Running Again after Having Covid

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 thelostjockey 08 Sep 2021

Please, I just thought I'd see if there was any good advice on running after having contracted Covid. My training has been going well and I was due to run a marathon this coming Sunday. However, I have now tested positive for Covid; disappointing but in the big scheme of things! I don't have much medical knowledge. I appreciate that everyone has different symptoms and recovers in different ways. That said, is there anything that I should know, avoid, consider or is it just a matter of taking it easy in the comeback like when recovering from injury? Thanks for your time with this. 

 Justaname 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

I've not had it but there seems to be a consensus to take much longer recovery than you'd think. There's anecdotal / speculation that returning to trainign too early, despite feeling well, can exacerbate your chaces of getting long COVID. 

FWIW you can probably take about 6 weeks out of your training without it having a detrimental affect if you have a good base. 

 Jenny C 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

Take time out to recouperate, the UK doesn't even consider anyone to have long covid till 3 (long) months after infection - so don't expect to be back to full fitness within a couple of weeks.

Severity of symptoms doesn't appear to have any links to your chances of getting long covid either and lots of long haulers believe that trying to push through is a factor in it becoming chronic. Trust me, you REALLY DON'T want long covid!

If you are suffering from fatigue listen to your body and learn to pace yourself to avoid crashing, also be aware that mental energy is just as draining as physical, so work (or even watching TV) will drain your batteries in much the same way that a walk/run would.

Best wishes for a full recovery.

Post edited at 10:58
 robsykes1975 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

First of all, sorry to hear your news and I wish you all the very best for a quick and full recovery. A quick google search of "running after covid" will bring up several articles - depending on your interpretation of these, they can either be encouraging or not - like the other replies I'd recommend taking your time, listening to your body and maybe trying to enjoy the opportunity to slow down: take some walks etc. All the best!

In reply to thelostjockey:

Good advice from Jenny C on being cautious. I got Covid right near the start of the pandemic in the UK. This was long before vaccines, so if you've had one or both jags your experience will hopefully be better. But not pushing it is still likely to be key to a solid recovery. 

I was properly laid up for at least a week (never felt worse), still definitely ill at two weeks. At about week three I was going for daily lockdown walks, starting with round the block and soon up to around 4k in local countryside. Started trying to get out running in a very modest way at about four weeks. I had very reduced energy and kept it careful and very local for a few weeks, only gradually building back up. It was several weeks before I considered myself back to normal, with usual energy and breathing ability. 

My first hill day was 2-3 months after getting ill, and that's roughly when I started climbing again. But lockdown travel restrictions do slightly complicate that picture and sure I could have started a bit earlier if the world had been normal st the time.

A couple of things worth bearing in mind:

I found recovery wasn't linear. There were ups and downs, with minor relapses - feeling OK one day but feverish and drained the next. Listen to your body!

I'm not sure it was connected, but I picked up a couple of niggly injuries during the recovery period. Perhaps tendons/muscles weren't as elastic (not a technical term) as usual? 

Take it easy! 

In reply to thelostjockey:

How are you feeling? 

I know people who got it unvaxxed, and were quite unwell, took a long time to recover. More recently I know somebody double vaxxed who only knew they had it following a test, had slight sniffles and was out cycling as soon as test results allowed. Obviously loads of space in between those 2.

 thelostjockey 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

Thank you for your comments and support.

I have been double jabbed as most us will probably have been. I feel well. I had very mild symptoms; it just felt like I was starting a cold; I was surprised the  PCR test was positive. I had no loss of taste, a bit of a headache that's all.

My problem is I just want to get going again; an impatient runner. However, I note carefully your words of caution. There's no point in asking for advice if you are not going to take it.

With thanks. 

 TomD89 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

A colleague who I run with frequently (in their early 40's) caught it pre-vaccination. He was off ill for a week, breathy for another week, then a further 1.5 weeks he was back running (regular but casual runner, so not sure how this translates for marathon levels of fitness/performance).

I also know a good number of climbers who had it and either had no symptoms whatsoever, or had similarly fast recoveries (being in the 20-30 age range).

Do you have symptoms (eg. fatigue, breathlessness)? Or do you only know you have it because of a positive test? Wise to exercise caution, test the waters and see how you go. However you aren't necessarily going to be laid up with months worth of recovery to get to normal. 

I can't say I've seen any evidence of exercise causing chronic long covid, even the anecdotal variety. 

 Jenny C 08 Sep 2021
In reply to TomD89:

> I can't say I've seen any evidence of exercise causing chronic long covid, even the anecdotal variety. 

I don't think anyone is saying that exercise per day causes long covid. But there are lots of people suffering who strongly believe that their attempts to return to normal routines (both metal and physical activity) is a contributing factor in why they never fully recovered and instead went on to develop chronic symptoms.

Take it easy and do half as much as you think you can.

I'm 7 months in with long covid. I tried to get back to full fitness after being really ill for about 6 weeks, I went hell for leather on the climbing, gym and exercise and it could be coincidental but I slipped back to square one pretty soon. I've been on a constant loop of relapsing ever since and they always come after I've been doing something physical.

Fuc.k knows though in all honesty, just take it slow.

 Andypeak 08 Sep 2021
In reply to thelostjockey:

You know your own body. Listen to it and train as appropriate. Personally after my ten days isolation I felt absolutely fine and had done for a few days. I was running the moment I was released and didn't struggle at all, however I did have a very mild case of COVID. 

 mountainbagger 08 Sep 2021
In reply to ALF_BELF:

My brother took about 15 months before he could run again (slowly). He's still not back to normal after 18 months. But he caught Covid in March 2020 so obviously wasn't vaccinated.

He had very unpredictable waves of feeling ok then bad again. These eased off eventually. He walked as much as he could but would often be exhausted.

OP, just listen to your body. Certainly I'd be careful for a couple of weeks but if you feel fine, you probably are!

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