Sick Every Time I Take a Recovery Week

So I’m not the most dedicated cyclist ever, but I do do something that resembles a training block, then take a week easy, sometimes maybe too easy.

The problem is, I’ve gotten sick towards the end of the last couple of blocks, always at the end of the recovery or rest week. Is this a coincidence? My job is in a huge open office so there is no lack of people around to transfer illness. (This is allowed now because there are zero covid cases where I am.)

Is there anything I’m missing? Does recovery impact the immune system? I thought it would improve with rest.

That’s quite strange. What type of illnesses are you getting?

How much are you training? Usually you will get sick during a recovery week if you run yourself down too much during the training block. Your immune system is suppressed and lets an illness in. Then during recovery your immune system will rebound and begin to fight whatever illness you picked up.


during the recovery week your body absorbs the stress you inflicted through your training which might make you feel fatigued. Can you please elaborate on your sickness. What symptoms do you get?


Possibly a sign of overtraining during the training block. Your body will take its rest when it needs to…

Tends to be mild common cold symptoms, so a runny nose, and just generally feeling unwell, maybe slightly dizzy at times.

I usually do 10+ hours a week. I didn’t think I was overtraining, but maybe I should back it off a little.

“Not the most dedicated cyclist”


“I usually do 10 hours per week”


Honestly, if you’re doing 10 hours a week, that’s very dedicated.


I experience the same, like clockwork, so now N=2. Usually low level sinus issues.

I put it down to the end of the block being the point when my body is under maximum stress.

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Sounds a lot like me. I may not even get any UR symptoms but I often feel “general malaise” after a ton of riding. Sometimes it just feels like normal fatigue, sometimes it’s like being “sick” usually minus any severe symptoms. It generally fades in a day or two and an indication that it was just time to take a day or two off.

You’ll have to continue to anticipate your body’s reaction to a big block. When we’re in the middle of a tough ride, or even a tough week we may feel ok, we’re high on endorphins and feel good in the moment. When it’s time to stop this is when our body starts the adaption process, often, it doesn’t feel great.

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I find this interesting:,an%20allergic%20reaction%20to%20exercise.

Take it easy, If you’re training for 6 days per week then try training for 5 days a week. Add two rest days.

If my sleep hygiene or nutrition isn’t great during a big training block, I totally get little colds like what you describe, just general feeling ‘unwell’.

How many hours of sleep are you usually getting, during training block and rest week?
(also, I love this article on rest week nutrition), but are you eating enough during your block?


I get something similar to what others are saying during a rest week or the week after a hard race. I wouldn’t say I’m sick, but feel lousy for 3-5 days. Body temp feels strange with some general soreness and maybe a sore throat. My last two doctors have not really offered me any explanation.

Usually I can train through it and complete workouts but RPE maybe higher than expected. In the case of rest weeks I’m taking it easy anyways.

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Good to know it’s not just me. I’ll try some more sleep. I usually only get 6 hours so that’s definitely something to work on.

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That’s a terrible amount of sleep :astonished:


Same for me.

Every rest week, I feel as though I’m coming down with something. Very rarely is it actually an illness and I’ve put it down to super-compensation after a tough block.

I find if I spice up rest weeks with a mid-week sprint session, I can avoid this feeling of uurrrgghhhh…

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I am typically quite happy if I get 6 hours of good sleep.

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I’m at work almost 50 hours a week. It’s difficult to find time to sleep.

I only work eight hours a day, but for certain reasons, I have a two hour lunch break and it eats up all of my time.

I don’t even have access to a shower, so I can’t train either.

Although I’ve heard of people having great days on terrible sleep, including me, I can’t say I’ve heard many coaches say anything less than 9 hours total per night is ideal on a regular basis with 8 being acceptable. Those are hours sleeping, not hours in bed.

Sleep as much as you can @evrevzbcm. Obviously, your body isn’t happy with the recovery that you do give it currently. Seems like the options are; train less, sleep more, diet change, and/or reduce stress elsewhere (ie work, relationships, budget, start some form of meditation, etc.). Training less is probably the easiest to change from your comments.


That is very relatable- I always look forward to my recovery week and then feel a little bummed/bored when I’m not doing hard workouts… but, you know, it’s a nice problem to have…

I do generally feel sick and a little depressed after big rides (400+ tss), mostly if I’m dehydrated. I had a couple weeks where I felt worse after my recovery week than I did before it. I generally only follow the plan during the week and ride big on the weekends, so it could be that I don’t every fully shred the fatigue.

I’m convinced that lactic acid also causes mild depression :slight_smile: