Andrea Dupont

Archive for April, 2012

Tough Questions

How sick is too sick to sit out a race?

Although athletes lead a fairly healthy lifestyle, this is a question many of us struggle with. Now it might seem quite obvious that if you’re sick you shouldn’t race but add in years of dedication, training and a little bit of expectation and it is quite difficult to sit out a race that you have been aiming towards.

Ultimately racing is hard on your body. You push your body to the point of utter exhaustion and to crazy high lactate values that would be a sign of septic shock in a healthy human being. So naturally racing sick will cause your already stressed immune system to take another hit and most likely make you sicker.

So at what point are you no longer hurting yourself? On our team the general rule while recovering from illness is to do one hour of easy activity daily (depending on what your body is used to) until you feel healthy and then add one day before doing anything longer or harder intensity. In principle this is solid advice, in practice it can be quite tough to make that call.

Leading into nationals this year I got quite sick. I had been preparing for these races for several weeks and was excited to see the fitness gains that I had made throughout the year. So when I got sick, it was really tough to sit back and let the first few races go by without starting. By sprint day I was feeling a some better, but as the results show, I was not quite 100%.

So my season ended with a tough lesson of looking back and contemplating what I could have done differently to not get sick. It is a good reminder that being an athlete is not just about optimizing the workouts you do, it is about optimizing everything. Often times the recovery is just as important as the workout itself. To be at the top of your game you need to eat like a champ and sleep like champ.

Next up is our month to recover like a champ! For me that means no official training, just staying active and doing what I love. So… for me April is my month of crust skiing and climbing.

Happy recovery month everyone.

See y’all May 1st for the start of training season.


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