Recovering from illness

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  • #3507

    I am in the max strength phase of my training plan, around what would be my week 10, but having just taken 10 days off (in what was to be the last part of week 7, then 8) due to a sinus infection. I’ve planned to take 10 days of easy training per the advice in Training for the New Alpinism, and I’ve completed 9 of those 10 days. My energy levels are back up and while my max strength is a little down from where it was, I haven’t lost much. I’m wrestling with planning the volume and duration in the next phase of my training. Should I return to the total volume that I was working at in Week 6, and try to build up from there? Also, in this phase there is usually a transition to a focus on muscular endurance. If I have lost some of my overall cardiovascular endurance during my illness is my time better suited in trying to gain some of that back before focusing on muscular endurance?

    Thanks very much for any guidance you can offer.

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    Anonymous on #3514

    You are smart to slowly build back your fitness before resuming training at the level you were at before getting sick. Your strength will come back with in 2-3 workouts. If you didn’t do any strength work during this 10 day resumption then I suggest doing a mini session with 90% of the wight you were at before you got sick. AS for beginning the ME workouts, I recommend pushing those back 10-14 days. At least till you feel that you have resumed you previous level of aerobic and strength fitness.


    madanyang on #3617


    I am having a similar issue, I have a running nose and looks like I am about to catch the cold. Therefore, I have decided do take the week off. I am currently in the 3rd week of base training and I am following the 24 week program on trainingpeaks and in the overview it is stated “If you miss more than 2 in a week then repeat that week.”

    Yet the advice in Training for the New Alpinism suggests doing an easy training for everyday missed, which Nathanols is following and Scott is advocating and this is contrast to the above explanation given in the program description.

    I now understand how to structure the strength part but how do you adjust the easy training for aerobic activities. Is there some kind of rule of thumb to plan these missed day?


    Anonymous on #3621


    Good call to stop training on the earliest stages of illness. I hope you dodge the worst of the sickness and loose minimal days. My rule of thumb is to have my athletes take one very easy day for each day they miss training due to illness. Of course like any rule of thumb it is not cast in concrete and needs to be adjusted to your personal situation and how you are feeling. If you miss 4 days with a cold I suggest easing back in to the training with only aerobic training for a few days. But, if by day 3 you are feeling 100% then by all means make day 4 a normal training day.
    There are several reasons I prefer this method:
    1) The aerobic system is the one that loses conditioning the fastest so it needs to be given the priority for restoring its capacity ASAP
    2) Many people will jump back into full training load too soon after illness and either relapse or contract another more nasty illness that prolongs the lost time.
    3) These easier days allow you to assess how your body is reacting as you gently re-impose training stress on it. You can then judge your readiness to resume more substantial training.

    In the end; if you miss more than 2 days in a week, which is likely when you get sick then it is wise to take a step back and repeat the affected week. Miss 2 weeks and you can expect it is going to set you back substantially and you need to take at least a week of easy aerobic training to build back some of the lost aerobic fitness. That is why we suggest re-doing the lost weeks.

    I hope this helps,

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