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  • This topic has 47 replies, 29 voices, and was last updated 1 year ago by rob13.
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  • Current thinking on exercising after Covid.
  • Davesport
    Full Member

    I caught covid just after Christmas. Most annoying but fortunately very mild symptoms. Felt like a really mild head cold. I had to isolate for 10 days in Scotland at the time prior to the rule change. So I’ve been out of isolation for two days & am wondering when it’s safe to give it full beans again. I’m feeling 100% but aware there can be cardiac problems (viral myocarditis) after having a virus. I only felt vaguely grotty for the first two days. I went out for a pedal the 1st day I could & felt fine other than the ten days of inactivity.

    Anyone know about this?

    Free Member

    Well Djokovic obviously feels good to go after three week!

    Full Member

    I Suspect it differs for everyone!

    I had it medium bad back in November. V high temp for first 3 days, bit of a cough but no breathing problems. Really achy and properly fatigue.

    I went for a gentle spin the first day I could, the ride was ok, but I felt awful for a few days afterwards.

    Left it another week, and my next ride I felt pretty much back to normal…apart from a but of fitness lost.

    Full Member

    Some good info here:

    I’m out of isolation tomorrow and my coach has me going for a 30min walk Monday, and 40 mins of light spinning Tues-Fri with a strong instructions to note any issues with chest, breathing, HR and feeling of fatigue. Anything usual and I stop.

    Free Member

    Take it easy and see how you go. I tested positive early November and when released from isolation went for a couple of short rides and didn’t feel too bad. A week later went out on a longer ride and really struggled and haven’t been right since. Since then not been out on the bike and had breathing issues and neck/back aches. With hindsight I think I should have left it longer but didn’t feel bad at the time and didn’t really feel ill when I was positive.

    Free Member

    Unless you’ve had a cardiac event you’re good to go as far as your heart is concerned. You might risk an injury in the passive structures supporting your joints if you’ve been off for a long time, but 10 days should be alright

    Full Member

    This is useful though note this is ideally for people being monitored by sports professionals, but gives some general guidance.

    When I had covid pre all the jabs, I was a very long way off being able to achieve this. It took months.

    Full Member

    I ended my isolation today, very mild symptoms for the first few days. I did a quick 40 mins on the turbo on Thursday, a 30 minute core and strength circuit yesterday and a 5km walk today. All felt absolutely fine. If I get time tomorrow I’m planning a 5k run. I will keep you informed if I die!

    Full Member

    I’m isolating came down with it on Tuesday. Triple jabbed. Felt very ropey Wednesday afternoon so sacked off work and went back to bed in the afternoon.

    Thursday felt a lot better. Friday back to normal really. Did 1 hr weights sesh felt a bit tired afterwards.

    Hoping I test negative Monday so I can go on a walk on Tuesday to see how I do with a bit of light cardio.

    Full Member

    I’m giving the trail centre a go tomorrow. I’m feeling 100% other than the enforced layoff. If I get a whiff on not feeling up to it I head back & have a sandwich instead :o)

    Free Member

    I’d treat it like any other illness unless you don’t feel right. I had it before any vaccines and felt crap for a couple of days on recovery but then all good. Doing proper exercise was a good way to confirm I was back to normal.

    Free Member

    I caught it over Xmas too – not too badly I think, but a 10 min walk to the shops is about all I can manage without feeling utterly, utterly worn out after.

    I’d take it very steady as the level of fatigue I feel can cone & go like switching on a light & it’s utterly poleaxing..

    Full Member

    I’m taking it really steady. I tested positive for Covid on Boxing Day, my fitness was lacking anyway due to bad sciatica and weight gain from October onwards last year.
    I had my first ride post Covid yesterday morning, 10km/260m of ascent, I tried to keep my HR low (<150bpm) but any slight hill had my HR up to 175bpm even in my lowest gear.
    Also had a steady 5km walk in the afternoon and I was asleep by 8pm last night!

    I’m trying to eat well, no alcohol, getting a regular 8.5/9hrs sleep a night and hopefully by slowly building up the excercise I’m fit going into spring and summer.

    Free Member

    I’d expect the approach to be quite different now for most who have caught Covid 2+ weeks after their initial vaccine jab, compared to those of us who caught it before the vaccines in ’20. For most , the severity of infection should be less and so they should be able to return to their normal exercise routines quicker.

    My body’s initial reaction to Covid in March ’20 was very mild and I quickly returned to doing my usual thing of doing VO2 max blasts up hills. However, it backfired, I was left with massive fatigue for 3-4 days after and was often having to sleep as soon as I got home from work (something I never usually do). At the same time, I began weeks of having what felt like bruised rib patches moving from day to day.

