Returning to running after COVID-19?

As should be expected with a virus that we didn’t even know existed a year ago, we’re still learning a lot about COVID-19. I’m sure you’ve all heard the good news that a very effective vaccine is likely on the way but it’s still going to take time to get it produced and distributed. Meanwhile, people are still getting infected and will continue to do so for a while.

So everything we can learn about it is important. If you catch it, you want to know what it means, right? Well, here’s more on returning to your workout routine after recovering from COVID-19. The short story? Be patient and come back gradually. There is evidence that a significant (in some studies a disturbingly high) number of people who have recovered, even very healthy and fit people, developing long lasting serious side effects.

So please be careful. Based on what I’ve seen, I’d recommend being far more cautious than I normally recommend for coming back from a cold or flu.

We already know exercise lowers your cancer risk. But why? Well, one interesting study sheds some light on the subject. More research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms but this is an interesting early look into this topic.

I often find myself talking about conversational pace. I truly believe and have seen evidence that running your easy runs at a conversational pace works better than even the greatest technology to run by heart rate, pace or whatever other measure is currently in vogue. Well, I’m not the only one who believes this. I am not totally sure how I feel about this talk test. It’s interesting but why not just use the talk test or learn the feel of running at that effort level? Why assign a pace or heart rate and then target that? What if you’re running a more or less hilly route? What if the weather is affecting your pace? What if outside factors are affecting your heart rate? Just stick to a conversational pace and then you’ll know you’re going the right pace/effort regardless of other factors.

When will your next race be? At this point, many of us probably don’t know. When it does come, here’s some advice on how to mentally prepare for it. The good news? One of the tips is to start your mental preparation early. It’s never too early to work on things like relaxing in a stressful situation or even just relaxing in general.

I know I’m a little early this month. I just wanted to get this out before Thanksgiving. Until December, I hope you enjoy reading what I’ve been reading so far this month.

2 Replies to “Returning to running after COVID-19?”

  1. I am a 60 yo male career runner who has completed nine marathons, I ran every day 3 to 6 miles at an 8 mile pace until I got a moderate case of Covid that lasted 14 days of fever and cough and malaise. I started running 20 days post diagnosis and could only last less than 3/4 of a mile. Two weeks latter I am up to 1.5 miles but still laboring with breathing and fatigue. I am hoping to continue to see slow improvement but the pace is slower than any other recovery I have experienced ( bacterial pneumonia , appendectomy, cardiac cath) Are there any suggestions to accelerate my recovery?

    1. Andrew, I wish I had better news but I haven’t seen of any way to speed the recovery. Please be patient, though. What I have heard is that, if you try to rush it, you can cause setbacks, if not cause long term damage.

      I wish you a speedy recovery but please let your body dictate what you do. I’d hate to hear that the situation became worse because you tried to do too much, too soon.

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