I was reminded this morning by Iron Buddy Anne Boone, that during heavy training, and at the end of the season, and particularly after an Ironman outing, that the immune system has been strained, and can open the body to colds, that it otherwise would repel…and another reason to not ramp up training volume again too early, letting your body recover from the season.
I guess, not a great idea to kiss strangers for a few weeks 🙁
Cold Prevention Checklist
To summarize, do the following to help avoid the sniffles during heavy training or tough Ironman Triathlon competitions:
- Make sure not to compound the physical demands of heavy training or competing by scrimping on calories
- Consume plenty of carbs when training and competing: they not only increase endurance, they may reduce the immune system suppression associated with strenuous endurance exercise
- Ensure that your protein intake is adequate so that your body has the amino acid building blocks to make the proteins you need for healthy immune function and the amino acid glutamine to fuel key immune system cells that defend against attack
- Eat from a wide variety of foods and consider a daily multi-vitamin and -mineral supplement to ensure that your diet always has an adequate supply of the nutrients needed to support immune function
- Take in a little extra vitamin C during periods of heavy training and a week or two before and after competitions, as this may give your immune system an added boost
- Put yogurt, yogurt drinks or other products with certain active cultures on your grocery list. These beneficial microbes may help support keeping your immune system healthy.