As we wave goodbye to 2017, we welcome the New Year with open arms. And with the New Year comes the brutal winter weather followed by sniffles, germs and illness. And since marathon training season is approaching for many of us, the thought of sacrificing a warm cozy bed for some wet and cold miles doesn’t seem thrilling. Instead, try these very basic tricks to stay germ-free and warm (for the most part!) to tackle on your marathon training.
Stay Hydrated: Water transports nutrients and minerals throughout our body. If the Vitamin C bus doesn’t make it to the station, there goes our first defense against cold and flu season! The dry winter months make us feel less thirsty, therefore we drink less water. So make a goal to drink a certain amount of water by noon and set another goal at noon.
Get Your Sleep: According to the National Sleep Foundation, getting a good night’s sleep can increase accuracy and decrease the stress hormone,
cortisol. Plus, who doesn’t like a little R&R after a hard days work?
Wash Your Hands: Nobody likes cold, wet hands in the middle of February, but if that’s what it takes to rid yourself of a potential flu virus, so be it. It’s amazing how many things our hands come into contact with (doorknobs, shopping carts, menus) before unknowingly touching our faces. (gross!) If that’s not enough hand washing for you, another solid idea: a mini hand-sanitizer on your keychain.
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We’ve said it before, and we’ll probably say it at least 10 more times: It’s flu season! So if you’re home sick but you’re feeling guilty about not getting your morning miles in for this upcoming training cycle, follow this rule of thumb before lacing up your sneakers!
If it’s above the neck: If it’s just a sniffle here and there or the runny nose and watery eyes from the Exorcist, you can still get out there you over-achiever, you! And kick Jack Frost in his wintry butt while you’re at it!
If it’s below the neck: If you’ve got flu symptoms or aches and pains, stay inside and get some rest. After all, sleep is important to training recovery too. Maybe even board up your windows and burn sage throughout your home.
I wouldn’t go as far as quarantining yourself from the world, but if you want to cross the finish line of your favorite marathon, let’s do it the healthy way.
About the Author
After someone stole her bicycle from the beach, Grace began running the streets to make up for time lost walking. A Freehold native, she began running more competitively when she moved to Orlando, where she also worked in run specialty and began assistant coaching at a local high school. Although her heart belongs in New Jersey, Grace still brings the heat whether it’s writing, running, or chasing after her rescue dog, Bruce. Her knowledge hails from different places and experiences, but continues to shine on the floor at Runner’s High.