Post Covid recovery plan

Hi I am looking for some science based advice to help me restart my training. The day after a ramp test ( boosted my ftp fro. 247 to 259) as part of week 7 of my training plan, I tested positive for covid. This was almost 3 weeks ago. Am feeling 90% recovered but as a 53 year old male I want to err on the side of caution. Some options I am considering include taking a few weeks off training completely, and instead just walk the dog a couple of hours a day. Or start a new low volume program, accepting my ftp might have slipped somewhat. Or give it another week and then pick up where I left off.
Welcome any thoughts…thanks

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There’s some threads on this around here. My advice, take it VERY easy for a while. Short, easy rides. You don’t want to find out you had myocarditis after a hard interval session.

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Got to be lead by your doctor on this.

When she or he thinks youre ready Id look at Active Recovery sessions first.

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I am not a doctor so please don’t take this as medical advice.

I was in the same position, post Covid. I’m just shy of 40. I felt fine 8 days after onset of symptoms, but following some stories of bad experiences on here, decided to be cautious and get medical advice.

I had some bloodwork done; FBC, troponin, D-dimers, as well as an ecg. I had to go private for this (I’m in the UK, and my NHS GP described the request as ‘unnecessary’).

Everything came back normal/as expected (white blood cell types consistent with recent mild infection) so the doc (who was a cyclist, interestingly) cleared me to return to training, with the caveat that I was to listen to my body, save the ‘hero’ stuff for 2 weeks, and to call him if I had any unexpected symptoms following, or reactions to, training.

4 rides/sessions in, the last 2 fairly hard, and so far so good.

I can’t speak for anyone else but that’s my take on it.

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From the BBC with a link to the NHS

“ What should I do if I think I have long Covid?

The NHS has a "Your Covid Recovery Plan"which has advice, particularly for those who needed hospital treatment.

It recommends the “three Ps” in order to conserve energy:

  • Pace yourself so you don’t push yourself too hard, and make sure you have plenty of rest
  • Plan your days so your most tiring activities are spread out across the week
  • Prioritise - think about what you need to do and what can be put off

It advises speaking to either your hospital team or your GP if you are not recovering as quickly as you might expect.”

Thanks for the comments. My doctor tells me that about 20% of the swiss soldiers that contracted Covid while working on the border with Italy earlier in the year have still not fully recovered their fitness so taking the long view is important here.

Curious if you had the heavy feeling in your lungs as part of your symptoms? I have heard different lengths of recovery with many getting winded very easy,

Not really. I was a bit more breathless than I’d have expected for the first week/10 days of riding, but it didn’t last. I’m now having the best training sessions I’ve ever had, and expect a decent FTP bump in due course. I’d say I’ve recovered fully (touch wood) without lasting issues.

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I got infected in April. Moderate symptoms but at the advice of a doctor, he advised me not to lay around if I could help it as the clotting issue was coming to light. Initial doc put a stethiscope to me and asked if I was a smoker…No. She said I was extremely congested in my lungs. I did have a burn in the center of my chest. No shortness of breath and my o2 was lower than normal. Fell into low 90s. The lung burn moved around in my chest but was gone in a couple of days. Loss of smell, long term headache and digestion issues ect. Im 55 and was concerned with how to deal after it. I asked the doc if it was ok to get on the trainer as I was locked up in a bedroom. He said fine but just go really easy. Did this on day 3. Kept it light for an hour HR 105. Every day after that I added some time and a bit of power. By the end of the week, was doing tempo power in big gear and z2 HR. 10 days out I took it outside and by the end of the second week I did a 75 mile ride in z2 and felt great. Still freaked at the myocardia reports that were coming out I still avoided anything above tempo HR for a month. As I was an early infection, I couldnt go back to work for 6 weeks as I kept testing positive. We now know that I wasnt infectious but man that 6 week period was actually pretty good as far as training. I slept all I wanted and was putting in 12 hr weeks. 8 weeks after the initial infection, I was flying. Had a really good month of performance. 8 months later, I still feel fine and have no after effects. That being said, Im only one case. I totally agree with taking a break from intensity for a good while. You can still get meaningful training with low intensity and volume. You might even get a bump even though your CTL fell like a rock during your recovery. As an older athlete, there are so many systems that benefit from a long break. Hormonal in particular. Good luck.

Hi Mark, I had covid too (blog), was admitted to hospital and now have long covid. If you want any advice or help email me; if needed I also have a completely free cycling recovery plan if that helps. best of luck in your recovery!