Has anyone gotten sick in the middle of training?



Pretty bad cold right now. Muscles ache.

How long did yours last?

How did it alter your training?


If I am feverish and achey, I don’t train, but everybody has their own protocol, I guess. Always ask yourself, ‘What is the upside if I train today? What do I hope to get out of this workout?’ If you have a bad respiratory infection and push yourself beyond the limit, one thing you could hope to get is pneumonia. :smile: If you think missing a workout sets your training back, try having pneumonia!

On the other hand, if I just have congestion and/or nasal discharge I find that a good workout really helps those symptoms go away faster. This is out of step with 90% of the medical community, I’d say! Back in the late 90’s I worked with an ultra-marathoner who always used to tell me the best thing for a cold was to get in 10 miles. A the time I was a competitve strongman/powerlifter & 10 miles would have made me feel a lot of things but better would have been no where on the list.

But I gotta say, now that I have some cardiovascular fitness, he was absolutely correct. Something about getting the blood flowing or the air going really works to clear out respiratory/nasal congestion. Don’t know what it is but it works for me!


I’ve just had a few days of illness in week 2 of SSB II MV. At first it was just a tickly cough and head cold and I continued training. I actually felt fine on the bike, better than off the bike in fact. The symptoms then progressed to my lungs and I also picked up a minor sickness bug from my toddler. At this point I stopped training. Three days off the bike and I was feeling well enough to train again - did my first session (Carpathian Peak +2) last night and felt really good.

The way my workouts are arranged, I only missed 2 workouts - an endurance ride and the first VO2max session of SSB II MV. I’ve just shifted all the VO2max workouts for the block by one week, so doing the first one tonight and will do the last one as the first workout in the recovery week (still giving me 6 days of recovery before the build block). If I’d been off the bike for longer then I’d have maybe built up with some easier rides and then possibly gone back to the start of SSB II MV.

Listen to what your body is telling you though. I’ve made the mistake of pushing through illness before, and it cost me dearly with a long period off the bike and massive loss of fitness. The general rule of training if the symptoms are above the neck (although only if you feel up to it) and resting if the symptoms are below the neck seems to have worked for me this time. I do think that the training in the initial stages of illness, when it was just a head cold, helped me recover quicker than if I’d stopped training immediately (it feels like I moved through the stages of the cold quicker than normal), but it could be argued that the symptoms might not have progressed if I had stopped. There’s no way of knowing really, but I know that I felt like training in those early stages even though I didn’t feel great off the bike.

I guess my rule of thumb would be as follows:

  • If your symptoms are above the neck and you feel like training then you’re probably fine to go ahead.
  • If you’re symptoms are above the neck but you don’t feel like training then don’t stress about it and rest.
  • If you’re symptoms are below the neck then rest even if you feel like training.


Got a cold right now, most likely 3 days in.

Almost perfect timing as I was ending SSB going into Build. I chopped the rest weeks in Base so this week would have been a natural rest anyway. Plus broken trainer so can’t actually ride the bike anyway!

I always rest/take it easy if I’m sick. I’m kind of a weakling like that. Be it scientific proof or witch doctor placebo, I’ll bombard my bod with every known “cure” under the sun.

My throat is always the epicentre of evil cold bugs and pushing things can make the cold & symptoms last for weeks. Better to chop off the finger to save the hand.

Get well soon!


As @qtip mentioned, if the problem is below the neck, knock it on the head.

Last year I tried (foolishly) to push on with what I self diagnosed as a mild chest infection and it did NOT end well for me.

Listening to your body is a key aspect of training.


Going through this right now. Finished sweet spot base 1 about two weeks ago, had an easy week then did a week of general build. Started with a sore throat and three days later got the usual nasal symptoms.
Good to know it’s not just me, although I’m dying to keep exercising I don’t know whether or not to hit the next workout due tomorrow, lion rock.


Also going through this now. Agree with those above with the above/below neck rule. Timed mine well with a recovery week so hopefully will be ready by next Tuesday for first session back


Ditto - Just finished SSBMV1 and I’ve come down with a cold.

Put off the harder workouts (bar the failed ramp test) so my first proper ride will be tonight. Fingers crossed it goes okay as it’s in my head at the moment.


For those following, I skipped my two 5k runs for the week, and pushed back my 90min Friday workout a day. Happily just finished it hitting every target, albeit a little sniffly but feeling strong. Took just under a week since first noticeable issues.


Hell yes - see my thread ‘chronic sinusitis’ for an insight.
There’s loads of good advice above and I’ll be experimenting to see how I can change what I do to get some positive effect when I’m sick.
My only ‘extra’ would be to mention the psychological impact of being sick - I hate it and it beats me up every time while I fret about lost fitness and missed opportunities. It’s hard to avoid, but if you get a chance a read of ‘The Brave Athlete’ by Marshall/Patterson is useful.

Best of luck getting healthy again!


This is me 120%.
I forecast missing a full 2 weeks of training which probably translates into a month of lost fitness. :rage:

Good thing I started early?


It took me 4 weeks to gain 8%…:weary:

Declines in Aerobic Capacity:

  • 10-14 days: 6% decrease