I definitely have germophobic tendencies, and I've found many endurance athletes share this trait. Why? We don't want to get sick! No one wants to get sick, but athletes don't want to miss out on valuable training time or be ill for an upcoming event. Endurance athletes are constantly beating down their immune systems and must take special care to avoid the illnesses that are passed around during this time of the year...and any time of the year for that matter.
Is it the end of the world? Most likely not.
Is it super frustrating? For sure.
Could it wreck your upcoming event? Definitely.
Can it be avoided? It's not fool-proof, but if you work hard you can really cut down your chances of getting ill.
Most would agree that the best tip is to simply frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your face, mouth, eyes, nose, ears, etc. And I doubt you would find an athlete or coach that would say that more sleep is a bad thing. Finally, recover HARD, eat well, and stay hydrated...always.
Here's a great article that I came across on TrainingPeaks that goes even further:
How Athletes Can Survive the Cold and Flu Season
I'm a fan of carrying around my own pen (habit developed during my 20 year teaching career), and make sure you hit the soap and water after using the credit-card key pads at the store. Not a bad idea to use a paper towel to open the door after using a public bathroom.
What's your best tip?
A little prevention can go a long way!
Coach B.L. is the head coach at BJL Coaching and an avid racer and cycling enthusiast himself.