When Can You Train After Getting Covid?

triathlon training

When can you train after you get Covid? That is the thousand-dollar question. It seems to me that no one really knows. There are so many conflicting articles about exercise and Covid, that you wonder who you can believe.

I got Covid on June 6. The first three days were horrible. I had trouble breathing, my throat was sore, my head throbbed, and I couldn’t get out of bed.

I really thought the hospital may be a good alternative for me. But after taking prednisone (for my asthma) and the Plaxlovid (anti-viral meds), I felt fantastic. I couldn’t believe how good I felt on Day 5.

After testing negative, I decided to venture out and do what I love – triathlon training.

During the next eight days…

For eight days, I was able to get in some easy training. I tried hard to keep it light and keep my heart rate down to an easy/moderate training session. But about eight days after I felt better, I got Rebound Covid.

What’s Rebound Covid?

Apparently, after you take the Plaxlovid, you have a chance of getting reinfected by Covid. And, that’s exactly what happened to me. I got what they call, Rebound Covid after I was fully recovered and tested negative.

When I got the rebound, I tested positive and was sick again for almost five days. I felt horrible but not as bad as the first time around. My throat hurt, my head ached, had body chills, and my lungs felt very heavy as if a tractor-trailer was on top of me. I was having a hard time breathing.

Mentally, I was a mess. I had been training for a 10K swim in Detroit and a century ride in the fall. Would I still be able to do it? Depression set in and I really didn’t want to talk with anyone.

Five days after that…

From the time I got Covid until I started training again was around five or six days. I started by walking around the block for a half-mile. The next day, I did 1 mile. After that, I did 2 miles and so on. The walking was good. It helped move my body and cleared up my head.

A few days after that, I started to swim, bike, and run. But, I still kept it easy. I didn’t want my heart rate to elevate that much. I wanted to keep it easy.

Seven days after the second round of Covid

I decided to do a double. I was feeling pretty good, not 100 percent but good enough to start training. During the training, I went out easy so there were no issues.

But one day, I decided to do a swim and a run. I went out early for the swim and swam one mile. But during that mile, I had a coughing fit in the water. I couldn’t stop coughing. Finally, I relaxed and was able to finish up the swim, but it was a little scary.

Then, during the run, I started to get pains in my stomach. I don’t know why. It felt like severe gas pains. I didn’t want to stop. I kept going until I saw a bathroom. Then once there, I just sat and tried to let the feeling pass over me. In the meanwhile, I was sweating so profusely, that I started to feel myself slip away. That’s when I knew I needed to get to the sink and pour water on my head.

After that, I walked out to the car. My running group waited for me. (They are truly special.) I went home, just relaxed the rest of the day, and started to feel better after that.

So when can you train?

It all depends on your body. There’s no data. No statistics. No nothing. So, go by how your body feels, and if you feel up to it go for it!