Sick Right Before Race

Hi all, I’m a starting to freak out a little. I have been training with TR for the past 6 months for an upcoming MTB 8 hr XC race. My race is on June 1st with a travel date before so, I scheduled a taper week starting 5/20 and ending 5/29. I did the first workout on 5/22 and when I finished I felt like garbage. A couple of hours later i began to get really cold and my body started to ache. I woke up in the morning shivering in my bed and my entire body ached, took the day off work and tried to rest. It’s been 2 days since and I haven’t done any of the subsequent workouts because I go thru periods of hot and cold with body aches. It’s almost like I have a fever, pop a couple of Advil and I feel fine. I am beginning to get pretty anxious because I’m really trying to not ride to let my body heal but, I need to get some of these taper workouts in. I’m afraid everything is crashing down the week before my race. I have been feeling pretty strong up until this past week.

Any advice?


Continue resting. You’ll be fine without the taper workouts.


I did a 3.5 hr XC race today and have another tomorrow. I have a head cold. It’s manageable.
While I won’t tell you to race with a fever, I can say for sure that IME your legs will do what you’ve trained them for. Taper workouts are nice, but a fever is a fever.
Rest as much as possible, as Steve said above.
If you have a fever come race day, don’t race and start planning the next challenge.

Life gets in the way sometimes.

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You will be fine and your race will be great (Lumberjack?). You won’t undo 6+ months of training with 1 down week, even if you lay in bed all week. The best thing you can do for yourself is to rest and recover from this illness.

If you can’t hammer your workouts, hammer your nutrition, recovery, stretching, foam rolling and sleep. Then on your scheduled workout days see if you’re up for doing a recovery or Z2 ride (Pettit). Do NOT push it though, your body is ill and any extra stress will delay your body from fighting this bug. Then when you’re up for it, slowly introduce some intensity and see how you feel. There is no rush to get back to “Taper Workouts,” there is nothing magical in them. Those are only keeping your top 5% primed and ready. The main goal in a Taper is to ditch fatigue and be fresh for your race, expecially if you expect it to be 8 hours.

As far as your anxiety, let that go and use some mindfulness. Focus on the present moment (your recovery) and don’t worry now about a race that is a week away. The only thing you can control is the now, so do that with 100% focus.

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This definitely puts it into perspective. I’ll keep the mindset it’s my body forcing me to rest and we are gonna crush it next week. Thanks guys for the positive words.

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deep breath. You need to get to 100% to race. Training is stress, so STOP riding. You will be fine. Once you are back to 100%, do some quick Openers type workouts (5 x 30s 120% FTP efforts over a 1 hour ride) and go crush the race.

But seriously, stop riding and get healthy. Doing more riding now won’t help at all if you’re sick.

Good luck and let us know how it goes, or if you need anything else.


I’m right there with you. Dirty Kanza on June 1st. Starting to get a cold my wife gave me and a saddle sore to top it off.

Rest and fluids is where I’m at right now. May just do some half hour rides this week. Hoping for the best on race day and trying not stress about riding right now knowing I put in a ton of work leading up to this week.

Best of luck in your recovery and racing!

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Rest. Rest. Rest.

I went into a race last year in a similar situation. Took 6 days off to get over a bug/fatigue. I did pettit+1 the day before as an opener. I went into the race feeling worried, but healthy. Once the race started, I got over the stress of missing some workouts and I did well. Making sure that you’re over the sickness is far and away more vital than getting in some taper workouts. As others have stated, 6 months of training won’t be undone by one week off to rest up.

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As said above, don’t stress about it at all. You will do no harm by resting until you feel fit again. Then take one more day before starting. The goal of tapering is to reduce fatigue and increase form. Fitness will always take a little dip, but your performance will be better if you do it right.

Rest up, don’t worry about missing workouts.

(Exact same thing happened to me last year.)

Any news on how you did?

I am in the same boat this week. I have my A-race on Saturday, my first ever half ironman and I’ve been sick the past three days with a throat infection.

I have already written off training for the week and have been resting, resting, resting, but at what stage do I make a decision about whether I should race or not?

I am on antibiotics that are set to last a week - which would mean I would still be taking them on race day.

What dit the above posters do?

I am in the same boat right now. Hav my A-race in 2 days, but have been struggling with a soar throat since Tuesday. Feeling better today, but not race-ready. If this was just a local race I would just sit it out, but this race is in the Alps (Alpenbrevet) so I need to fly down tomorrow. Cancelling means hours and hours of training, and a decent amount of cash, for no good reason. But there is no sense in flying down just to bonk on the first hill.

I’m trying to tell myself I’m just a recreational cyclist doing a few sportives a year and it makes no sense risking further illness and a lousy experience. But it’s hard making the decision given I’ve been looking forward to this all year…

My goal was to get 8 laps in in 8 hours but I was only able to do 7. I felt strong the whole ride and as it turned out I don’t think getting sick did much damage. Maybe a little less fatigue from trying to fight off the sickness and I could’ve done an extra lap. think my biggest limiter was the lack of real world MTB rides. It rained a lot up here in NorCal so it was difficult to get out on the trails and build the muscle stamina needed for pushing and pulling on MTB rides. While I did some resistance training it didn’t transfer well to the trail.

All in all I actually felt good. It was my first time doing an 8 hr MTB event solo. learned I need to pace myself EVEN more

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