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Ironman training, illness & supplements to help???

I'm 12 weeks into a 30 week Ironman training plan (IMCH July 25). This will be my first Ironman but I've spent 4 seasons in triathlon and have done mainly Olympic and a couple of Half Ironman races.

I seem to have hit a period of getting ill fairly regularly. This is largely due to my son having started nursery 2 months ago and constantly bringing home coughs, colds and sickness bugs. Unfortunately I'm asthmatic and have always picked up anything going very easily!

Having said that, I do suspect that it's also due to a moderate amount of overtraining, as obviously I'm doing more training (with more structure to it) than ever before. As such I have scaled things back slightly. This isn't a concern at present as I have plenty of time until IM but I don't want to lose any more time to illness.

When I have got ill, I've stopped training and have given myself good recovery time, so I don't think I'm doing a lot wrong, just getting unlucky!!!!

I haven't got high aspirations, I simply want to finish the Ironman within the timescale!

I've tried various multi vitamiuns etc in the past and have never really noticed any benefits.

So, my question is, to those that are more experienced than I in endurance training, have you used health supplements, vitamins, etc in order to help your body through the rigours of a heavy training schedule.

I'm not talking anything like creatine/ protein shakes/ performance enhancing stuff as I'm not at all interested. I'm simply after something that will hopefully increase my bodies resistance to germs and infections, when it's otherwise tired from training!

I'm going to give some echinacea a go and see if that helps and have also introduced fish oil regularly (as I don't eat any fish). Other than that my diet is pretty well balanced with plenty of fruit and veg, so I'm hopefully doing all I should be there.

Any thoughts/ suggestions or recommendations would be a great help.



  • for me, i make sure i eat a banana and have a protein shake after every training sesion, and eat lots of fruit and veg. if i eat badly for even a few days i can always feel a cold start coming on. you say you arent interested in taking protein, but give it a try. i'm training for my 3rd ironman this year and i take protein when i'm training and not been sick.
  • TommoTommo Posts: 5
    Echinacea and sleep and the 2 biggest things that help me generally, though I am no iron man contender. Since taking Echinacea 2 years ago I hardly get a cold. If I feel under attack I take double dose Echinacea and am in bed by 8.30pm. If I feel a sore throat coming, I gargle with salt water morning and night. Colds start, but never get a grip. All the best.
  • I have recently had similar experiences of Ironman illness'. coldsores, flu, sore throats etc. I've started taking Zinc supps and multi vits called 'Super one', from Holland and Barretts, so far so good but you've got to give these things time.
    I also eat loads of fruit.....

    Hope this helps
  • GGBGGB Posts: 482
    Interesting thread - I too am going long this year and so far have had about 3 bouts of cold/sore throats etc ... (Possibly due to only giving up the smokes 8 months ago). I have heard of taking Echinacea before and am going to look into this again. I eat much healthier than I ever used to but still think I need to look into better diet the nearer Ironman gets. Currently not trained since Saturday AM due to possible chest infection - not looking good for next few days either.
  • CoolsterCoolster Posts: 2
    I was in a healthfood shop today and the chap recommended chlorophyll as it helps keep the body ticking over. Apparently triathletes in particular buy loads of the stuff as they can mix it with their electrolyte juice. Anyone here used it?

    Personally, I'm training for my very first triathlon which happens to be IMCH. I also have asthma and tend to catch whatever's going around, but whenever I start to feel a bit rubbish I find ten minutes under a sun bed helps a lot!
  • hitman786hitman786 Posts: 37
    you should have an expert advise on your daily supplement about the dosage. However, Here are some recommended vitamins to boost your immune system, Echinacea, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc. These supplements can do wonders to help boost your immune system and make it more resistant to colds, upper respiratory infection and more.
  • md6md6 Posts: 969
    Coolster wrote:
    but whenever I start to feel a bit rubbish I find ten minutes under a sun bed helps a lot!
    Funny you should say that - I saw this article http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2010/03/09/biological-factors-affect-performance/ which mentions Vitamin D and it made me think that i should probably order myself a sunlamp.

    I am currently taking Vit C, zinc, rosehip eccinecha and a multivitamin as i have had a cold for over a week which is a bit nasty (chest) and won't go away. No training since Friday now and I'm getting tetchy...
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