Posted by Hannah Rudd on Aug 19th 2021

On Being a Couch Potato

Hello SkiPost readers! These articles are always fun to write- especially when I get to share about great training sessions in Bozeman, productive ski camps, and successful races in the winter. It tends to be a bit tougher and less glamorous, however, to write about the poor races results, injuries, and setbacks that we all inevitably endure as well. 

(A picture from one of those really great days of training, featuring my favorite Bliz Matrix glasses)

This past week, my team traveled to Cable, Wisconsin for a low altitude training camp. If you’ve ever been to the Cable area during the summertime, you would know that it is home to some of the nicest rollerski roads in the country, great trail running, lots of lakes for swimming, and all-around great training. BSF’s purpose in coming to low altitude was to get in a good intensity block. This meant doing speeds, long L3 intervals, hard bounding, and L4 skating throughout the week, along with other volume sessions as well. The day we arrived at camp, I was super exhausted and felt like a sickness might be coming on. Sure enough, the next day I woke up with a full-blown cold. To the average person, a cold might seem like no big deal, but to me, it meant missing the opportunity to work on my speed, increase my fitness at sea level, and do intervals on one of our Super Tour racecourses.

After taking a few days off of training, I convinced myself that I was ready to start back up with some easy workouts. However, the ear infection that I developed a few days later would tell me otherwise. After some sleepless nights, a trip to urgent care, and a week of watching my teammates train while I sat on the couch, I was feeling pretty down.

I feel like it’s important to share this side of being an athlete as well. Nearly every day, we are inundated with Instagram photos of our competitors training hard, Facebook updates on what the Norwegians are doing at their latest camp, blog posts re-capping productive volume weeks, and so on. I tend to get very sucked into the mindset that I am getting super behind whenever I have a setback, such as getting a cold, and feel as though other athletes are never having these struggles. It’s important to acknowledge that these thoughts are not at all true, and that you should give your body grace and rest when it is needed.

Not every day is an L4 intensity session up smooth roads in the sunshine. Sometimes you’re a potato on the couch, sucking on cough drops, and that’s ok.

  • 1)Listen to your gut. If you feel like you might be getting sick, you probably are. Air on the side of caution and give yourself some rest.
  • 2)Take one-two more days off than you think you need to. If you’re like me, it can be hard to resist the temptation of returning to training too early. This might result in worsened sickness and overall lengthen the amount of time you have to take off from working out.
  • 3)Try to stay positive. Although it really sucks to be sick, you are doing yourself no good being in a bad mood and moping around. I find that I can actually heal faster if I can manage to keep a positive outlook (easier said than done, I know)
  • 4)Don’t stress yourself out. I know a lot of people (including myself), that have tried every medication, natural remedy, superfood, and cleanse in order to get healthy and back to skiing. Although these things can be good, I think that stressing excessively and going down a rabbit hole of healing remedies can sometimes hinder your recovery. Most of the time, we just need to give our bodies rest.
  • 5)Have confidence in the training you’ve already put in. Remember all of the training you’ve completed up until this point. Your fitness doesn’t disappear during a week or two of being sick. Thinking about the quality training and intervals that I have already completed that year helps me put some of my worries to rest.

As for now, I am back in Bozeman and am starting to feel a bit better. Until I can resume training again (hopefully soon!), I will be doing my best to listen to my own advice; trying to listen to my body, staying positive, and having confidence in the training I’ve already put in this year.

I hope that the rest of you are staying healthy, happy, and having lots of fun summer adventures!!

All the best,