Covid vaccine and training

Hi there, question for the coaches. Will be getting a covid - 19 vaccine next week. From what I have read the post injection side effects can be moderate—fever, fatigue, muscle aches, and generally last about 2 days. Just wondering what you would advise as far as training pre and post injection. Common sense tells me to rest up 2 days before, 2-3 days afterwards, monitor temperature and then maybe start off with some easy walks / rides.

I had a flu shot years ago, did a fitness test 2 days later and boy was I ever sick for a while. Not advised!

Nurse Liz


hey, I had the first dose of Sinopharm a couple of weeks ago and had no ill effects apart from a sore arm. apparently the second is worse, I’m getting that on monday so I’ll let you know next week.

for comparison I seemed to have repeating colds for about 2 months after the flu shot…

1 Like

Your plan sounds sensible. As I keep bleating on about though, get your vitamin D levels topped up with 5000iu/day. I think taking it easy for a while is a small hardship for the possible risks if you don’t.

I’m also in Healthcare and the Pfizer as far as I know didn’t have any odd side effects other than a sore injection site. The Moderna is supposed to be similar and the advice given was to take the vaccine before a weekend or block of time off.

I’ve elected to get neither and like you some years the flu vaccine makes for an off workout the evening of.

I had my first vaccine 6 days ago and aside from a sore deltoid the next day felt fine, though I did take a bit of a training break. I monitor HRV and it was low the following day, but back up in the green zone 2 days later. One more to go!


I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine before Christmas. Minor soreness around the injection site but no other ill effects and made no difference to my training.


I received the Moderna vaccine dose 1 on Friday. My HRV was a little low, but my resting HR was about 10-12 higher than typical, which was striking since I had an easy recovery week pre-tour. I rode Joyride and although it is normally one of my favorite “easy” rides, it wiped me out, so I split Stage 1 into 2 days and finished Cobbler today. My HRV was still pretty low today but HR was back to normal ranges and I had no problem finishing Cobbler. I did not expect to see that much of a physical response to the vaccination, but it was interesting to see the data.

And yes, my deltoid felt like I got hit with a bat for the first 36 hours

@audiopixie Just curious on how the second dose impacted your training

I’m a Paramedic and got my 2nd dose of Moderna last week. I had a sore arm for a few days after dose 1 and no other effects. About 10 hrs after dose 2, I popped a 101 F fever, chills and pretty significant body aches. The fever and chills lasted for 6 hours, and I was really tired the next day. By 36 hrs, I was back to normal.

From talking to the other people in my station, that seems pretty typical. About 1 out of every 5 or 6 people said they didn’t have any symptoms and the rest had varying degrees of symptoms. I think everyone said they were back to baseline by about 36-48 hours.

My personal opinion is that getting vaccinated is important, but I understand everyone has their own opinion on that. You’ll have to make your own decision on how to work that into the Tour. I would not have felt like riding the day after my shot, but you also have at least 4 days on either side of your 2nd shot date to actually get the shot. So, you may be able to postpone shot #2 longer enough to complete the Tour.

1 Like

I’m not a health expert, but I do like numbers as they can give you information that is complementary to individual anecdotes. These are the clinical trial data from the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines published on the US CDC website:

Moderna: Local Reactions, Systemic Reactions, Adverse Events, and Serious Adverse Events: Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC
Pfizer: Reactions and Adverse Events of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine | CDC

Systemic side effects (e.g. fever, fatigue) do seem to be more prevalent after second doses, ranging from 20-80% depending on the symptom. My completely unexpert take is to follow general guidelines given for training and illness in general—if experiencing systemic symptoms, take a rest day.

I had a couple of red days on the whoop, and didn’t train either. I had no symptoms, just felt a bit wiped. but by day 3 was back to normal.

I think the mRNA vaccines hit harder, especially on the second dose, but I’m not sure. I had the traditional style Sinopharm inactive, full virus, vaccine.

1 Like

an explanation we can all probably relate to?


I am about 3 weeks post my second Pfizer vaccine and really the only issue was sore arm and felt off the following day, then my HRV was low the morning of day 2. I planned a rest week the week I got the shots, all went well and I was back to my side planks in no time.

Side planks kill me.

First dose of the Oxford/AZ vaccination this morning - going to be taking a few days off training, and going back to easier rides at the weekend.

Main impact so far seems to be my usual fear of needles turning me to a quivering wreck prior to the vaccination…shoulder muscle fees slightly tender, no other physical effects

I had my first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Sunday. I took one day off from training after, and the day of the injection I just did strength training that morning. I was able to resume training without a problem. I did the Half Monty today with good improvements in MAP and FTP.

1 Like

Wife had first dose of AstraZeneca and that knocked her out for the better part of three days. Fever- and flu-like symptoms, muscle and tendon pain and fatigue. She had it on Friday morning and Monday afternoon was back to her normal self.

Update on AZ vaccine impact - brain turned to mush, and body fatigued for about 36 hrs. After vaccination on Thursday morning, only getting back to endurance training on Saturday. Not convinced I’d be up for any threshold or VO2 training for another couple of days, luckily training plan calls for easy week from Monday…

I had my second vaccine yesterday (Moderna), and there is no way that I could train today. I track my recovery with Whoop and was shocked to see how dramatic the difference was today. Especially noteworthy was the resting heart rate overnight at 90bpm.

Hi Steve,

How was your reaction to the first shot? I had my first Moderna vaccine dose on Saturday, resulting in being a bit blah yesterday (but riding outside anyway) with Oura Ring numbers that were good/better than I would have expected. What was surprising was how sore my arm was, wow!!

Anyhow, your data makes me think that I need to plan on rejiggering my training plan around the second shot.


Rob, my first shot was “ok”. My HRV and heart rate were only slightly worse than normal the following day, but I did feel more fatigue than the data would have predicted. I got the first dose the day before ToS started, and on the first video my heart rate was about 10 bpm higher than I would have expected with similar effort. I ended up doing the second video the following day and maintained nuclear for the entire week, so overall I recovered as expected.

Because of that, I was really surprised at how significant my response was to dose 2. My RHR is still somewhat elevated , and my HRV is recovering today. I expect to be able to do a light ride tomorrow and am hoping that I’ll be back to baseline by 4 days out.

1 Like