4 months down the drain

So here I was, after doing the Transition Up, 4DP, then All-Purpose Road plan and a better 4DP…
and I got sick - can’t breathe, lost my voice, no energy, the works. This after not going anywhere and
not seeing anyone for the entire winter.
Got tested for COVID, and the test came back negative, so that’s some good news at least.

But it’s been more than 3 weeks where I haven’t been able to get on the trainer (nice use of my subscription) and I’m feeling absolutely gutted. I’ve been staying home all winter and started Suffering to be in shape for the coming summer, and now I feel I’ve lost all the gains I made over the winter months.

How the heck do you come back for this, mentally, but most importantly, physically?
Any advice?
I’m down, sorry :frowning:


@michelito happy to hear at least your on the other side of it. You cannot change what has happened in the past but you have every opportunity for success in the future. Mentally try to focus on the things you can control and name things you are thankful for every morning. Replace negative thoughts with 2 positive thoughts and visualize your racing and succeeding at your goal events. The mind is a powerful force and the body will always follow the mind, so try to stay positive! I encourage you to check out the Mental Training Tab within the SUF App.

Within our Yoga offerings, I suggest you include the 3 minute breathing sessions. Deep breathing not only supplies your body with oxygen but also cleans out the alveoli in the lower portion of the lungs where respiratory issues like to reside. This will also help with breathing on the bike and core stability.

Check your morning metrics to determine training readiness. Resting morning heart rate, hours of sleep and your level of fatigue are clues to how ready your body is to train. I suspect your body has been busy fighting the bug you had and may have lingering residual fatigue. Rest and recovery should be the first priority.

After you determine your body is ready to train again I would begin with the 10 week Fitness Kickstarter Training Plan.

Wish you all the best!


Thank you Simon for the words of encouragement and a way to go forward.
It’s weird as I bought a Garmin watch just before getting sick, so I do have numbers to check.
My average resting HR was 52 the week before getting sick (low of 48),
and then went to 53, 55, 59 and is still hovering between 56 and 60 the last week.
SPOx is going just below 90 during the night too,
but that may be sleep apnea as during the day it’s anywhere from 90 to 99% (and the precision
of the sensor on a watch may be subject to discussion).

So I think I may still be fighting whatever this is.
I’m wondering if it could be something like sinusitis from all the indoor hard pedaling
I did, and just going all out on my last 4DP because I wanted to beat my numbers from December.
I remember my lungs were really burning at the end of 4DP, but as I wanted my numbers to be up,
and they were, I didn’t think too much about it because I had met my goal.
Can you go so hard that you literally hurt your lungs? I’ll need to try to find a doc appointment - not easy to do these days with everything going on.

I did do the Mental Training and Yoga programs during my All-Purpose Road program - but all the rewards I had setup for myself sort of disappeared with the 3rd wave we got into up here in Canada. Dammit.
I’ll look at that Kickstarter program, or maybe do a round of All In for cyclists as it’s shorter and I need to go outside to ride at some point - it’s been really nice this week, snow is melting, so hopefully
it stays like that and they clean the roads soon!

Rambling. Guess I have been too isolated all winter long :slight_smile:
Thanks for listening and offering advice :+1:

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I feel you. I was hit by a car a week ago and am just leaving hospital. 6 weeks until my leg can bear weight, and my guess is 3 months until I can really start taking it seriously on SUF again. All after I got to a fantastic peak.

So, hang in there. Early days, but it’s mental. Small steps. Don’t push too hard. Get in tune with your body and you’ll know when to push it and when not to. Play the long game. In 3 months time you’ll already be way stronger.


Hi @michelito I’m sorry to hear about your illness and that it is getting you down.

I am in a similar, though less severe, position at the moment. Things were going great guns with a training plan running from the start of January and a strong nuclear ToS in the middle. Just as my 12 week plan ended I got an injury. It only took a week or so to get over but then I caught a cold and I’ve barely trained for several weeks.

I have also, though, been much deeper. In 2019 I was training for a Marathon (training was on target for sub 3:30) and a middle distance triathlon. I was fit and ready to go.
An achilles problem scuppered these (I skipped the marathon, walked 75% of the tri run leg). Then I picked up a chest infection which developed to pneumonia. Only after many doctor and hospital visits did I feel well enough to even walk outside. At one point it took me 20 minutes to walk the 400 yards to the doctor’s. I put on 14kg over this period.

Needless to say I was low. I had been the fittest I’d been for a while, with some solid and achievable goals and was only looking to the future. Then it all disappeared.

I’m sure most if not everyone here has stories of when they’ve been ill or injured, lost fitness or motivation. But of course the real motivation comes from within, and that is the most key thing for you to find, because that can be a positive thing even whilst you are still feeling ill. It is that which will get you primed and ready to hit it again once you’re feeling ready.

