How to come back from illness

I got sick on the first day of the recovery week in Sweet Spot Base 1 Mid Volume. It seems to be a moderate cold and I would expect to be over it in 7-10 days. My question is - what is the most effective strategy for me to come back from illness and get the best possible result on the FTP test that starts SSB2?

So far, I have skipped all of the recovery rides planned for this week. From here, I see three viable options:

  1. Skip the recovery week completely and jump back into SSB2 once I’m fully recovered.

  2. Pick up the recovery week next Monday, assuming I am mostly better by then, and continue from there.

  3. Go back to week 5 of SSB1 and continue from there.

Any thoughts? Open to other ideas not listed here.


hi tomr1022,

i have no expertise in the field but I’m happy to share my recent experience with the same quandary. I fell ill on the week before my recovery week.

I took a few days rest to recover from the symptoms “below the neck”, which included mild bronchitis and night fevers. Once these had passed I was still suffering nasal congestion. At this point I brought forward my recovery week rides (this would be much easier to do now the new Calendar is out!) and rode out the week with the “endurance” rides.

The following week I was about 80% recovered and stepped back into the prescribed interval workouts. However, half-way through the workout I could feel a higher-than-usual toll on my body. At this point I immediately switched to an endurance ride, “Carter” (skipped the first 10 minutes as I was already warmed up). I was able to complete Carter more comfortably without changing the intensity.

I used this approach for each subsequent training session, achieving more of the intervals each time, until I was fully recovered and able to complete the normal workouts.

Regarding the FTP test, I would be inclined to postpone it until I felt 100%. If that meant starting the SSB2 on my current FTP I’d be ok with that; shuffling workouts via the calendar until I found a suitable time for the FTP test.

Hope this helps.

1 Like

I had a similar break from training but not due to illness but was off the bike. In my recovery week work went mental so ride time was lost then had to travel for a week 2nd week no riding. I’ve done a ramp test this week and the FTP is down 5 watts so a 2% drop. From a test 6wks ago. 4 weeks on 2 off = nothing lost or gained.:tired_face:

What I’m saying is the break seems to have cleared any gain but I stayed steady so I’d personally keep going when the body says yes as your ftp might be stable and then test at the end of the next plan and look forward to bigger ftp bump!


Thanks for sharing your insights! Looking forward to getting back on the bike…

I wonder how common this is? After 5 weeks of sustained stress on the body, on the first 2 days of my recovery week I’ve been hit by a cold too… Will see how it plays out but interested in any further thoughts on the discussion! I’m tempted to take the week to recover from the cold, and then if feeling better go into SSBmv2 as planned but without a ramp test, and perhaps work the ramp test into week 2 once I’m fully fit and back in action (hopefully).

Hi Nico. No idea how common it is, but I can share my strategy for recovery and results…

  • Stage 1: Rest and Recover: I took a full 9 days to rest - no exercise of any kind. I was off the bike from Monday through the following Tuesday. At this point, I was feeling 90% recovered from my cold.

  • Stage 2: Gradual Return to Training: Next, I eased my way back into training by picking up with the recovery week from SSB1 - Mid Volume. I did the Tuesday-Thursday recovery rides, except I did them Wednesday-Friday. By Friday I felt 100% better, so I treated myself to two outdoor rides on the weekend, 208 and 85 TSS respectively (Saturday and Sunday).

  • Stage 3: Regain Any Lost Fitness: I repeated the Tuesday-Thursday rides of week 5 in SSB1 - Mid Volume with the goal of regaining any fitness I may have lost during my time off the bike.

  • Stage 4: Test and Return to Plan: Finally, I did the Ramp Test on Saturday in place of the scheduled ride in week 5 of SSB1 Mid Volume, and then the regularly scheduled ride on Sunday. After that, I went back into SSB2 Mid Volume the following week, but substituted a VO2 Max workout in place of the ramp test.

I did see a 3% increase in my FTP after doing the ramp test, which was consistent with the gains I have been making, so I think my strategy worked fairly well for me. The reason I did the FTP on Saturday rather than fully complete week 5 again is because I travel every week for work and don’t have a reliable power meter when I’m on the road. I assume that is not the case for most people.

Hope this helps.



There’s a lot of great advice in here!

Just to throw in some more info, I’ve linked an article about how to bounce back after taking time away from training due to sickness.


1 Like

Seems common. I’m on Day 1 of having a cold post-SSB1+2+Weights. Could just be a confluence of a bunch of things — people sick at work, wife sick, 12 weeks of training stress w/o rest (I chopped the rest weeks in both Base plans), cold weather setting in…

Crappy but kinda good, my trainer bit the dust yesterday so I’d rather be sick with nothing to do rather than be anxiety ridden about when to get back on the bike.

Rest for the week, couple Endurance rides on the weekend, then hopefully Ramp test on Monday.

I know I’ll lose a wee bit of fitness but the forced rest will do me good.

Good luck to everyone in staying healthy!