Anticipating being COVID positive & training?

Before I state my question, please let me be clear that I am not seeking medical advice from anyone on the board.

I’m wondering if anyone is aware of any studies, or has any anecdotal evidence with the following situation:

My daughter caught COVID over the weekend (asymptomatic so far) due to a close contact in her dance class on Saturday. She tested at school on Monday and was found to be Covid positive.

She is not isolating herself in the house, I have not been distancing from her and I don’t plan to for various reasons. She is obviously quarantined from the outside world. I am fully Pfizer vaccinated + boosted in November. I had a PCR test today and am negative. However, my hunch is I will be positive in the next day or two … it feels inevitable … but really, who knows? Currently I feel perfectly fine, if not a bit apprehensive.

I’ve decided to take today off training, and in truth I was more-or-less hoping for a positive test because, again, if feels inevitable that I’m going to catch this thing at some point so I might as well do it now when I can convalesce with my family.

I’ve also been told that the virus can incubate for 10-14 days before a positive test or any symptoms … which is maddening, but we’ve all had to deal with maddening and/or tragic circumstances these past two years, so I’m not complaining.

That said - knowing that training can weaken your immune system, is there any conventional wisdom on if, or how long, one should suspend training in anticipation of a positive Covid infection? Even if that infection that might never occur?

I’m open to N=1 stories. Curious if other others have dealt with this, and how they did so.

Thanks in advance.

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I trained when I knew my wife was positive and I wasn’t (yet….).

Failed that threshold workout (Dragontail -1. Insane workout in my opinion).

Symptoms began the next day, positive the following day.

I did get sicker than my wife (worse throat, fever, GI stuff. She didn’t any of those) but who knows if it was because of that, genetics, I had Pfizer shots and she had Moderna shots and a Pfizer booster, etc….

So who knows. Recovery was the same for both of us.


Well, for N=1 here goes.
I had managed to avoid getting sick (not COVID) as something went through the whole house (wife + 2 kids) for 3-4 weeks. The last kid was on the tail end of it, and I did a really hard SS workout that wrecked me (130 minutes at 90%), and I got sick a day or two later. Was sick for about 2 weeks before completely over it. Given that I was in a house and sleeping in the same bed as a sick person for weeks without getting sick, I suspect that my workout did have something to do with succumbing to the bug, but of course this is just anecdotal. I plan to avoid really hard workouts if possible when the family is sick going forward.

I would also suggest you keep an eye on your heartrate during easier workouts if you being exposed - this could help you identify if you are getting sick before you get full blown symptoms.


In hindsight would you just have done Z2 riding until you were actually sick? Again, not looking for advice … but curious as to how you would have changed anything.


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Interesting discussion. I held my recovery week out to line up with the school holidays but with the thought of jumping into it if we got a positive in the house.

We’ve so far managed to avoid it though it seems to be closing in. Yet I’ve been absolutely battling anytime I get on the bike. HR sky high and RPE seems uncomfortably elevated. I don’t have Covid, nor any other obvious symptoms.

I keep trying to get back into SS to finish off my base period and coming out like I’ve ridden at Threshold only with low SS numbers.

Trying to decide whether to do nothing, only ride mid-high Z2, or just do some easy (60% or less) rides until whatever it is passes :man_shrugging:.

Usually it’s a bit more obvious as there’s a cough, or sore throat, or something that I don’t want to suck into my lungs and it usually passes faster. It’s been ten days and I’ve only done two rides. Both SS, one was minimal in length.

I’ll follow along with the anecdata.


Slightly different scenario but I have planning my season this year with the assumption that I will finally get COVID at some point. I am aiming to build up a really big endurance-style base to help maintain fitness as my assumption is that I will have to stop training for 2-3 weeks.


i had my exposure on a thursday (hindsight is 20/20) but symptoms didnt appear until sunday. Saturday i did my standard HARD 2hr workout and Sunday went out for a 4hr SST ride. About 1/2 way through the sunday right i just started feeling worse and worse. Had to throw it in limp mode to get home.
Tested positive on the Monday after fever and chills had set in on the Sunday evening.

The first part of the sunday ride i was still putting out some of my best power numbers of the year.

MOral of my story; just keep training until you get it.
There’s a good thread about COVID recovery if you do get it. But the main story there is TAKE IT VERY EASY.

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My husband recently became symptomatic and then tested positive for covid. I decided not to do any hard efforts biking, because I feared that i would get a worse case of covid if i were worn down and tired. We live in a small apartment, so i would not have been able to isolate from him unless i checked into a hotel, which i did not do. I went for an easy outside ride on the Friday and then converted my regular Saturday workout to a z2 workout. I was entering a recovery week. I skipped the Tuesday workout and did a z2 workout on Thursday and Saturday. I never became sick and i tested negative for covid several times. The following week, i went back to my regular plan.


I tested positive in September of last year, I was completely asymptomatic. Continued training hard (and setting PRs) through my 14-day quarantine, and even won a cyclocross race the day after my quarantine ended.

I never would have known I had Covid had I not tested.


My coach told me to take it easy when my girlfriend had COVID last year, so did a week of only endurance rides. I never was sick or tested positive.

Fast forward to this year, and I test positive 1.5 weeks ago. Girlfriend got sick this time as well, but a few days after me.

Slowly working my way back now!

I would personally just do easier rides (can still be long endurance rides and whatnot) just to maybe help out the body if its on the verge of beating it or whatnot, just so you dont push it too much.


