Post-virus running - hard work

I had a week off running due to circumstances, then caught some kind of virus that gave me aches and pains for 3 days followed by a rash that went away (transient thrombocytopenia according to the GP - must remember that next time I play scrabble).

Felt fine last Tuesday and went for a 2.5 mile jog, muscles were ok but I felt a bit breathless. Did 3 miles on the Thursday and again found it tricky to get into a rhythm. 5 miles on Sunday and it was, yet again, hard work. 2 weeks or so before my last Sunday run had been 11 miles but the prospect of doing another 6 yesterday was not attractive.

Anyone else had this? Is it just the time away from running or is my body still recovering from the virus battle?



  • Sounds very much like a wierd sickness thing I had for a couple of weeks. Do / did your legs feel like you had been tensing them all through the night each morning? I initially thoguht I had done too much training until the wife told me she had the same symptoms (she doesn't run). Slight sniffles that never developed into a full cold? Never had the rash but the whole thing culminated in a day of being violently sick the day before a HM (clocked terrible time). Not sure if the sickness was related to the aching limbs or not. Have felt fine for the past week, illness seems to be totally gone.

  • It can take 3-4 weeks to fully recover from a viral infection. Don't push yourself hard in that period, sleep well, eat healthy balanced food. You may feel OK before you go out to run but then find you have no power or energy and that your HR is maybe 10-15 beats higher than normal. All signs to ease back and rest.

  • CormorantCormorant ✭✭✭

    JakeUK: Didn't get the legs thing, but I suppose infections come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Glad you're back to feeling normal now.

    Tricky Dicky: That sounds plausible. I've never got around to measuring my heart rate but I did seem to be pumping a bit harder (so to speak) than normal.  I went out yesterday at a slow but constant pace and it felt a lot better. As you say, I think this will just need to take its time.

  • I was doing a marathon in March that I trained really hard for during the winter. I stuck to my target pace for the first hour and clocked off 15km but I knew the energy expenditure was too high for me. I bailed out of the race (my first ever DNF) at 23km because I just didn't feel right. Afterwards, my HR data showed I had hit 99% of MHR (normal max effort in a mara should take you to around 89-90% if you are well trained).

    I believe I had a low level virus that wasn't making me feel particularly ill, just not 'on top form'. I did a race a week later as an experiment. I ran the first 6km lap at marathon pace and the second lap at ideal marathon HR - 89%. I was 45 seconds/ km slower on the second lap. I knew something was wrong, even though I felt OKish.

    I paid good attention to my HR for the following weeks and it took the best part of 3 weeks to get back to normal. Fortunately I was also booked in to do another marathon 4 weeks after the one in Rome and I was able to blitz it and get a new PB. The extra rest did me a bit of good and I didn't press too hard when I was clearly not firing on all cylinders. Good luck with your own recovery Cormorant.

  • CormorantCormorant ✭✭✭

    Thanks. I have a heart rate monitor but never used it, I might need to dig it out and see what's going on. Happily although there was a race I was thinking about doing at the end of the month I can easily drop it.

    Interestingly my virus emergered a week or two after I'd finished my first half. I gather this is quite common.

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