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Getting Sick After Races?

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By Susan Lacke (triathlete.com)

 

You’re most vulnerable to falling ill 72 hours post-race. Here’s how to avoid it.

When you crossed that finish line, you had never felt stronger. But less than two days later, you’ve never felt sicker. What gives?

“If you’ve raced and developed an upper respiratory tract infection the following day, you’re not alone,” says Dr. Leah Roberts, emergency room physician and co-founder of SteadyMD. “You’re most vulnerable to getting sick 72 hours post-race.”

When the body is stressed, it produces increased levels of cortisol, a hormone that suppresses many of the body’s defense mechanisms against germs. This happens whether the stress comes in the form of a pressing deadline at work or an argument with a spouse. Race day, however, takes stress to the max...

with a complex recipe of physical effort, mental exhaustion, sleep deprivation before an early start, and pre-race nerves. By the time the race is over, it’s more than just the legs that need some time to recover.

Though training is designed to prepare the body to cope with the demands of race day, it’s not an identical, and your immune system knows it: “High-intensity training sessions are geared to simulate race conditions, but nothing can replace the actual race experience and stress,” says Dr. Roberts.   READ MORE



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