a face mask, or at least something to cover your ears and forehead like a headband

    2) Slow down... trying to go fast in winter is pointless... you will end up sweating and as a result getting cold

    Winter miles are supposed to be about keeping the form going, rather than building up power

    Great advice. Sadly I never follow it and always end up in a freezing sweat scenario.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,559
    About 15 years ago my missus did Weightwatchers. Thye first thing they told her to do was de-tox by drinking the juice of half a lemon in a pint of warm water every morning before she had anything else to drink or eat.

    I am not convinced that it actually de-toxes anything but she went with it and actually saw some other benefits with the better hydration. More regular trips to the loo for starters and not just for a pee.

    She kept it going for a few weeks and then She convinced me to do the same.

    So almost 15 years ago we started the routine of preparing two pints of warm water with a lemon squeezed between them. We are still doing it.

    The number of colds I got started to drop off and now, typically, I get a cold once a year and that is with me taking weekly meds which mess with my immune system. My hydration is generally better (even though it's only a pint).

    I'd recommend it for everyone.

    Ironically I am typing this whilst sniffing and snorting through my annual cold (first one this year), at least it should be clear by the start of the holidays.
  • Sounds great Navrig. I do the hot water thing do but usually stick a tea bag in it. I also have a slice of lemon in my G&T in the evening. Good to know I’m on the right track for avoiding colds.
  • navrig2navrig2 Posts: 1,559
    I'm surprised an Aberdonian knows what a lemon looks like. Between the porridge drawer and rowies there is not much in the way of fruit and veg up there :lol:

    One of the 5 a day tends to be related to the number of goals Aberdeen lets in each week?
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