Wife and daughter #3 brought it home at the same time. A few days later daughters #1 and #2 followed. It was simply impossible to separate them from wife and #3.

However, a few days before we had a bit of an argument about certain lifestyle choices which led to the infections. And wife understands why I don’t want to catch it. Therefore, I kept the distance from the onset of symptoms (wife was basically dead for 2 days. #3 had 10min of headache :slight_smile: … but the first positive test).

To make my isolation easier and given our living conditions I decided to do a 2 weeks mega volume training block :grin:. Weather was nice. Put in two solid 30hr weeks. Low intensity riding, higher intensity was off the table. Did an antigen test almost daily and paid attention to symptoms. Did not catch it.


I didn’t catch it even though not distancing from people in the same house with it.
Its not inevitable that this is the time.
I know plenty of people that have lived with someone with Covid and even slept in the same bed that didnt get it.
It seems very random for something that appears to be so transmissible most of the time.

I’m not sure I change my training but keep an eye out for out of the normal HR response.

I do think generally its just a matter of time but that could be from some random contact.

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It’s one of the more frustrating parts about the virus, the way that everyone reacts differently.

My older son brought the virus home from daycare, I tested positive, we were both asymptomatic. My younger son and wife never did test positive.

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COVID is an odd illness, and can affect people differently. We all had it at New Year. The day before testing positive I did a big effort (all time 20 min power PB). I was feeling a little tired before riding, but nothing that I didn’t put down to the time of year. I wasn’t too ill - no cough, about six days of feeling under the weather. Once I felt better, began to ride again. Exercise heart response was really abnormal. I had threshold/VO2 max HR at Zone 2 efforts, even though the RPE was that of zone 2. Resting HR was erratic and around 15% elevated. I went to the doctor, and it was thought that I may have some form of myocarditis/cardiomyopathy/pericarditis. ECG wasn’t normal either - but cardiologist wasn’t worried given exercise history. My blood pressure was through the roof, but this was likely unrelated.

It’s take now 4 months to begin to feel strong again, but still miles off where I should be. Resting HR in normalising, but not yet fully recovered. Exercise response has improved, but still have a higher average HR than normal for work intervals (expected due to loss of fitness).

It’s all really speculation, but did the hard effort after I’d likely been exposed lead to a poorer recovery? Who knows!!

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I must say it was impressive to see how Omicron spread within my environment. You can really trace the infection chain, my wife’s entire familiy was affected. With other families we’re talking 40-50 people. And really everyone caught it. All housholds, 100%. I’m the only outlier.

This was really different to previous waves where often only a few houshold members got infected.

And the longlasting effects on exercise capacity is something that really scares me. I know to many people who are fully vaccianted, had only mild symptoms but seem not to recover fully even after weeks. If exercise/sport is important in your life, don’t catch it. This is gamble.

My hope is that I have this herd immunity around me now. At least for this wave. I’m the old, frail bull in the center. And that I can evade an infection until an omicron adapted vaccine is available. However, the progress on this seems slow. And who knows what variant we will have to deal with next. Hopefully still omicron and we have a vaccine.


N=1, I was in a similar position, decided to just throttle things back a bit and take extra care to listen to my body. Avoided TR rides other than Z2 stuff because I do TR in erg mode and know that I’m not good at dialling down the watts, I have a tendency to just grit my teeth and carry on! Outdoors I did some limited SS and tempo work but more by feel and keeping power in zone rather than having specific targets. Avoided threshold and above, and avoided pushing the duration of the work too close to limits. Figured similar to you that training can weaken immune system, and in the bigger picture a few weeks of what was effectively aerobic maintenance training wouldn’t hurt.

Glad I didn’t shut things down completely as ended up not getting covid until over a week after I thought I would (kids had it, wife got it a week later, I got it a week after that) so would have been quite a big training break if I’d taken that time off or super easy. I actually started feeling crap the day before I tested positive and did no training that day. Impossible to know whether my approach helped or hindered how badly I got covid and how quickly I recovered from it. But it was fairly mild for me - couple of days of not training and sleeping a lot, day 3 I started doing easy training again, day 6 I tested negative and was feeling normal so worked up through the gears to doing VO2 max work again by about day 10. Now 5 weeks since I had it and have had a small fitness bump compared to pre-covid levels - which is exactly where I’d hoped to be if I hadn’t had covid, as as am into Build and doing a few early season races. So glad it hasn’t set me back much if at all.


When I got COVID, my wife didn’t get it at all; she never even became positive. I wouldn’t worry about it unless you do get symptoms. You could be immune. You could have had it already and not known it. You could get a completely asymptomatic case. If you get sick, you’ll know it, and then you can lay off.

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Might have had it last week, resting HR was up and didn’t feel well for 5 days. Allergies? Some other crud? I dunno. Kept training. Fitness bump this week but still not 100%. To borrow a phrase from the movie Tin Cup, I say ride her til she bucks ya or you don’t ride at all.


Bro, lactate kills mitochondria. Mitochondria kills COVID. Do the math! :man_surfing:

Let us know how it goes and hope you stay well.

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This is what I have done …
Lots of long rides mixed with intensity. A event is in 8 weeks and I have just got COVID for the first time. Hoping to spend no more than 2 weeks off the bike and then return with a gradual build into the event. Time will tell if the “plan” works out. Pretty dusty at the moment.