PACTIMO REWARDS(0)  |  FREE SHIPPING ON $50+ ORDERS  |  NEED HELP?  |  877-291-6238  

Tips to Avoid the Flu Season

December 07, 2015

Tips to Avoid the Flu Season

Keeping up with your training routine while you are fighting a cold or the flu is very bad advice.

by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching

Having to deal with a cold or flu is no fun. Getting sick is always a setback in training. It takes time and energy to recover from a cold or flu. The best thing we can do is to avoid the flu season or getting sick all together. However, we are not living in a bubble and this means we are exposed to infections. We also can’t avoid contact with other people in our daily life routine.

Our immune system is here to protect us from getting sick. However, after intense training, our immune system is stressed and can’t protect us as well as usual (open window). That “open window effect” has a duration of 3 to 72 hours and it’s when our bodies are most susceptible to infections and illness. This is why it is very important to get enough recovery and properly take care of your body, especially after a hard ride or workout.

Here are a few helpful tips and rules that can help you reduce the risk of getting a cold, sick, and/or the flu.

  • Consume a healthy diet of nutritious food – avoid processed food.
  • Maintain good hydration.
  • Maintain vitamin and mineral levels (especially vitamin C, D and zinc, taking some sort of multi vitamin is a good idea too).
  • Get enough rest and recovery after hard training sessions.
  • Get enough sleep at night (at least 7-8 hours).
  • Keep life stress to a minimum. Stress is just as hard on the immune system as hard training days.
  • Do not share food or drinks with anybody.
  • Minimize contact with sick people.
  • Keep your distance from coughing and sneezing people.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands.
  • Carry a hand sanitizer with you to keep your hands clean (regular and thorough hand washing will reduce your chances of infection).
  • Wash your hands before eating or after contact with other people, bathrooms, public places.
  • Dry mucous membranes (in nose and throat) also makes it easier for bacteria and viruses to penetrate our immune system. Another reason to maintain good hydration (throat). You can also use a spray or cream for your nose, especially in dry and could climate and while traveling (airplane).
  • Avoid over training and chronic fatigue; stick to your training plan or talk to your coach at the first signs of fatigue, or illness.
  • Wear appropriate clothing to keep core body temperatures warm and avoid getting too cold.

In case you are getting sick with the cold/flu:

Keeping up with your training routine while you are fighting a cold or flu is very bad advice. Rest up and put your whole focus on getting healthy as soon as possible. No riding at all with fever symptoms.

Be aware when buying cough, cold, or flu medication. Off the shelf or over the counter products may contain prohibited substances. Double check with USADA ( before you buy or take any medication.

Once you are feeling ok again, you can start with some easy riding (low intensity!!!). You should only return to normal training if you are feeling 100% and energy levels are back to normal. Once you are feeling healthy, you can then step it up gradually back to normal. Ask your coach for advice. The most important rule is to always tell your coach as soon as possible when you are not feeling healthy or well.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen (Current ALP Cycles Coach) as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.

For 2015, Patricia will race for Team Tibco. Along with racing she’s looking to share and pass on her knowledge in her new role as an ALP Cycles Coach. Visit her online at


About ALP Cycles Coaching

ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at


Related Stories You Might Like

  • Find a Cycling Coach – How To

    First, it’s best to determine what you’re looking for in a coach. by Alison Powers, ALP Cycles Coaching Finding a cycling coach is pretty easy. If you Google ‘Cycling Coaches’ many options come up. Here is the Denve...

  • ALP Cycles Tour of Colorado – Big Mountain Passes

    Inaugural ALP Cycles Tour of Colorado – Big Mountain Passes. by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching Our first tour of Colorado was limited to 3 days of riding big mountain passes through beautiful scenery. The staf...

  • 5 Tips on Avoiding Holiday Weight Gain

    Below are five tips on how you can avoid gaining weight this holiday season and keep on track with your training. by Jennifer Sharp, ALP Cycles Coaching It’s the holidays and your Aunt’s green bean casserole just woul...

Also in People, Places & Things

13 Women's Kits That Make you Want to Ride ASAP
13 Women's Kits That Make you Want to Ride ASAP

October 25, 2016

For superb comfort on long rides, I want a kit that fits well, breathes on hot days, and has a chamois comfy enough to stand up to hours of pedaling. Lately, I reach for the Pactimo Ascent Air 2.0 bibs and jersey.

Read More

IB16: Pactimo for Pre and Post Ride with New Lifestyle Collection
IB16: Pactimo for Pre and Post Ride with New Lifestyle Collection

October 24, 2016

Pactimo is quickly becoming a well known name for custom cycling apparel - but what to wear before or after your ride? Whether you want to remain sponsor correct, or just want some super warm, comfy clothing, the new Pactimo Lifestyle collection is coming soon to fall weather near you.

Read More

Fashion Show: Top Notch Mountain Bike Apparel - Part 1
Fashion Show: Top Notch Mountain Bike Apparel - Part 1

October 21, 2016

Colorado's Pactimo is a new player in the MTB apparel market, having launched its Apex line in April at the Sea Otter Classic. Before that, they were all road all the time, which they continue to do quite well.

Read More

Find us on Google+