Has anyone gotten sick in the middle of training?

Pretty bad cold right now. Muscles ache.

How long did yours last?

How did it alter your training?

If I am feverish and achey, I don’t train, but everybody has their own protocol, I guess. Always ask yourself, ‘What is the upside if I train today? What do I hope to get out of this workout?’ If you have a bad respiratory infection and push yourself beyond the limit, one thing you could hope to get is pneumonia. :smile: If you think missing a workout sets your training back, try having pneumonia!

On the other hand, if I just have congestion and/or nasal discharge I find that a good workout really helps those symptoms go away faster. This is out of step with 90% of the medical community, I’d say! Back in the late 90’s I worked with an ultra-marathoner who always used to tell me the best thing for a cold was to get in 10 miles. A the time I was a competitve strongman/powerlifter & 10 miles would have made me feel a lot of things but better would have been no where on the list.

But I gotta say, now that I have some cardiovascular fitness, he was absolutely correct. Something about getting the blood flowing or the air going really works to clear out respiratory/nasal congestion. Don’t know what it is but it works for me!


I’ve just had a few days of illness in week 2 of SSB II MV. At first it was just a tickly cough and head cold and I continued training. I actually felt fine on the bike, better than off the bike in fact. The symptoms then progressed to my lungs and I also picked up a minor sickness bug from my toddler. At this point I stopped training. Three days off the bike and I was feeling well enough to train again - did my first session (Carpathian Peak +2) last night and felt really good.

The way my workouts are arranged, I only missed 2 workouts - an endurance ride and the first VO2max session of SSB II MV. I’ve just shifted all the VO2max workouts for the block by one week, so doing the first one tonight and will do the last one as the first workout in the recovery week (still giving me 6 days of recovery before the build block). If I’d been off the bike for longer then I’d have maybe built up with some easier rides and then possibly gone back to the start of SSB II MV.

Listen to what your body is telling you though. I’ve made the mistake of pushing through illness before, and it cost me dearly with a long period off the bike and massive loss of fitness. The general rule of training if the symptoms are above the neck (although only if you feel up to it) and resting if the symptoms are below the neck seems to have worked for me this time. I do think that the training in the initial stages of illness, when it was just a head cold, helped me recover quicker than if I’d stopped training immediately (it feels like I moved through the stages of the cold quicker than normal), but it could be argued that the symptoms might not have progressed if I had stopped. There’s no way of knowing really, but I know that I felt like training in those early stages even though I didn’t feel great off the bike.

I guess my rule of thumb would be as follows:

  • If your symptoms are above the neck and you feel like training then you’re probably fine to go ahead.
  • If you’re symptoms are above the neck but you don’t feel like training then don’t stress about it and rest.
  • If you’re symptoms are below the neck then rest even if you feel like training.

Got a cold right now, most likely 3 days in.

Almost perfect timing as I was ending SSB going into Build. I chopped the rest weeks in Base so this week would have been a natural rest anyway. Plus broken trainer so can’t actually ride the bike anyway!

I always rest/take it easy if I’m sick. I’m kind of a weakling like that. Be it scientific proof or witch doctor placebo, I’ll bombard my bod with every known “cure” under the sun.

My throat is always the epicentre of evil cold bugs and pushing things can make the cold & symptoms last for weeks. Better to chop off the finger to save the hand.

Get well soon!

As @qtip mentioned, if the problem is below the neck, knock it on the head.

Last year I tried (foolishly) to push on with what I self diagnosed as a mild chest infection and it did NOT end well for me.

Listening to your body is a key aspect of training.

Going through this right now. Finished sweet spot base 1 about two weeks ago, had an easy week then did a week of general build. Started with a sore throat and three days later got the usual nasal symptoms.
Good to know it’s not just me, although I’m dying to keep exercising I don’t know whether or not to hit the next workout due tomorrow, lion rock.

Also going through this now. Agree with those above with the above/below neck rule. Timed mine well with a recovery week so hopefully will be ready by next Tuesday for first session back

Ditto - Just finished SSBMV1 and I’ve come down with a cold.

Put off the harder workouts (bar the failed ramp test) so my first proper ride will be tonight. Fingers crossed it goes okay as it’s in my head at the moment.

For those following, I skipped my two 5k runs for the week, and pushed back my 90min Friday workout a day. Happily just finished it hitting every target, albeit a little sniffly but feeling strong. Took just under a week since first noticeable issues.

Hell yes - see my thread ‘chronic sinusitis’ for an insight.
There’s loads of good advice above and I’ll be experimenting to see how I can change what I do to get some positive effect when I’m sick.
My only ‘extra’ would be to mention the psychological impact of being sick - I hate it and it beats me up every time while I fret about lost fitness and missed opportunities. It’s hard to avoid, but if you get a chance a read of ‘The Brave Athlete’ by Marshall/Patterson is useful.

Best of luck getting healthy again!

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This is me 120%.
I forecast missing a full 2 weeks of training which probably translates into a month of lost fitness. :rage:

Good thing I started early?

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It took me 4 weeks to gain 8%…:weary:

Declines in Aerobic Capacity:

  • 10-14 days: 6% decrease

Last week I got a cold in the last week of SSB MVll (endurance rides).

I was only 3 days sick, and on Sunday I was already skiing at -10°C. I feel like the 1h endurance ride I did in my 2nd cold day, helped me a lot to recover, less congestion, no dizzness, no crying eyes…

Today I did Ramp test and I got only 3 extra watts, not sure if the cold affected my permormance, I expected a bit more coming from a 14w gain last ramp test.

Yep today. Haven’t been sick in years. Felt it coming on flying a redeye back home.

+1 for the whole “above the neck/below the neck” philosophy others have mentioned. I developed a cold (stuffy/runny nose, sneezing, light coughing, lots of sinus pressure) a few weeks ago and successfully trained through it.

It was hard to tell if the sickness was “above the neck” until I actually got on the trainer and halfway through a TR workout. My recommendation: give it a try and you’ll know very quickly if it’s right or not.

Three weeks ago, in the third week of SSBMV1, I got a pretty bad cold that interrupted my training. I did a couple of easy rides during my cold, but nothing intense at all. When I felt strong again, I started over on the previous week’s plan, meaning I repeated a couple of workouts. When I got back to it, I felt much stronger than I had before my sickness, presumably because my sick time was effectively a recovery period. I had a very good week of fresh legs before the fatigue started piling up again.

Me, right now, in week 5 of SSB MV1 :sob:

I feel your pain!

Update for next guy looking for any hopeful signs this will be over quick: there is none! OMG day four and it’s like a hurricane intensifying as it looms closer to land. Some annoying congestion to easily one maybe two boxes of kleenex/day, ringing in ears, hurts to cough. No fever so I guess I’ve got that going for me.

The initial hopes and wishful thinking that I might race this week end have turned into thoughts of next week ends A race being sabotaged and how I’m going to limit my sick time loss at work! I’ve googled (for the 50th time) every way shape and form how to get over a cold/flu, how long does a cold/fly last, etc…and all I can say is I’m pretty sure I have cancer.


How fast does ur ftp decreases? Like does it decreases after 1 week off the bike? Does 1 week off the bike influence the gains on a trainings plan if completed? Or does this not have anegztive impact as it can be seen as rest week inbetween a plan?

It depends. If healthy I’ve seen gains after a block of training and a week completely off.

I think being sick for a week after a block of training could be similar and many report they come back super fresh and powerful until the chronic fatigue builds up again. I’m hoping this is the case but, I’m not that ignorant. You lose some fitness after a week of zero riding for sure. How fast it comes back is also very individual.