Heart Rate Post Covid

Hey everyone

I had Covid two weeks ago (mild upper respiratory symptoms O2 SATS normal, no shortness of breath). Took 2 weeks off cycling for the first time in a year. Most before that was 4 days.

My heart rate is about 10-15 beats higher on my first ride back than I’d expect. 230 watt effort gets me HR of 160 and normally that would have me 145s. I feel fine. No shortness of breath or other concerning symptoms. I’ve only started cycling this past year so have never taken that much time off. I train on average 10 hrs a week.

My question: is this normal after taking 2 weeks off ( I had an awful sleep last night as well).

Or is this post Covid heart rate excitability?



Somewhat higher HR after a break is normal, and it’s not all loss of of fitness, but that you’re not used to the effort… so it improves quickly. Even my first ride outdoors after winter indoors sees higher HR, I guess as it’s ‘new’ and you need to use more muscles for balance etc…

In my experience not usually 10 to 15 bpm but everyone’s different. Could also be still recovering from COVID… I would just ride very easy (based on HR and talk test) for the first few rides after a break… especially after illness (even a cold)… and even more so if sleep is an issue.


Blood volume. Decrease quickly after a layoff and increases quickly when you come back.

I’ve had similar after taking an illness break from training. HR is usually elevated ~10 bpm at a constant effort from pre-illness HR, but usually is back to normal after 7-10 days of training.


Hi Adam, Last year, I had the same expierence. The good news is that it will come back very quickly. Please be carefull the first couple of trainings to avoid permanent injuries.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I still haven’t managed to get back on a decent training regimen. As soon as I came out of the basement. Kids gave me their most recent viral illness. Tiny violin playing.

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You will have a great restistance next year!

I’ve just enrolled them in homeschool. My training is too important. ;).

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I had Covid back in Jan, probably should have waited longer but was going a bit insane sitting around - after a week (still feeling tired but not overtly ill) I did a light turbo session and was surprised when heart rate was up to 145bpm or so compared with normal Z2 of 125-130bpm. It settled down quick enough though…

Interesting. It’s taken me about 7 weeks of gradual increase in training load but I did some upper zone 2 stuff yesterday and my HR was very close. My lower zone 2 is almost bang on. It happened very fast though. Within the span of a few rides my power improved 30 watts for same heart rate. 170 giving me Hr of 135 to 200 resulting in the same. And now 245 gives me around 144 which is getting close to previous values. Amazing stuff.

Same thing has just happened to me. A week off then felt ok and started some gentle hours at below LT1. HR 10-15 higher than before. Not sleeping great . Resting HR seems only a couple of beats higher but HRV on the floor. Feel fine though. Hope it comes back quicker than 7 weeks as I’m due to do The Dirty Reiver at the end of April


Yeah, I think a lot of my heart rate now is actually based on my drop in training load. I’m 3 months since COVID and now my heart rate is higher, but when I look at my data from last year at the same training load it matches up almost perfectly. Im at 65 now, where just pre covid I was at a peak for 93. I can’t expect my heart rate to be the same at 220 watts as it was in september, because 220 watts means something different to my body now (my TP has dropped from 320 to 291 (which is the same as it was last year with this training load). So it feels like my systems are back to normal. My HEI and peak power are higher than they were last time at this training load, but I think that’s because I’ve only been cycling for 15 months and I am more fit than I was previously. So there is hope!

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I’m currently experiencing the same issue, had Covid before Christmas, took about eight days before I tested negative, since then I’ve taken it fairly easy but had an accident cycling on my way home and fractured my elbow. Got back into some structured training on the trainer last couple of weeks, limited to 60minutes due to the elbow and my HR is about 15 BPM higher than normal. My resting HR and HRV are both still not where they where before Covid although that is probably impacted by disrupted sleep due to the elbow.

Strangely, despite the above, I feel okay, power is a bit down, but having effectively had a month off from proper training I guess that is to be expected. Interesting to see that others have had pretty much the same response to Covid that I’ve had. Thanks for sharing.

Hi Everyone! Always remind that after any illness, it is recommended to not start huge effort at least still 8 days after last symptom. If you have any doubts, a visit to a cardiologist 6 months after your last covid or influenza for an effort test will also help a doctor to assess any potential cardio-vascular “damages”.

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