Back from Covid

Looking for a little feedback/suggestions on training.

I finished sweet spot base 1 & 2. Then i got a mild case of Covid. Symptoms where fatigue, muscle soreness, and chest heaviness.

It’s now been 3 weeks, i’ve started back 2 weeks ago slow with workouts gradually increasing TS. I did a ramp test today and found that i dropped ftp by 5%.

Goals are crit racing in summer and intense group rides.

What training plan should I start back with? I was thinking short power build like originally planned but I believe I lost some muscular endurance. And if i go back to base, Im concerned I haven’t trained anaerobically/sprint power since the Fall.

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If you feel well (no lingering symptoms) and are at 95% I would proceed as initially planned, personally.


the only symptom left is some heaviness in my chest when my heart gets above 160bpm.

Maybe you have seen this already. If not I hope you find it helpful
How Could Getting COVID Affect Your Cycling Performance? The Science - YouTube

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I had a mild case of covid followed immediately by influenza B with double pneumonia back in late October. generally recovered pretty quickly but took a good bit of time off from working out with weights and cycling. I started back with the workouts just after Thanksgiving at a scaled back level and then started increasing the intensity right after New Year, By the end of January I was training pretty hard and somewhat pushing my limits. Feb 2 my Apple watch gave me a low heart rate warning; under 40 beats per minute for over 10 minutes. For the next 2 days I had a highly erratic heart rate. It would go from in the 30’s to 130’s to the 60’s to the 40’s back to the 130’s very quickly even though I was sitting in a recliner.
I stopped working out completely for a few days and the heart rate returned to normal.
I did not see a doctor but my personal opinion based on my career in the healthcare field was that my heart had been affected by covid and possibly the influenza and I was over training based on that condition.
Given your comment about heaviness in your chest I would suggest training with thoughtfulness and caution; now is probably not the time to be crushing goals.

All the best to you.


Thanks! That was very helpful.

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First, Let me say that I’m glad you are feeling better. I think you should be very encouraged, but be careful. You lost 5%, which is a lot for a couple of weeks off. Be careful, there are some long haul symptoms that can take a while to recover from. I don’t really know enough to advise you on that. To be honest. I don’t think anyone does. So let me answer what I would do, If I were you. I would go into plan builder and add a new event A event, just make one up, as most races this summer are pretty uncertain anyway. I would think that you would want it to be a little bit further out than your current plan. Then let the magic of Plan Builder happen. This is what I did when I realized my summer gravel races were probably not going to happen. I added a Gran Fondo in the fall, and I was pleased how Plan Builder extended my plan without starting over.

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I’ll throw another opinion into the mix. You could try what I’ve done.
Two weeks after contracting the virus i did my first turbo. I monitored heart rate and kept it in Z2. Only did 30 mins.
Repeated this each day and assessed how it made me feel.
After a week I was doing 1hr and a couple of outside rides. Kept it strictly in z2 heart rate

Have built duration since then and now doing around 10hrs/wk of z2 at 6 weeks from infection.
Did my first hard session last Thursday, a flat out cx training ride and felt great. Consider myself recovered now.
It felt like a safe and sensible way to reestablish training.
If I was using TR I’d restart a plan at this point. I think it’d work out better in the long run.


Adding to other replies - I would encourage you to proceed with caution and keep a close eye on various metrics. I had a rather unpleasant bout of covid, and am slowly returning to health. I have been tracking my HRV and RHR throughout. Before my illness I was completing at least 10 hours a week of training. Now I am just doing 30mins 2 or 3 times a week plus a bit of walking and only in the last session pushed hard to increase my heart rate. I have not ridden at power above my old FTP.
I have noticed that my heart rate rises quickly even at easy efforts, and does not return to a lower value quickly between harder efforts. I estimate that I may have temporarily lost 20% off my FTP, but think that if I proceed with caution, recovery will be good although it may take several months to return to my old FTP. However, I am grateful that I am where I am at, it could have been much worse.


I over did it. Monday’s Ramp test and then yesterday mild workout back to back, brought back a lingering chest heaviness. The ramp test did have my heart rate the highest it’s been since before Covid. Legs and energy all felt normal and do today.

Taking everyone’s suggestions - I’m going to take a few days off. Resume with 2 weeks of light intensity while gradually increase time/distance. Then reevaluate from there.


Keep up that positive attitude. You sound like a battler to me. You will be back!

Thanks. If nothing else it’s been an interesting exercise in monitoring various metrics and gently pushing the boundaries week by week.

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Stay down on the bars if you can. Sitting up straight on the trainer tended to drive my heart rate up significantly, but then again I’ve been dealing w/ POTS symptoms since covid. It also took me to about the 8-9 month mark for my heart rate to feel more normal during exercise.

Thanks, don’t think that is the issue, tend to use rollers so not sitting up and going hands-free in the same way as many do on other trainers.

The RHR and HRV is slowly returning to the pre-covid figures, but no cycling yet this week - been using my energy to try to get up to speed with some of the day job.

Interesting input. How are you doing now? I ask because of related experience(s). My FTP is down 60 days post break-thru Covid and I get consistent HR drops after 5 to 10 minutes at my old AnT. If I stop or back off HR will rebound. I do almost exclusively Z2 now awaiting visit to cardiologist to see what he has to say. I suspect there is a lot of anecdotal experience out there that so far escapes the literature (and medical profession)

This is an interesting article:

which has this:

An earlier version had more graphics.

The article references this UK return to exercise protocol infographic:

Which has a minimum 34 days before returning to normal training progressions, and I think the info presented should be helpful for self-coached athletes

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I am doing much better and have been for quite awhile now. I have not been cycling, either indoors or outdoors, very much as life has gotten in the way so to speak. This has allowed my fitness to fall quite a bit, but I feel as though I could take up training again if I could find the time.
I took things slow and easy for a long time and I can do some long hard days of physically demanding work without too much problem. At 66 years of age it takes me a while to recover from multiple days of that kind of work though; same as is mentioned for older cyclists needing more recovery time.
My personal opinion, based on my own experience and my background in healthcare(retired) is that Z2 should be your friend for another couple of months. While activity is great it needs to be at a level that is not taxing the bodies ability to rebuild itself. Covid seems to be particularly hard on the cardio and respiratory systems; doing damage to millions of cells that the body needs to deconstruction and replace. This takes time and resources that don’t need to be further burdened by intense training etc, in my opinion.
When I did try some of the TR workouts I found them much harder to do even months after my illness.I manually lowered my FTP by 10% and it allowed my to complete the workouts. I am gradually going to move the FTP setting up as I regain the ability to do harder workouts. I’m not following a set training plan; just doing selected workouts when I have the time.

Thanks. Good and useful information. I think these forums and personal experience may be our best guides while we wait for the medical community to get some experience and consensus particularly with older athletes (if we can get them to recognize us : )