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I got sick and had to take four days off the bike. Four!
It is 100% my own fault due to my own stupidity and ignorance. Let me describe the situation that inevitably lead to my downfall in hope it may stop even one person being as utterly stupid as me.

Critical Failure –¬†Analysing & identifying my own “trough”.¬†Then completely ignoring it and carrying on regardless:

When it comes to training in any endurance sport there is a fine skill (complete art form really) that exists. That skill is to listen to your body and take the relevant rest and recovery when it is needed, regardless of what a training plan might say. Keeping calm and carrying on with training when your body is screaming at you to stop is as stupid as that ridiculous slogan being plastered on coffee mugs.

Listen Carefully & Stop!

This is trademarked so don’t be getting any ideas! It would actually be much sounder advice to have printed on all manners of British themed tat I reckon.
Whilst I am clearly still mastering the fine skill I thought I had actually mastered. There is something seriously brilliant (in the sarcastic bad way) about taking all that time analysing graphs and writing up about my current form then failing miserably within days of doing so.
Learning from it is the one and only course of action I believe I should take.

It’s all a bit “proper drama” but in reality was nothing serious. I just suck at being sick:

I had been feeling really fatigued over the course of the previous weekend and into the start of the week. I was getting the rides done but it was slowly getting harder to even finish a simple commute to work.
Ploughing on as normal is what I did (twat!) to combat this. Every ounce of me knew that was the opposite of what I should have done in reality. I still ploughed on.
Inevitably I noticed I had a sore throat on the bike during Wednesday morning, which is how any battle with illness whether it be major or minor, begins for me personally.
Full steam ahead. Thursday seen the normal 30km each way commute and a weights session. The weights session was fine but the commutes were far from it….. Lower power, lower heart rate, lower cadence, lower speed. Higher perceived exertion. Ignore them alarm bells, they’re lying!
Everyone knows that Friday is internationally renowned as the worst day of the week to be calling in sick to work. Who even does that? Me. I do that.

Friday and Saturday were spent away from training completely in a bid to undo my stupid ignorance. These two days recovering could have served me much better on the Monday/Tuesday where my body had been telling me to back off…. but I ignored it of course.
Rest days when I wasn’t sick would have been nicer in every aspect I can imagine compared to rest days when I was sick and feeling sorry for myself.

In the end I did learn…… Oh, we aren’t done yet? You must be bloody joking:

Two entire days away from exercise. It is some sort of eternity I’ll have you know.
Sunday morning and there I am at 05:30 sipping a Lava Java and eating a slice of bread smothered in peanut butter & jam. 100km’s and 850m of climbing in the -2c freezing fog is the plan for the morning.
To be fair, I have never trained in fog like that, it was insane. I did return home after 2 hours/60km’s in a dire state though. Freezing fog is horrendous on the lungs any time but when 55 of your 60KM’s is spent in freezing fog as you are recovering from illness it does lead to a inevitable negative outcome.
Maybe I was fine health wise to train but rather than ignore my body, this time, I ignored the weather and ploughed on regardless.


Look Carefully & Stop!

I haven’t bothered to trademark this one. I am pretty sure it’s something that is drummed into most by the age of 5. If it’s not, it should be! At the grand old age of 30 I think it may have been drummed into one side of my head only to fall out the other.
Monday and Tuesday saw the common case of man down feeling sorry for himself. Bonus points are surely due for ruining the weekend and start of the next week purely from ones own actions of ignorance?

Learning from Mistakes:

I’ve made the contradictory mistakes and paid the price. This blog post is enough dwelling on the subject as it is but I do hope it encourages us all to listen to our bodies (and respect the weather) that little bit more going forward.
Posting about my own form and fitness literally days before crashing is a classic example. I did not listen to my own body nor my own advice gained through experience even when it was screaming directly in my face.
Look and listen very carefully, but if it seems sketchy, stop!