Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining, Even The Flu (As Long as You Survive!)

Hi! Folks,

Well! I caught a mild flu the other day, and we all know what fun that is. But how do we get something positive out of the flu when we are on a training schedule? Firstly, forget the schedule! Secondly, see what you can learn! One thing I noticed whilst lying in bed with the flu years ago was that the muscular aches and pains aren’t distributed randomly. They are generally worse in muscles that have been strained or injured over the years, and especially those that have not yet fully recovered. When not completely comatose, explore the locations of your muscular aches and pains and make a mental note, or preferably a written one if you can face it. My latest bout of mild flu over the last few days revealed that my right psoas strain still has not fully recovered, and thus needs some more work, and of course I suspect that the remains of my left shoulder dislocation, that occurred years ago, will always hang around in spite of the partial beer-bottle repair (but that is another story!).

OK! Back to the flu! Was there anything this time that I hadn’t noticed before I contracted this particular viral infection? Yes! My left psoas was not completely happy either, and nor were some muscles in my feet. The psoas muscles are critical hip flexors, and you neglect or strain them at your peril. Tightness here will trigger reflex tightness elsewhere, especially in your key core muscles; did you know that the “core musculature is composed of 29 pairs of muscles that support the lumbopelvic-hip complex” (see article cited below)? If you don’t even know a muscle is there, how do you plan to effectively exercise it I wonder? Lots of interesting stuff to learn on the road to becoming an effective endurance athlete!

Before closing, here is an enjoyable workout that I built based on experience gained whilst studying Jeet Kune Do in my forties. Break up a 2 to 5 mile barefoot run into half-mile segments. At the end of each half-mile do a set of core exercises whilst focusing very carefully on form. I recommend the first five exercises and the excellent article by Fredericson and Moore. If you can, do the run on a sandy beach, which is great for barefoot running both in and out of the sea, and intercalate the core sets on dry sand. I was fortunate to do this as a gentle recovery run yesterday along the beach at La Mata, Spain.

La Mata Beach, Spain

I added sets of 30-50 reps of elastic cords (part of my training-whilst-traveling tool kit) as lat training for the swim. LPIM is only six months away, flu or no flu.

Oh! Yes! And thanks to ‘The Ugly Frog” restaurant in Torrevieja for their hospitality and excellent internet connection.

-k Your Medical Mind

PS If I remember correctly, there are 19 muscles in each of your feet.



  1. And you said that this is not vacation?! 😛

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.