Returning to form after covid

Just had my first bout of covid a couple of weeks ago. Noticed my heart rate seems to be about +20bpm what it was prior to the virus.

Finding it much too easy to get up to max heart rate.

Anyone got any advice to easing back into training?

Take it very very very easy… I had my coach not let me ride until I was one week without any symptoms, and then after that we did around 2-3 weeks of just noodling around, easy riding, starting from 30min rides, to 45min, then 60min etc.

Take it easy, it’s no joke with postcovid from going too hard too fast.


With Covid the symptoms are so varied that we just have to go with how we feel. I had it 2 months ago. Awful headache but nothing else (very thick line on the test I did before not going into school for 5 days). Didn’t ride those 5 days but was back on it - intervals, long rides within the week. However, obviously if I had had a cough, fever etc it would have been different. So having Covid is not the issue - it’s what Covid has done to you as an individual that matters and only you know that.


Been there…

Got Covid (I think so, based on symptoms, although I did test negative) beginning February - 1 month before my A race - Ironman Taupo. At that point, I was pretty much in the best shape of my life.

Spent 3 days in bed, then back to training. Heart rate between 10-20 higher than before sickness (worst was when running, +20 or more). Was almost impossible to get it below 130, even on extremely easy sessions. Same for resting heart rate. Went downhill from there for the whole month (based on my perception, but also estimated VO2 max from Garmin, stats from Strava etc).

I was able to complete the race, although I had to dial down my expectations…

After the race, I stopped almost completely for ~1 month (fitness kept deteriorating). It seems, like it’s the best thing to do (read on another thread about Covid) - stop completely for several weeks. Only after that stop, resting heart rate finally got back down to normal.

I’m back to training now, and my fitness finally started to improve again.

So based on my experience of similar consequences, my N=1 says take a long break first.

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I caught Covid mid- December '22. Off work for a week - zero energy, tired, lethargic, high BPM, very little stamina. And that’s how it remained for the following three months.

Shortly after catching it, I tried to do a few workouts and could barely turns the cranks. I didn’t finish any of them. I didn’t attempt any further workouts for three months.

Once the symptoms had gone and I was feeling normal again, I started with short (30-45 minute), low level endurance workouts, slowly building my strength and stamina. I then progressed onto TrainNow workouts before finally getting Plan Builder to put something together.

Over six months since initially getting Covid and I’m still working on getting myself back to where I was (my FTP dropped by just under 30 watts).

Don’t rush things, don’t push yourself too hard, give your body the time and support it needs. Just accept that it may take a while.

Rest easy, take small steps, be kind to yourself. Good luck - I know how much it sucks.


I’ve only had it once and everyone’s experience is going to be different but I waited for symptoms to resolve and then started doing low intensity Z2 rides on the trainer (where I could control the effort and watch my HR) did stuff like Lazy Mountain or Recess. I didn’t start these workouts until I was symptom free and then purposefully did easy workouts to keep my HR <120 for another 10 days, before starting to try some higher intensity but low PL level workouts like Tempo and SS. Once I saw my HR behaved normally with these I resumed my normal workouts. I didn’t at any point see any abnormal HR.

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Lots of experiences detailed here:


My daily journal of my experience is fairly near the end of that thread and has loads of detail.

Since my last post saying I felt like I was back to where I left off before I got sick, I have now completed one full build block and a recovery week. I’m setting season power PRs again and expect to see some all time PRs in the next few weeks too (actually probably not because I’m about to do a 24hr and then a 12hr event so it’s all going to be about staying in z2, but I feel like if I was going to smash it I’d be ready to set some career bests). Tomorrow will be 7 weeks exactly since I first got ill.

As always, N=1 and YMMV though.

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