COVID IM 1 month out


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    Got some lovely quality miles banked in Mallorca a few weeks ago. Tricky aligning to plan but adaption is the name of the game and I don’t think I messed things up too much.

    Flight home, (22 May) caught Covid. First time. Managed to dodge it until now. Went for OW swim on 25 May and had a scare – body temperature crashed and had to get out. Very cold and fatigued. Woke up ill 26 May. Very Positive Covid test.

    Was positive for about two weeks. Cold symptoms but mostly fatigue and wanting to sleep all the time. Cautiously probing my limits. Lost a lot of confidence. I’d defer if I could but that’s not possible.

    IM Bolton 2 July. I was on the Level 1 Power + Power but have changed that to Level 0. Beginning to feel better but easily fatigued and problems with confidence and motivation.

    Plan: Probe, reflect, review, rest. Focus on building up confidence in swim and find comfortable race pace. Adapt workouts downwards if fatigued. Things have been improving the last few days but fatigue, motivation and confidence the main problems.

    This has unsettled me. There’s tons we don’t know about short and long-term Covid effects and as a MV60 athlete I don’t treat this lightly. I plan to carry on adapting the plan as instinct allows.

    My main thoughts are whether to focus on keeping volume (and possibly confidence) high at the expense of intensity (80+/20-), and whether I should condsider a longer or easier taper.

    Leyla Porteous

    Hi Dougie,

    Sorry to hear about your COVID diagnosis.

    It is absolutely essential at this time to ensure your body recovers from the virus. The CDC developed pretty clear return to play protocols for athletes you can find that here.

    I personally followed and had all of my 1:1 athletes who contracted COVID follow this protocol. This will mean removing intensity all together, particularly while symptoms are present, and greatly reducing volume down to movement that makes your feel better only. You should not train while you still have symptoms. You can’t build fitness on a body that is fighting an illness/virus, if you continue to train through your symptoms you may end up increasing the duration and severity of symptoms. Focus your attention into daily management of energy and symptoms. The decision to race is yours, but I would suggest thinking about how you are feeling a few days out from the race to determine if it is a healthy choice to race at that time. I know that sucks with the idea of potentially that decision being that you shouldn’t race, but nothing is guaranteed when we sign up for a race, so this is just another one of those situations that tests out your resilience and your focus on the long game. Put your long term health first and you will be able to make a decision that is right for you.

    Coach Leyla


    Thanks from me as well Leyla. I’m 2 weeks out from a race and stupidly running through a dodgy periformus. I’m going to stop running for a week so I don’t spend all summer limping!


    Thanks Leyla. I appreciate the directness and unambiguous answer.

    I’ll continue dialling back, and trust to fate. I’ll see how I feel, and if I start and bail, that’s the way it goes. I won’t race or train in denial. If it doesn’t feel right, I’ll drop out and not worry about it.


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