    I ditched all z3+ intervals for ~6 weeks and then cautiously re-introduced z4+.

    Free Member

    This is useful

    Yes it is! Thanks for posting 👍

    Free Member

    Get doon to Penmanshiel ya big fud and hit the road gap , you’ll be good. Joking aside I could barely cycle up a wee hill without being out of breath 10 days after covid. Gets easier just take yer time mate.

    Full Member

    5k update.

    I made double sure I warmed up and took it very easy with a nice 24 minute 5k. Felt it on the hills but some of that will have been 10 days of covid jail and to much indulgence over Christmas. All in I’m very pleased, will continue to take it easy over the next week and then see how starting to push the pace feels.

    Good luck to all recovering from the dreaded covid.

    Free Member

    I’d honestly think if you feel fine you probably are. There is so much variation it’s not really possible to make a comparison with others.
    For instance I had Covid before any vaccines, felt crappy for a few days, lost my sense of smell and taste for literally 12 hours and then had 2-3 days at the end of feeling wiped out before being back to normal.
    My wife had Covid after 2 AstraZeneca vaccines, she didn’t feel as bad but lost her sense of taste and smell for about 4 weeks and had a longer period of maybe a week or so of feeling wiped out after the 10d period. My son had it having not been vaccinated and you’d never know there was anything wrong with him other than feeling tired for 24 hours.
    Luckily none of us had any lingering effects, I think careful return to exercise and gradual increases in activity really applies to those with longer term effects. If you’re getting back to feeling normal after 10 days or so then you’re probably completely fine.
    I did notice a higher resting heart rate on recovery of 80-90 (usually early to mid sixties) which freaked me out for a few days before I decided that it was probably me being worried about it that was contributing to it. So I just went back to normal, got out mountain biking, kitesurfing and running around a squash court and never had any further issues.

    Full Member

    You might risk an injury in the passive structures supporting your joints if you’ve been off for a long time, but 10 days should be alright

    I bloody hope so, otherwise I’m risking my health every other time I go for a ride!

    Full Member

    Thx for all the replies; especially the one about Djokovic :o) So spent the day at GT with one of the Davesport minis & felt 100% fine. Had a raging hunger on the way home so hit the Golden Arches & tried one of their Plant Burgers. My taste buds are obviously still fine & I won’t be buying another. Praise be to the NHS; my double jab & booster. Hopefully no long lasting effects from the burger \o/

    Free Member

    Good stuff @davesport you canna ekeep a good man down . Give you a shout next week .

    Full Member

    Aye @stanfree. Message me

    Full Member

    I think all the normal rules about getting back to exercise after infection apply. Covid has such a variable impact that one person will be fine to go immediately whilst my mate for example who was very fit prior to catching it couldn’t walk up stairs for 2-3 months afterwards. There’s nothing particularly special for most people with COVID Vs other respiratory diseases which is what creates such a bouyant marketplace for anti-vaxxers but for a few % the impact is horrendous.

    Full Member

    I had mild symptoms and took 20 days to recuperate. I went for 3 easy runs the week after and was very mindful of how I felt during the exercise as well as after. At the end of the week I was back to doing my staple run at a good usual effort.

    Full Member

    My first day out of isolation was Friday, I went for a quick MTB blast over to Swinley planning the usual ride in, red-blue, ride home but felt a bit wonky so skipped the blue. A lot of the wonkiness was probably from not doing much through most of December.

    Saturday was a 90 minute zone2 spin in the garage, yesterday a 3.5km run and a 60 minute HIIT type session on the turbo.

    Felt surprisingly OK. I’m planning to take it easy for the next week and adjust as appropriate.

    My symptoms were very mild – one feverish night followed by several days of lethargy and what felt like a heavy cold / mild hangover.

    As others have already said, just listen to your body. Glad you got back out davesport.

    Full Member


    Ive had Covid twice now like many of us I suspect. The first variant was hard to recover from. I still trained, but not as hard, took ages to fully recover. I never really regained my sense of smell, well it’s just not as good as it was ;-( Omicron nowhere near as bad as the original Delta just felt lethargic, but found I didn’t have the loss of performance whilst cycling.
    In general I would say do exercise but just gauge it on how you feel. I live in a hilly area, so I just took the doggit for walkies when I felt that mountain biking could strain my body. In both cases I recovered well, as compared to my friends that got it too. I actually think keeping fit and helps Covid recovery from experiences I have had with people I know and my own experiences.


