Helloooooooo! How YOU doin’? (Guilty pleasure= Wendy Willams show, speaking of guilty pleasures, Truthday Tuesday will return THIS evening!) ANYWAY, I had a random thought about my recent bout(s) with mastitis and was thinking maybe part of the issue, and there are many, that contribute to my frequent infections, could be due to a suppressed immune system from running. Some of my other suppositions are:
-not getting a enough sleep (haven’t slept through the night really in 17 months.
-Sleeping on my belly (causes constriction)
-Exercising with two sports bras (again causes constriction)
-Doing too much, getting run down
But regarding the idea of it being caused by a suppressed immune system due to my training sessions (these bouts seem to occur at the end of any intense training schedule ; running the half on Sunday; a post coming on that later) just popped into my head and I wan’t to research it. You know, old school style, the internet 😉 Dr. Google is your friend 🙂 Haha seriously though. I did a little search and here is what I found:
TWEAK YOUR TRAINING
Long, slow runs (90 minutes or more) use slow-twitch muscle fibers, which feed on simple sugars, the same fuel as the immune system, says Michael Ross, M.D., medical director of The Performance Lab in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. “It sets up a resource battle between the exercising muscles and the immune system, with the immune system losing out,” he says. While you probably don’t want to give up all your long runs, you can scale back on mileage by replacing a medium-distance day with a high-intensity interval training (HIIT): Instead of a slower run over 1.5 hours, for example, do a series of eight intervals where you’re running at 80 to 85 percent of your max for four or five minutes, with two minutes of recovery in between. Also, avoid increasing both intensity and volume at the same time, says Dr. Ross, a sports physician. After upping your mileage, give yourself a two-week buffer before adding a tempo workout. A good prerace taper also helps your immune system recover.
The body recognizes vigorous exercise as a stress factor: Hard workout or bad day at the office, it all looks the same to your internal fight-or-flight response. Add to that the mental angst that often goes along with race preparation, and it’s no wonder runners are prone to colds. All the more reason to work on your mental balance, says exercise kinesiologist Andrew Johnston. “Studies show that meditating for 20 minutes a day can lower stress,” says Johnston, the founder of Triumph Training in Atlanta. “But you can break that up over the course of a day.” The easiest way to start is to focus on one breath: Inhale slowly through your nose, pause, exhale slowly. Aim for 10 breaths, gradually adding time over several days. On your rest days, try going for an evening stroll, taking a tai chi class, or doing yoga. “These kinds of restorative activities are a good complement to an aggressive training schedule,” he says.
Adequate rest is not only crucial for your performance, but for your overall well-being, says Lewis G. Maharam, M.D., medical director for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series and author of Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running. After strenuous workouts, sleep plays a critical role in restoring the body, he says. And research shows that repeated lack of sleep (six hours or less per night) lowers your immunity protection by up to 50 percent. In fact, a study of German athletes found that risk of upper-respiratory infections was highest in those who reported sleep deprivation and stress. If you’re having trouble getting to sleep—or staying asleep—in the days leading up to your race, you may need to back off your training. Insomnia can be a symptom of overtraining. Still can’t snooze? Make sure you’re going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, try jotting down any worries before turning in, and start winding down 30 minutes before bedtime.
Eating right matters most when endurance athletes reach the peak of their training. To ensure you’re taking in ample nutrients and dietary fiber, Andrew Weil, M.D., founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine, says to include plenty of anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich food sources in your daily meals and snacks. This includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, seafood, healthy fats (nuts, seeds, avocados, olive and canola oil), whole soy foods, cooked Asian mushrooms, herbs and spices, and tea, as well as red wine and dark chocolate (both in moderation). During a hard run, adds Dr. Ross, drink a carbohydrate beverage. And in the first hour after a workout or race, he suggests drinking a recovery beverage that has carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates slow the release of stress hormones; protein stimulates white blood cell counts, which shield against upper-respiratory problems.
Fascinating! But I thought running was supposed to be good for you!!! Just kidding, what that article means is that YOU HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF WHEN RUNNING or it could literally make you sick. Anyway I just thought this was interesting.