Heart rate after covid

I’ve become a Covid statistic. It was very mild but I did take 2 weeks off. Now that I’m back to training, I’ve noticed that my heart rate is high and doesn’t drop as easily. This week I’ve been back to weights and today I did a zone 2 indoor ride. My heart rate is usually in zone 3 and stays high… about 20 bpm higher than normal. Is this expected after illness/ break?

My FTP went down about 30 watts after a two week break a month ago and I wasn’t sick. It was just an annual break off a bike. I’m sure there’s more to it, just saying I wouldn’t view it as unexpected.

I would recommend taking a look at Dylan Johnson’s video on YouTube, he goes over the effect covid has on athletes both short term and long term. just search Dylan Johnson Covid
and it should come up

1 Like

Hi @lindsay.marx - first of all, glad you are better, whew!

Second - getting sick aside on any level and heart rates will tend to be higher because your are a little more out of shape - that is natural.

Whether or not COVID is a contributing factor, consult with your physician first and foremost.

Then if you can FtFP, as you get back in shape look for your HR to resume normal training behaviors you’ve observed before you got sick.

Hope that helps - consult with your physician is the biggest,

2 Likes

Hi Lindsay,

First, I’m sorry to hear that you contracted COVID. Today marks almost exactly two months since I had COVID. I similarly experienced elevated heart rate when I returned to exercise, in addition to an elevated resting heart rate that has only returned to normal levels in the last week or so. Here’s a synopsis of my experience and I hope you might find it helpful.

All told, I had a full 14 days completely off the bike. This included the week that I was sick and an additional week after symptoms subsided. I then implemented the approach recommended in this article (Considerations for Return to Exercise Following Mild-to-Moderate COVID-19 in the Recreational Athlete)

The specific protocol that I followed is, " a gradual guided activity modification plan such as the 50/30/20/10 rule developed by the National Strength and Conditioning Association and Collegiate Strength and Conditioning Coaches Association Joint committee for use over a 4-week period. The conditioning volume for the first week is reduced by at least 50% of the normal exercise load, followed by 30%, 20%, and 10% in the following 3 weeks if comfortable at the end of each week. This would be adjusted by the severity of the disease and may require a graduated return to activity occurring over many months rather than weeks."

During this period of returning to training, I switched to training by heart rate. I did this because I assumed that my FTP had been affected by the illness and I had no idea by how much. I also knew that my FTP was at lower risk of exploding than my heart. Listen to your body and how you are reacting to intensity. I would describe my biggest frustration as a feeling of “heavy lungs”, or almost the sensation that my chest cavity had shrunk.

I had a little bit of a set back in my return to training because of a crash on December 22nd and then some work related travel shortly after Christmas. Since then, I’ve done a moderate level of mostly sweet spot work.

Today, I completed the 20 minute field test that came in about 20-25 watts below where I was in November when I got sick. I call that a success. More importantly, I didn’t feel any discomfort beyond what normally comes with an FTP test. I look forward to moving forward with the sweet spot base training plan.

Best of luck to you in your return to training! Let me know if you have any questions related to my experience.

4 Likes

Thanks for your sharing your experience @kfath.30 and giving others some insight on what they can expect in their return to riding. Extremely helpful and all of us FasCats are glad to hear you are doing better. We hope you continue to see forward progress with your SS’ing and have no doubts that when gravel racing returns, you will have all those watts back and more!

P.S. Thanks for being a loyal FasCat. Your hard work and passion for riding make our job so rewarding! :orange_heart:

1 Like