It seems, in Australia at least, that we have pretty quickly moved from a situation where a few months ago you probably didn’t know anyone who had actually had Covid, to now, if you haven’t had it yourself, then your neighbours and work colleagues probably have.
I have had quite a few emails in the past few weeks from runners who are concerned and wondering how they should resume training post Covid.
I have listened to a few podcasts on this topic and the thing that jumps out is that no one really has a reliable and exact answer to anything Covid-related. It is too new, and evolving too quickly for there to be any accurate answers you can rely on.
If anyone wants to listen to a good, honest, up-to-date, and science-based discussion on the topic – this is the one I would recommend – https://peterattiamd.com/covid-19-current-state-omicron/
It isn’t specifically related to runners but has good information on everything Covid-related.
Post Covid – should you continue training or rest it out?
I am not an expert, but over the past month, I have received a lot of feedback from physio clients that I treat and runners that I coach. It seems that people’s Covid symptoms can vary quite a lot, from a sniffly nose right through to a very bad flu, but most runners I have heard from, regardless of their initial symptoms, experience a lot of fatigue when they first get back to training.
Depending on what events you have coming up, and your current level of fitness, this fatigue issue and not knowing whether to train through it, is causing a lot of stress and anxiety.
My advice, and again – I am not an expert – is to err on the side of caution.
A week of easy short 15 – 30 minute walks with a bit of stretching, rolling and some short strength workouts is probably a good amount of training for the first week of recovery.
The following week could be a few low heart rate (Z2) runs with the longest one being 60 minutes, plus some strength, stretching and rolling work.
Hopefully you are back to something like normal, but this will vary widely from person to person depending on your symptoms. You need to listen to your body, and train accordingly. Have as many easy weeks as you need to make a proper recovery.
It doesn’t matter whether you are the fittest you have ever been and don’t want to lose it, or whether you feel like you are running behind schedule and want to play catch up on a training plan – your best option is to allow time for your body to recover as quickly and fully as you can.
That means going easy on the training, sleeping well, eating well and trying not to become too stressed about things that are outside your control.
Here are some tips from nutritionist Tamara Madden on how to boost your immune system.
When you are feeling better working on your base fitness is a great place to start.