Illness during training programme

If you have to have 7 to 10 days off due to, say, cold/flu in the middle of a training programme, should we just continue with the programme where we left off? Or, do a few active recovery sessions before resuming the programme?

If it was a mild illness and the time off the bike was mostly spent recovering (e.g., 3 days sick, 4 days slowly recovering), it depends what’s on the schedule when it picks up. If it was a recovery week next, then yes, I’d probably hop on it. If it goes straight into high-intensity sessions, I would do a few mid-intensity sessions first, little tasters to see how my body responds. If I feel sharp and powerful, then get back to the plan. If I feel dull and my legs are heavy and my heart rate is not responsive, I’d ease into it over a week. The new No Place Like Home would be a great place to start!

On the other hand, if it was a tough illness (e.g., 7 days sick, and I’m getting back to the bike gently in my early recovery), then I would definitely build up with small recovery rides. When I had COVID last year, I got back on the bike as soon as I could face it, but only did ~30-minute recovery rides for a week.

the key thing is before/during/after each session, reflecting on how your body and mind are doing and giving yourself the space to change tomorrow’s plan in response.

hope you feel 100% (and do your rides at 110%) soon!

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First, I wait until I feel recovered.

In these kinds of situations, I like to do Recharger, and see how I feel.

If I feel OK, I will continue where I left off, acknowledging that I will have lost a little fitness because of the time off, and the body fighting off the illness. If the next workout is something like 9 Hammers, I might do some recovery rides first.

If I do not feel OK, I will wait a little longer, do some recovery rides and do Recharger again.


Thank you for taking the time and trouble to provide such a helpful reply. Of course it was ‘manflu’ I had!

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Heretic, Recharger’s good and the Office Commute looks as though it might be worth a try too. Thanks for the suggestions.

I’ve heard manflu is the most dangerous of all the flus … though I did hear that from my husband.

hope you feel a lot better soon!


What I like about Recharger is that there is a cadence pyramid, a power pyramid that goes close to FTP, and some “pain shakes” at the end that test out NM/AC so I get some feel as to how harder efforts might go.

I have ridden the Office Commute about 5 times, and it is more of a recovery ride.