Looking After Your Immune Health when Marathon Training

This post is sponsored by Wellmune® through Maverick Mindshare. 

I recently finished Alexi Pappas book ‘ Bravery’ and have folded down a number of the page corners which contain passages or lines that really stuck with me. I read it at the most perfect time for me, as we started a new year, a year that I have big goals I want to achieve. 

There were passages I have underlined talking about interest vs commitment which is where I was struck with my word for 2022… commit. And there are sections that have stuck with me about training, effort and most importantly, health. 

‘It is better to be 100% healthy and 80% fit, than 100% fit and 80% healthy.’ 

‘Fitness is only an indicator of athletic ability at the present moment. Health is a more holistic measure of the body’s ability to endure strain. Fitness does not take into account that you need to continue training tomorrow and next week.’ 

So often when we are training for big running goals, we focus so much on the running aspect, and forget about the rest of the picture. Our overall health, both physical and mental. 

Rather than just thinking of a training plan as a series of runs to tick off, I think it’s important to look at your overall week holistically. Have you scheduled enough rest and recovery, time with friends/family, strength and mobility work? Are you getting enough sleep to support your training and lifestyle? 

I think this pandemic has reminded so many of us not to take our health for granted. It has given many more space to be kind to themselves and for some, more space for downtime and not feeling like you have to say yes to everything. 

Recently, I was introduced to Wellmune®, a yeast beta glucan that is being used in a number of products to help promote immunity. Yeast beta glucans are fibres found in the cell walls of food much like cooking yeast. It works by priming your immune cells to be ready for action so that they can work more effectively against foreign challenges. The idea behind it is that you take it daily, like you would a multivitamin, as a proactive step in your immune health. 

Your immune system defends your body against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses that are a threat to your health. It is made up of a system of organs, tissues, cells and molecules that work together to detect and neutralise invading pathogens. It is broken down into two parts; the innate immune system (rapid response) and the adaptive immune system (this takes time to make antibodies to respond to specific invaders). 

Whilst there is nothing magic that will ‘boost’ your immunity, there are dietary and lifestyle factors that can strengthen your immune system. In particular, looking after your gut health – it is home to trillions of bacteria and plays a vital role in strengthening your immune system. 

  • Eating a colourful diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables 
  • Improving gut health by eating a variety of fibres (aim for 30 different sources per week)
  • Getting 7-9 hours sleep per night 
  • Spend time outside – studies show that playing outside helps develop children’s immune systems, not to mention you’ll get your Vitamin D fix (remember NHS advice is to supplement Vitamin D from October to May in the UK) 
  • Getting vaccinated gives you specific immune strength against those viruses they are targeting 
  • Varying your running workouts to include both high and low intensity runs with plenty of recovery 

If you’re looking to do something extra, then try taking products containing Wellmune. It is the gold standard yeast beta glucan and the only yeast beta glucan backed by peer-reviewed clinical studies to support its efficacy and safety. Wellmune has been shown to benefit kids, older adults, those going through periods of high stress and those with high training schedules -– e.g. marathon runners. 

Research has shown that marathon runners are six times more likely to get a cold after race day. This study showed that marathon runners taking Wellmune for 4 weeks after their race experienced significantly fewer Upper Respiratory Tract infections, as well as reporting less fatigue, tension and anger than those in the control group. 

Research has shown that individuals who have added in Wellmune yeast beta glucan have helped support their immune system beyond the general healthy lifestyle advice of eating well, exercising regularly and sleeping enough. It can be found in hydration drinks, protein powders, immunity shots and supplements so is very easy to take in your preferred method. I have been trying it in a hydration powder added to water each day. You can look out for the Wellmune label on the product or check out the website here.

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