    Full Member

    Nothing much to add other than to say even with a bog-standard run-of-the-mill illness I would aim to try and rest afterwards for 50% of the time I was actually ill. i.e. if I was sick for two weeks I’d try and rest for a week afterwards if possible.

    Full Member

    Another recent covidee here. I tested positive just before christmas, Mrs Binners a couple of days behind me.We were both isolating for Christmas and new year.

    A week after the first negative test and I’m still nowhere near normal, nor is Mrs Binners. When we initially tested positive we both had a couple of days of flu-like symptoms. We’re both now feeling far more tired than usual, with very low energy levels and theres a definite shortness of breath while doing anything exercise-wise

    We’ve been out for a couple of 5-6 mile walks last week and both felt pretty drained afterwards, though it felt great to actually be outdoors and doing some physical activity. I tried one short session on the turbo about a week ago and it felt pretty hard going. I’m going to try another gentle one this afternoon to see how I get on.

    As people have said, the effects and after-effects seem to vary enormously from person to person.

    Our experiences mean that if someone says ‘it’s only a cold’ they may get a slap

    Full Member

    As someone who copped long covid after March 2020 infection, I’d concur that it’s very variable. I’d also maybe keep an eye on your HR during exercise even if you normally don’t bother. if it goes bananas, rest up a bit more would be my advice. But basically, listen to your body.

    Full Member

    For me, i kept feeling that i was recovering/ recovered, then the few times i tried to push myself, then i would be wiped out for rest of the day, or longer. Also, whilst i appreciate it is not a scientific instrument, when i used the ECG function on Apple Watch, my HR was all over the shop, would 3-4 normal beats, then the fifth was manic..

    So i treated myself to new turbo trainer, and just did Zone 2 rides, figuring that if i did feel ill, then i was in the garage, not 20 miles away down a bridleway on my own, and just built up slowly.

    I have the weird curveball that COVID has given me Type 2 diabetes (history in family of illness causing it). So i have had to work out a way of increasing exercise and fitness, while also cutting weight and carbohydrates significantly and often getting fuelling wrong.

    Full Member

    OK, so anyone else experiencing this?

    I’m on day 4 of 40 min low power rides, warmup/20mins z2/cool down. Yet as I’m typing this I’m so tired I can barely stay awake. I’ve no other major effort other than work which is sitting in front of a lap top and I’m sleeping with my normal pattern which is approx 7.5 hrs 11:00- 6:30 with a pee at 4:30 am.

    I wear a garmin device and body battery has never been above 50% today declining to 15%, basically showing that I don’t “recharge” at night, with resting HR also about 10% above norm.

    Its the covid, right?

    Full Member

    Not sure how long ago you had Covid but my friend reported similar (albeit less scientifically)

    He initially found that a full day of work wiped him out ( he owns a small electrician business so does more admin than manual labour)

    It took him about 6 weeks to get back to feeling “normal” as far as fatigue and doing his normal levels of exercise goes. ( He’s mid 40s and fit / a good, regular surfer )

    Full Member

    Probably is! IMO you should give the rides a week off and see how it goes. Try getting more time in bed if you can possibly manage it too.

    Interesting that your device refers to a ‘body battery’. I’ve had long COVID for a while and that’s how I described it to others – like a phone battery that topped out at 10% (and took forever to charge).

    I found that resting whenever I could was helpful. Earlier to bed, lie-ins whenever possible, a lie down after my daily stroll round the park. If it gains you an extra 1% charge, it’ll make things easier!

    Free Member

    I caught Covid before Xmas, and was out of isolation at NY. The initial infection was just a head cold but I actually have felt far worse after the 10 day isolation than I did before. It’s completely thrown my sleep all over, back pain, tinitus, chest pain, heart racing at night and day, headaches and having to sleep during the day. I’m 40 and before Xmas I was in a decent place. I’ve been putting a lot of it down to over a week of appalling sleep and stress building up in my body but I can’t shift the occasional cough and sinus blockage which comes and goes. It’s a very weird virus.

    Full Member

    @Kryton57 – that sounds like classic post covid fatigue, but being so tired after exercise is an indication of post exertional malaise. If that gets out of control, you can end up with ME/CfS. I for one moment don’t think you are at that point, but contrary to some of the comments above, for some people trying to exercise yourself out of it can be really damaging. Back right off for a week or two and only do some walks/light resistance work (that doesn’t put you through the same cardio load). Then try one Z2 turbo session, but don’t do back to back days at first. Honestly, short term loss of fitness will be worth in the long term.