Different people find it in different ways, whether it is some yoga to keep active, putting some pro races on tv to get your head in the game or just getting outside because fresh air and greenery is what you need.

And remember, all the work you did has absolutely NOT gone to waste. Your body is better off for it. Sure, you may feel rough right now, but think how you’d be if you hadn’t got to the level that you did. Think how much harder it would be to get there again if you hadn’t done the work before.

Very few things in life are a straight line upwards, there are set backs and volatility on the way. This is one of those things, and if it hadn’t happened now it would have happened at some point. But equally these times generally pass, and underneath it all is a fit and healthy you ready to go.

I say all this as the world’s word patient and someone who is virtually intolerable when injured. Illness and injury get me down. Very down. But it’s not something to apologise for, it’s a base to move up from.

Let your body get well (because if it isn’t, then you will only do yourself more harm). Then use that as starting point to chase a better you. Not just getting back to where you were, exceeding where you were. I find having that as a target is very powerful mentally. You’ve seen where you got to before, now have it as a goal that you’re going to catch that former you, crush him and leave him for dust. Because the next version of you is unstoppable.

After my illness in 2019 I bought my Kickr Core in March 2020 (a fortunate panic buy as global lockdown hit!). I rediscovered SUF having used some of the videos years ago. Almost all of my added weight has gone. I’m getting top 10s in local Strava segments, average speed of outdoor rides is way over what it has ever been, and I’m as fit as I can remember for a long time. A few weeks ago I extended a run in my training plan up to a half-marathon distance because I was enjoying it and because I could. (This is all before the recent issues! They will pass).

Things do get better.

IWBMAT To Kick my previous self’s Tomorrow



@leebo How about we modify for @michelito to I will REST my ass today to kick my previous self’s ass tomorrow? (So what is that - IWRMATTKMPSAT? I’m terrible at those!)

@michelito I feel your pain and suffering. No sage words or expertise, just hang in there, get better, and then get back in the fight. We need you!

:biking_man: :biking_woman: :biking_man: :biking_woman:


Rest and Recover. Then Crush.

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I’m sorry to hear this @Imminent
I hope you recovery goes well. I can only imagine the frustration. Take care.

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@michelito The fact that you are posting here signals that you are already on your way back. We have all been there in one form or another. Keep us in the loop during your journey and stay focused!


@Imminent Sorry to hear and best wishes for a strong recovery!

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Wow. Thank you everyone for the support and the encouragement.

@Imminent I’m sorry to hear about your accident. I went for 4 months without walking in 2012 after an Achilles rupture so I sympathize with your situation. Hang in there too!

I think I’ll take the IWRMATTKMPSAT approach for now :slight_smile: and slowly get back into it once I feel better.
It was my first time doing a training plan so going from feeling great to feeling like crap was a big blow. You guys are right, some of the gains should still be there and summer is right around the corner so I have lots of hopefully nice weather to look forward to for riding!


Yeah, definitely not 4 months down the drain! We all get sick sooner or later and it’s better to get sick from a high point than a low point on your fitness curve. I know the timing really sucks, but once you get fully over this bug I’m sure the gains will come back.

I think base blocks are always a good option when coming back from something like this. Just enough to keep your residual fitness ticking over without introducing too much fatigue. Summer is still a fair way off too, so plenty of time to rest and build again once you feel up to it. Especially since it sounds like you trained pretty hard over the winter. I did the same and have backed off a little in recent weeks (from general fatigue rather than sickness) just to give my body a bit of a break before building again into the summer months.


Ok dude you had a big setback. You can’t change that or undo it. You can only move forward. Pretend you are a pro athlete who suffered an injury…focus and hard work will get you back to your prior level.


If you cannot schedule an appointment with your doctor many health insurance plans offer phone calls with a doctor or your doctor. This would be ideal to be able to ask your questions and get advice on how you should proceed.

I agree, all is not lost.

Studies have shown that it is far easier / faster to get back into shape if you were in shape before having to take time off (I believe that was even talked about in last week’s GCN Show (or perhaps two weeks ago?).

I was an early adopter of Covid 19, and I had damned near every symptom. That includes the ‘light cough’ for a month and a half that came from the lungs being scarred for months (perhaps four months to get back to even being near normal after the cough subsided). That also includes one night where I wasn’t sure I was going to wake up alive the next morning. Now… I had already taken some time off due to losing a parent a few months before Covid was a thing, so this ‘ruined’ my 2020, except it didn’t. By the end of 2020 I was doing fine. Buying the bike trainer is only something I did this year (2021), and it’s making me even better yet.

You will, in time, come to appreciate the resiliency of the human body - the resiliency of your own body - and will thank yourself for being in good form before you had to take months off.


@Imminent I came across this article written by Coach Mac that you might find useful. Best of luck with your recovery!

Get Me Back on the Bike

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