Breathing space – training when ill

A hot drink and a box of tissues

I’ve not been well for the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a sore throat and a chest infection, which has made ordinary life a bit of a struggle, let alone training. Blogging has had to take a backseat to just getting on with life!

Breathing problems

Sometimes being stubborn can have its advantages (such as my refusal to quit when I’ve set a goal), but putting off seeing a doctor probably hasn’t worked in my favour. I don’t like to make a fuss. I put down my lack of interest in training to being lazy rather than being ill. For over a week, when I got home from work (and for some of the time when I was there) all I wanted to do was go to sleep. It felt like I had a concrete block on my chest and I kept waking up in the night to use my inhaler.

I finally saw a doctor on Friday and found out that the reason for my illness and fatigue. The infection means that my lungs are currently functioning at 65%. I’ve been given a course of antibiotics and steroids to take for the next week: 9 pills a day! I hope I’m back on par again soon as I’ve not enjoyed training when ill.

What’s happening next

Anyway, there’s a lot to look forward to in the next few weeks:

  • The ballot results for Prudential RideLondon will be sent out on 8th February – fingers crossed! It’s a 100-mile ride on closed roads from London out into Surrey (and its famous Box Hill) before heading back into London where it finishes on The Mall. It would be a great event to make me get out on my bike and train!

Global Swimming Summit

  • I’ve also registered for the Global Swimming Summit. It’s a FREE online event with loads of inspirational speakers who have competed in the Olympics and/or hold world records. There will also be plenty of high-level coaches, nutritionists and so on. It takes place from February 8th – February 16th.


I last swam with STC on Monday 25th January. Before going to the pool, I had decided that I would give swimming in Lane 2 a go. Since I joined Southampton Tri Club, I’ve made progress. As slower people have joined lane 1, I keep getting stuck behind them. Also, the average distance covered in a session has dropped significantly, so I’m ending up swimming shorter distances at a slower speed than previously. I don’t think I’m the fastest one in my lane, but if I start swimming in the next lane then I will have to push myself to keep up.

Anyway, back to 25th… I told the coach my plan and acknowledged that it would depend on how many people were swimming. Well, lane 2 was pretty busy with 4/5 swimmers and there were just two of us in Lane 1 who are similar ability, so I stayed in Lane 1.

I decided that I would try lane 2 at my next swimming session. However, on Monday 1st February, I felt so exhausted that I didn’t think there was any point in trying to swim. I’ll see how I’m feeling tomorrow before making a decision about which lane to swim in. It might be more sensible for me to check that I’m recovering before pushing myself!

Have you ever tried training when ill? Did you train through it or did you take time off? What are you looking forward to this month?

3 Responses

  1. Be kind to yourself. It’s taken me 4 weeks to shift the remainder of my chesty cough. It really took its toll. Allow your immune system to fight the infection, let the exercise take a back seat.

    • Thank you. It’s so tough as the alternative to exercise seems to be lounging on the sofa with an unhealthy snack in my hand (I can’t do healthy home baking as I don’t have an oven at the moment!) On the bright side, it does mean I have a bit more time for blogging! 🙂

      • I’ve come back from injury and a chest infection with renewed vigour. Make the most of the rest time.

I'd love to hear your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.