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There is an interval workout assigned for today. You’re not sure if you should do it or not because you’re just not feeling like your regular self. Should you quit being such a wimp and toughen up cupcake – or – is your body telling you to take it easy?

 

Here’s what I tell my athletes:

  • If you have symptoms (aches, sore throat, runny nose, headache, etc.) and just don’t feel up to the workout, skip it. One day of rest might keep something more serious from settling in.
  • If you just feel “off,” go ahead and warm up. After the warm-up, try two of the intervals (if they are less than five minutes long). If you don’t feel better during the second interval, just call it quits. Cool down and head home. Sometimes, many times, you’ll feel better as the intervals progress. If this is the case, you’re just shaking out some cobwebs.
  • If you are within seven to 10 days of the onset of a cold or flu, forget any intervals that drive your heart rate high for over 30 seconds or so. If you do decide to do some short intervals, make the recovery time high – some four to 10 minutes.

 

The goal of an interval session is to improve your fitness. Anything that might set you back should be avoided.

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