Awesome Side Effects

By Pete Williams

Ready for The Tour

For the last four days I’ve been taking steroids and I feel incredible.

Though I haven’t done any strength training for three weeks due to injury and vacation, I walked into the gym yesterday and had one of the best workouts of my life. I came home and worked in the yard for a couple of hours.

Yet I don’t feel sore at all today. This morning I spent 90 minutes on my stand-up paddleboard and ran a couple miles. I feel like I could go pump iron again right now. I’m going to race in a Fourth of July midnight 5K tonight and hit another one tomorrow morning.

Recovery? Who needs recovery when I have my ‘roids?

Unfortunately, my supply runs out on Tuesday. My doctor prescribed Prednisone for a nasty case of poison ivy I acquired two weeks ago while competing in The Spartan Race. Prednisone is clearing up the poison ivy quickly, though I seem to have a bit of a swollen chipmunk face at the moment (common side effect).

Who cares? I feel ready to don a red cape and loincloth and march with King Leonidas. Bring on the Persians!

It seems only appropriate that I started my cycle the same day Sports Illustrated ran a story quoting Charlie Sheen about his steroid use during the filming of the movie “Major League.” Yep, it seems even actors playing baseball players were juicing in the late ’80s and ’90s.

And, of course, I’m enjoying the training benefits of ‘roids just as the Tour de France gets underway. I think I’ll grab my son Lance and go for a bike ride.

This is the second time I’ve juiced. I had a nasty case of poison ivy about 15 years ago and had the same side effect from the ‘roids — incredible workouts.

We’re long past the point of steroid fatigue when it comes to talking about professional sports. The great Roger Bannister, who after becoming the first man to break the 4-minute mile barrier went on to become the head of the British Sports Council and oversaw the development of the first urine test for steroids, is quoted in this week’s Sports Illustrated saying, “The subject of drugs now in a sense bores me. I just would hope that the international bodies pursue random testing to the point that athletes become clean.”

Amen to that. I’m tired of talking about steroids. At this point, I don’t care. You’ll never convince me that athletes aren’t taking HGH or whatever designer stuff is now available. Cycling always will be filthy.

But what I’ll never believe is the athlete who says steroids don’t make a difference. You cannot be serious.

I feel ready to tackle The Death Race right now.


Filed under Cycling, Running, Training

12 responses to “Awesome Side Effects

  1. Pingback: Biggest Spartan Ever? | Endurance Sports Florida

  2. Chris P

    Wow, I’ve literally never laughed so hard at an article in my life! You think Prednisone is an anabolic steroid or any performance enhancing drug? It’s the exact opposite, it’s catabolic and breaks your muscles down. You have a *serious* placebo affect going on here and I’m still laughing that you think this made you stronger and feel better in the gym, LOL!!!! Check your facts and tell your doctor how you felt so he can laugh at you too.

  3. Chris P

    Sorry if I was a little harsh, I didn’t mean to come off like that. This is funny stuff though! I think most people would feel the same if you told them it was a steroid. It’s amazing how powerful the mind can be.

    • christian

      Dig a little deeper in your research. Of course, prednisone does not build your muscles up at the gym. However, what Chris felt was very real. Temporary elevation of energy levels is one of the most common side effects of taking the drug. Some people even get jittery and have difficulty sleeping. So no, Chris didn’t get “juiced” like anabolic steroids, but Chris definitely was surfing the prednisone “buzz”.

  4. Brian A

    Old post – i know…

    It gives a boost of energy. I’ve tried many times due to allergy. It Works by reducing any inflamation that your body might deal with. Chris – you are right.

    That said… It might be catabolic as you mention. But short term use due to injury makes Wonders!!!

  5. Glenn

    Nothing to do with the mind in this instance.
    Here’s the scientific proof:

  6. GLP

    Firstly Prednisone is indeed a steroid molecule. Not anabolic steroid, but steroid nevertheless. There are good studies to show that prednisone ingestion is associated with significant sports performance enhancement. eg. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2007 Sep;39(9):1672-8.

    Effects of short-term prednisolone intake during submaximal exercise.

    Arlettaz A1, Portier H, Lecoq AM, Rieth N, De Ceaurriz J, Collomp K.

    In addition there are endless anecdotes of athletes successfully taking cortisone/prednisone for sports performance enhancement see Tyler Hamilton “the secret Race”.
    Of course this is banned for athletes as there are potentially serious side effects to taking prednisone.

  7. Tim

    I’m on prednisone for an auto immune disorder and my fitness has fallen off a cliff. My breathing is lousy after just the slightest exertion. So I’m really surprised to hear people think it’s performance enhancing.

  8. Bob

    Chris P,

    Prednisone enhances athletic performance – Pete was experiencing the beneficial effects of the drug, not a placebo reaction.

  9. Chris P is actually wrong. ‘short-term Pred intake did seem to significantly improve performance during submaximal exercise, with concomitant alterations in hormonal and metabolic responses’.

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