Back to physical activity after Covid19 infection

this seems to be a topic that keeps popping up in the “real world” around me, so I’m sure Sufferlandrians may also be affected…
good bunch of information from the BMJ
stay safe!


Thanks for posting this. This slide is useful.


That’s a great chart, was a bit concerned it had gone a bit Spinal Tap in phase 2 with the advice to limit RPE to 11! even GvA only goes up to 10, but then I saw their scale goes up to 20.


RPE going from 6-20 is the original scale that Gunnar Borg proposed. It was an attempt to correlate physical activity with heart rate (multiply RPE by 10 to get HR). Since that turned out not so meaningful, he revised the scale to go from 1-10.

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This is great info! The team doctor for EF Education has done a podcast episode about COVID, athletes, and heart health with an interview of a cardiac and athlete specialist.

The podcast is titled “the podium” - a bonus episode published nov 2


Thanks so much for the informational. I’m in Day 11 of Covid-19 recovery with two days in fever free. A bit depressing how slow a comback might be (if at all) but better safe than sorry. iIalso recieved the Monochomal Antibodys two day ago and that seem to help a lot. Guess I’ll wait a couple of days and than have Abi keep me company…maybe 10-15 minute spins at 25% FTP to start?


With the hefty caveat that obviously i am not a medical professional, I’d lean heavily on the phases outlined above.

When getting back on the bike I’d be fully guided by heart rate and RPE rather than power targets based on an FTP number from pre-illness, with nothing beyond Z1 for Phase 1/2. If you’re exceeding z1 HR at low power (relative to your previous level of fitness), I’d be stopping and going back to only stretching/walking.


Here’s an additional resource from the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The Irish track cyclist Orla Walsh is following this (following her on Instagram). Interestingly, she recognised she had COVID symptoms through alerts from Whoop (high respiratory rate, high resting heart rate)


Thanks Richard! I started back 15 days from the onset and system free for 7 days. 3-4 recovery workouts at 60%. Last couple of days Tool Mash up at 65%. (could have been a mistake!) and others down to 65%. I’m a Whoop wearer so I keep within the suggested strain. Dr. visit last week showed clear lungs and a perfect resting EKG. The source you cited seems to be the protocol and my Doc is on board as she has ordered a stress test and perhaps an MRI as I do have one big co mobitity AGE…
Hardest thing is not to push. Keep heart in Zone 2 and a little in Zone 3. Monitor recovery closes
ly. I will say this, the damn virus, even though I had mild systoms and “recovered” quickly, kicked my ass and lost probably half my fitness. It’s very enlightening how pushing a bit too hard knocks you right back down.


Thanks for this @IsiSchneider_KoS @Condiec391 .
I got struck by the SARS-CoV-2 virus past weekend. My energy levels are at a low, so I figure I’ll have to build up slowly again…

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Thanks for the info. I just tested positive. My energy levels are pretty low.

I’m hoping sleeping 10+ Hours a night speeds up my recovery.

For what it’s worth I am vaccinated.


I’m about to have my own version of this. My wife and I both got COVID after a wedding in New York. FWIW we are vaxxed and boosted. The progression went something like this, which i’m told is pretty typical for (i) Omicron variant in (ii) vaccinated folks:

i. Exposure was somewhere around Friday or Saturday (weekend of the March 19th 2022)
ii. On Tuesday, had scratchy throat but unclear whether it was allergies, aftereffects of screaming along to the wedding band or something else (Whoop still green)
iii. Wednesday started to become clear that we were coming down with something but still felt very, very mild (Whoop yellow)
iv. Thursday and Friday we were a lot sicker. General malaise, sore throat, headache, congestion (upper respiratory more so than nasal) and fatigue. Somewhere between a bad cold and a mild-to-moderate flu (Whoop very low red)
v. by Sunday we both felt a lot better and had our energy back but still didn’t feel perfect and had some congestion lingering (whoop back to green, fully)
vi. This past week, i generally feel fine and the only thing remaining is a small amount of lingering congestion / cough. I don’t feel amazing but it’s hard to tell if it’s after effects of being sick or the impact of just laying around for ten days

i plan to start phased return to exercise as soon as we fly home on Saturday (have been quarantined and working remotely in my inlaw’s basement . . . )


Coming out of a week of recovering from it myself and thought I wanted to do a light inspiration ride. Wisely chose a short walk instead as it turned out I am still a bit light headed at times. Also fully vaxxed but this so called mild version knocked me out like a bad flu would. It’s five days since I came down with it, horribly sore throat and total exhaustion which sleep doesn’t improve (garmin body battery showed stress patterns at night almost similar to the vaccine response).
Covid is no joke😑

Love that chart posted above, keeps the expectations realistic.

Good luck with recovery.

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@IsiSchneider_KoS & @devolikewhoa

Check out my post titled, Coming Back From Getting Sick: A Coach’s Perspective, where I offer a generalized plan to returning from training after taking time up due to illness.

Good luck and all the best in recovery!


Really glad to come across this post…. I tested positive on April 8th and had trained 2 days prior on the 6th but it wasn’t easy. I haven’t been back on since as I’ve been completely wiped and was wondering how to handle getting back at it. This post definitely helped with that info…. Thanks!

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current update in the BJSM Blog

even though most of us are non-elite, these are pretty good guidelines for RTS (return to suffering) strategies. take care of yourselves and take it easy for a while :+1:


In general terms, this seems like good advice for gradual return to exercise for any nontrivial illness.

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