Return To Running After Covid | 80/20 Endurance

Return To Running After Covid

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    After dodging the bullet all this time, I finally got it. I worked out Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Around lunch time on Wednesday, I started feeling sick to my stomach. Then I was freezing and everything I had worked out for the past 3 days was really sore and achy. It wasn’t a stressful day, but my Garmin stress levels were measuring through the roof. That night, I was running a fever. By the next morning, the fever was gone and has returned.

    It’s crazy, but it’s day 5 and I feel great. No fatigue, aches, or really anything else. The only things is a little bit of drainage that’s milder than seasonal allergies I’ve had. So it’s really not bad.

    I did a basic search and found the article about being careful and gradual about running again. I get it. Not a problem. I’d rather go easy and not make things worse, so I’m not pushing it. I’m just wondering what it’s been like for any of you who have come through this. Was it hard to get back to running? Did you lose a lot of stamina? Is there anything you would have done differently? If you’re willing to share your experience, I’d love to hear it. Thanks!


    What a bummer. I wish you well and a speedy recovery.

    You do have a resource on your watch with the Pulse Oximeter. I stayed with my wife when she had a close call and was hospitalized with the flu and watched the medical staff keep a close eye on her oxygen levels.

    I tested the accuracy of my FR945 against the readings by my doctor during a routine office visit and found the readings to be exactly the same. I then had the opportunity to monitor the readings during a period of chest congestion a couple of months ago and found the readings to improve as I recovered.

    While not a substitute for proper health care, it can be a guard against wishful thinking and returning too early…


    Thanks Charles. That’s one things I’ve been keeping and eye on. It’s actually been at normal levels (96-100%). Also, resting heart rate has pretty much returned to normal. I’m thinking about just doing an easy 20 minute run and seeing how it goes.


    Alan, how did you get on with the return to training? I tested positive on Monday and have been moderately fatigued last couple of days. Starting to feel better now and thinking about a slow, careful return to Marathon plan (had just finished week 3). I’ve seen the guidance here –

    How did you go in the end?


    James – Sorry to hear about your positive test. I hope and pray that you get better soon. Before I explain my return, I need to clarify that I paid very close attention for any signs of trouble. Chest pain / tightness, trouble breathing, dizziness, etc. Had I seen any of these issues, I would have visited my doctor.

    Initially, I did the runs by heart rate. The first two weren’t aerobically hard, but I felt like I was hungover. And I also felt hungover the first time I did strides, as well as when I went back to lifting weights. But this didn’t last.

    After I had recalibrated my easy effort, I did everything by RPE. I started with/ 2 miles and was very gradual on increasing distance. The main thing was making sure that I felt good and wasn’t ramping it up too quickly. I should be hitting 5 miles this Saturday. Also, I’ve added in one moderate running day per week. At this point, it feels like I was never sick. Resting heart rate, heart rate variability, and stress levels have all returned to normal. Aerobically, I’m about the same as where I left off.

    I hope this helps. And I wish you the best with your recovery and return to running.


    Thanks Alan, I appreciate the detail in your response and your kind wishes. I feel much better already but am paying close attention to the kinds of signs you mention.

    I think I will start walking outside and just make sure I’m back to ‘normal’ over next few days and then add in some 15-20 minute, zone 1 runs over the following week. As you have done I will avoid anything zone 3 or above for a while.

    Once I am comfortable I’m back to good function I’ll have to work out how to resume marathon plan properly, and if I can still run it as planned at end of May.

    Glad to hear you are feeling better too!

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