    If you look at the ‘stress’ on your Garmin I imagine you are in the orange a lot of the time. This is because your body is stuck in ‘fight or flight’ mode / your body gets dominated by your sympathetic nervous system – even when your are just sat at your computer. You can see this in my body battery stuff really clearly for 5-6 months after my infection. Your right – your body never rests and recovers. Try doing some breathing exercises/mindfulness on YouTube, go and sit in the park with absolutely no distractions and listen to the birds (not your phone etc), sit with a cup of tea but no tv. You need to try and force your parasympathetic system to kick in so that you do rest. This is pretty common for many people who have long covid.

    – you have a very similar range of symptoms to what I had post covid infection in November 2020. Right myriad of stuff after the infection when I wasn’t that ill. Rest, rest, rest. Don’t push it.

    All those above who are experiencing fatigue or post covid issues, I’ve now been through numerous long covid courses etc, and all I can try my hardest is to encourage you to take it super easy. I tried to rush back to work, get out for long walks etc (I wasn’t well enough to even consider the bike – it is very personal and you have to listen to your body) and on reflection that really really didn’t help. Loosing a month of fitness is totally worth it compared to having a year+ of long covid like some of us have. It’s not a magic solution but I wouldn’t want anyone to have to go through the same.

    Some people will bounce back fine and 7 days later feel normal – great. Enjoy. But as above, listen to your body.

    Free Member

    I remember feeling a little out of breath on the bike after I caught it back in April 2020. Okay so it’s normal to get out of breath on the bike but not on the smaller hills where I found it was occurring. Would say it lasted about 3 weeks before back to normal. Loss of taste was transient, perhaps a few days at most.

    No Long Covid (or what used to be known as Post Viral Syndrome) for me. I had PVS with Glandular Fever and strange symptoms lasted for almost a year. Nothing at all with Covid.

    Just see how you get on I would say. Take it easier than you normally would for a few weeks, eat healthily and allow more time between rides for recovery.

    Free Member

    Also don’t forget that due to the fear and paranoia (propaganda) we have all been exposed to regarding Covid, and the stress caused to the general population through lockdown measures, the commonly reported symptoms of Long Covid (post viral syndrome) also mirror pretty much exactly, the mental and physical symptoms of Stress and Anxiety disorders.

    Physical Symptoms:

    heavy and fast breathing,
    hot flushes or blushing,
    dry mouth,
    hair loss,
    fast heartbeat,
    extreme tiredness or lack of energy
    dizziness and fainting, and
    stomach aches and sickness.

    Mental Symptoms:

    racing thoughts,
    uncontrollable over-thinking,
    difficulties concentrating,
    feelings of dread, panic or ‘impending doom’,
    feeling irritable,
    heightened alertness,
    problems with sleep,
    changes in appetite,
    wanting to escape from the situation you are in, and

    If you suspect that the above may be the case, then a long trip out on the bike might actually be the best thing for you.

    Full Member

    The phoning charging / drain analogy is a good one, this is exactly how I feel. Ashat, thanks for the detail and advice that makes a huge amount of sense. With regard to the stress load within Body Battery you have a point – I had an informal catch up at work on Wednesday late afternoon, and after 20 mins realised I was talking “at” my colleague at 100mph – the symphonic system in charge as you say. Not realising it was anything to do with the post (until now!) I did decide to take my foot off the gas yesterday, and do feel a bit better for it this morning. (Incidentally there’s a really good write up regarding the symphatic system and it effects in Mid Life Cyclist by Phil Cavell, which I got for Christmas).

    It’s very odd, as I consider myself to have had very mild covid symptoms compared to some peoples descriptions on here, so wasn’t expecting this at all. Even though the first few days were tiring and mid-level cold like, the other 6-7 felt just a bit boring. I did look back at the body battery for that period though and was on the floor for the whole time!

    Full Member

    Also don’t forget that due to the fear and paranoia (propaganda) we have all been exposed to regarding Covid, and the stress caused to the general population through lockdown measures

    Welcome to the forum

    Free Member

    Wise words from ahsat above; I wholeheartedly concur from my experiences working with ultra runners on post-covid recoveries. Look to the long term, learn from the experience of others and take the hints that your body is giving you. A carefully staged recovery now over a period of weeks is better than finding yourself 10-12 months down the line and still borked. Losing a little ground now on fitness and technical ability is effectively an investment in long term recovery to full strength. Go and immerse yourself in a good book or two and use that time to rest.

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