Can't seem to shake my slight cold: restart from base or finish training cycle?

I’ve been sort-of-sick for about a month now, just enough to make it impossible for me to do hard workouts. I’d rather have a bad cold for a week or two and be done with it. From my scale I know I have lost quite a bit of muscle mass already, so I’d take an FTP hit. I’m fine with that.

Quick question: given that I am not doing any races this year, would it be better to restart with base training rather than finish specialization? I was hoping I could finish base-build-specialty this year, but somehow I don’t see the point in finishing specialty after having spent a month off the bike.

PS Advice on how to shake the cold is also appreciated!

Probably an allergy if it’s lasting that long. Have you tried OTC Zyrtec?

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I’m not sure if it is an allergy and I am not currently on any medication, I don’t have a history of allergies and it is fall. Or are there any allergies that are typical for the season?

Not necessarily. I get colds that take weeks to taper off, it’s really annoying.

Stop trying to train through it. If your body’s trying to fight something off, adding the stress of training is going to make it worse, not better.


I haven’t been on the bike for almost a month now :cry:

Any advice for how to get rid of them?

Apologies, I definitely made some wrong assumptions there! That is absolutely miserable :sob:

I wish. Drinking a ton of water (like I peed twenty minutes ago but I need to go again amounts) seems like it helps. Fresh air helps my mindset, but I don’t know if that makes any kind of difference physiologically. Sleep, of course.

If you’ve been sick and off the bike for a month, it might also be worth visiting your doctor? One time I thought I had a lingering cold for a few weeks and it turned out to be bronchitis. Meds cleared it up and I kicked myself for wasting all that time. (The same semester a friend of mine had “a cold” that was actually walking pneumonia.)

To actually hit your question: Once you’re recovered, restarting with base makes the most sense to me. You’ll have lost temporarily misplaced a bunch of the fitness that Build gave you, so might as well start working to get it back.


No advice of note, just sympathy from a fellow cold sufferers who always gets those lingering symptoms. My approach is always to try to wait until I feel ready to train, then wait at least one more day, then ride.

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Just putting it out there, though I’m not saying it IS this for a second, have you had a CV19 test?


I had the same thought. A cold for a month is not normal. If it is allergies that makes more sense. But this sounds like something more if it’s lingering for this long.

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In today’s world, anyone who has cold-like symptoms should immediately get tested for COVID19. To not do so is just irresponsible, IMO.

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I could well be wrong. But all I will say is that in February I had a ‘chest cold’, felt a bit tired, and an irritating, silly cough, along with slight - but definitely noticeable - breathlessness on exertion that lasted about a month, and a limited sense of smell. I never had a Covid test (they weren’t easy to get back then), but my wife is a paramedic and was dealing with CV19 patients daily, so we are now assuming/guessing it was a CV19 infection. If I could get one for free I’d have an antibody test purely out of curiosity. The good news - in my case - is that there are no lingering effects (that I’m aware of, anyway). If the OP can get tested, it’s certainly worth it just as a rule out.

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Yep, even in a pre-pandemic world I’d at least see a GP- cold symptoms are common to a lot of other conditions so it could be pointing at some sort of underlying issue. At the very least that’s a fair amount of time to have your wellbeing and daily life affected.

I would probably restart base, from a “preparing to train” perspective. Focus on establishing consistency first, and make sure you’re coping well with the volume before you start adding intensity back into the mix. The aerobic adaptations from base will also allow you to both perform and recover better during the high-intensity sessions.

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I wish that were possible in Japan. In that case my wife and I would have been tested about six weeks ago, but in Japan you have to have severe symptoms or be part of a suspected cluster (and even then, they are reluctant to test).

As a bad substitute for a test, I have been taking my temperature regularly, and it was always in the normal range, and checked if there are any other symptoms (my sense of taste and smell are fine, some days feels like mush and I have a bit of mucus). At least 6/7 weeks ago it was not the (proper) flu, we got tested for that.

In any case, my wife and I have been consistently working from home since February and where I live (in the Tohoku region) there are very few cases all things considered.


Yeah, I will go to the doctor today. I don’t know why us guys on average tend to be so stupid and not go to the doctor earlier. We actually had been about six or seven weeks ago, then we got better, I started with workouts, aced them — until it got worse.

And yes, I think I’ll go back to base when all things are done. The prospect of going from 0 to VO2max (literally) isn’t very appealing.

I know exactly what you are talking about. I like you get a cold and it doesn’t abruptly disappear but just tapers off very slowly. Last year a cold kept me off of the trainer for one.-week of actual sick and I stayed off another week and felt okay to return, without any real loss of fitness. However, a week later I got a flu and after a week I got back on the trainer and a major loss of fitness was definitely discernible.

After a month off I would say go back to base. Whatever you do, definitely retest.

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Yup, that’s exactly what happened to me.

Yeah, that looks like the best option. I hope I can get to keep some of the gains I made this year.

By the way, I just returned from the doctor, he did a blood panel and it looks alright. No indication of pneumonia or so (he tested for inflammation markers). He gave me some Chinese medicine (which is very common in Japan) and told me to come back if it doesn’t get any better in three weeks or so. I should mention that my TR calendar was really useful in determining when I got sick and how healthy I was at what stage. My doctor was impressed :slight_smile:


I thought I’d share this for everyone’s amusement: this morning I found my two-year-old licking all coffee mugs and the coffee filter with a cartoonish amount of snot hanging from her nose. :rofl::sweat_smile:

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Oh dear. That is a hard-to-delete visual!
I am guessing the dishwasher is getting quite the workout now!

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Unfortunately, we don’t have a dishwasher … they’re not common in Japan. I’m longing to have my apartment in Toronto back.

Yeah… I almost wrote that your hot water and soap and elbows must be getting quite a workout, but went with the easy line…

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