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2020 has been a tough year for the Gibbs family so far. We have all had heavy colds, coughs and generally feeling unwell throughout January and February.

With illness comes breaks in your fitness routine, which means losing important (to me) hours of training. Important because 1) it helps me keep sane and 2). This was the year to train for performance. As you can imagine this ‘blip’ is making me feel frustrated!

No exercise makes my head feel like it’s going to explode! I can manage it for a couple of days then I get fidgety. Even when I am feeling rough, I still have to fight the urge to get that heartrate up. It’s never a good idea to carry on the training when you're ill, I learnt the hard way that it can cause more damage. You have to be kind to your body, let it rest, sleep and it will recover properly.

This week has been my week back, still not on track fully though. It’s a good idea to watch the intensity of your sessions at first. I have been working firstly in my recovery blue zone then my plan is to slowly build up the intensity in the next few weeks. I know I am not fully recovered, just by looking at my hrv recovery scores and resting heart rate. My body is still stressed from the illness but also a little from the exercise I have started to do again. I am going to go easy for a few more weeks as this cold hit me hard.

When your body lets you down it’s irritating and frustrating. I planned to enter the 1km world rowing sprints, but realise that's maybe a push too far, intensity wise. Sometimes you’ve just got to be sensible, especially when you're a masters athlete, as recovery from exercise or illness is undoubtedly slower than when you were in your 20s!

If you feel the pressure through illness, take a step back and realise it won’t be for long- if your sensible that is. Listen to your body, recognise the signs and back off. Train smart - that is definitely my new mantra for 2020;)

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