I’ve only been doing structured training for around a year now (2 years of inactivity during lockdowns before that, and ~5 hours of cycling commute before the lockdowns). I’ve noticed that I get sick more often now compared to back then, and I’m finding that when I get sick it can take ages to be able to get back into training without getting hit with fatigue the day after a session.
You can see that I was building good momentum earlier this year, but then I got sick (indicated by the yellow dots) and it took me a month to resume training without feeling fatigued (experiencing symptoms like being tired, congested, and having body aches). I started increasing my training load again in June, but I have once again been hit with illness and the same fatigue has returned.
You can see above that I’m not training enough for it to be a case of overtraining (I’m barely hitting the green zone), I get plenty of sleep, my job isn’t particularly stressful and I eat healthily. The only thing I think I possibly may have occurred is underfueling. I actively concentrated on this since the illness in February and put on around 2kg of mostly lean mass. I may have accidentally drifted into energy deficit before my recent illness, but I can’t really tell (my weight didn’t change anyway).
All this leads me to my question, what am I missing and how can I keep an eye on my training and/or nutrition to prevent this happening in the future? How can I tell if I’m going into energy deficit by accident? How can I tell if I’m overreaching (I’ve tried HRV and it’s only been able to tell me that I’m already sick, not warn me beforehand)?
My guess as a non-doctor, non-coach, non-expert on anything really, is that there is a certain amount of coincidence here. That is, your illness is not related to your training. Well, your illness is impacting your training negatively but your training is not bringing about the illnesses, so I am not sure you can necessarily prevent future sickness if you are already eating healthy and managing other life stressors well.
There is a LOT of respiratory illnesses around, including CoVid, that pack a wallop making recovery prolonged. If you have had CoVid, it may have had some long term effects. This is completely anecdotal but I have noticed that when I do come down with something these days, it is definitely taking me longer to recover and I am left with residual congestion that lasts significantly longer than when I would catch a bug in the past (pre-CoVid).
I also think fatigue, the day after training (when you haven’t been training due to illness) is quite normal especially when your “fitness” is in the range yours is in. Your goal (unless you have a more specific one) ought to be to increase your fitness (i.e. stay in the green zone on intervals.icu) and the only way to do that is to increase your training load (frequency and/or duration of training).
It’s good to go “into the red”. Just don’t stay there. You do longer weekend rides. Great. Recovery on Monday. Not full on rest. 30 minutes in Zone 1. Stretching/LIGHT Yoga. Maybe upper body strengthening. The key is to keep moving. A solid stop will do more harm than you think.
Mine is the polar opposite. At least for now. Probably because I did very little over the winter and spring this year. At absolute, I am currently pretty m green, at percentage I’m very much in the red.
Well blow me down. That does seem like a more useful view, especially for myself who has a lower historical training load. Seems like I dug myself a nice deep hole back there in January No wonder I blew up!
That’s interesting to hear that covid etc are causing long term effects for you, last year after covid it took me at least 6 weeks to get back to any sort of training the fatigue lasted so long. I guess I need to get used to the reality of these new illnesses.
I think with the new view using percentage of form I can more “safely” keep myself in the green zone and increase my overall fitness so that I’m less likely to dig myself a hole on the way up.
Oh I’m not experiencing long term effects of CoVid. Though I’ve had it. That said, I’m not entirely certain that CoVid hasn’t somehow affected my recovery from other respiratory illnesses such that my recovery is longer and I’m left with residual fatigue and congestion for longer. But I’m no electrician
What sicknesses are the problem? Colds, flu, or something else? Seems unusual to me to get sick that often. I don’t remember the last time I had the flu. It’s been years. I had a cold recently, the first in maybe 3 years. For me, a mild cold can have no effect on my training and riding, and a bad one might put me back a week-10 days. Flu can be a 2-3 weeks of setback.
My comment was to avoid overtraining. You can go into the red for a few days to raise your Chronic Training Load, but you don’t want to raise your fatigue so high you can’t recover for weeks. I’ve been there. It’s not pretty.