Managing Illness in a tight plan

So I’ve had a cold, nothing major but enough to raise my resting heart rate by 20-30 bpm for a few days and spend a week off the bike.

I’ve looked through the general advice on here but couldn’t find an answer on if I’m trying to stop a tight XFAI plan going right off track by waiting till I feel 100% again, is it better to come back at lower XSS but the right target intervals, or to hit XSS from lower intensity?

I’ll probably skip HIT by adjusting recovery slider or modify but for LIT I mean if 100 XSS is prescribed should I do

50-70 XSS if that feels fine at 100% LTP (150 W),

100 XSS but at 66% LTP (100 W) taking longer.

or 50-70 XSS by doing 66% LTP for the prescribed time.


Hi Alex,

Thank you for your question and for sharing your experience. It’s important to recognize that every person responds to illness differently, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to returning to training. With that in mind, I’d like to share what has worked for me when dealing with a similar situation.

When I’m recovering from a cold and my symptoms are above the neck (e.g., headache, stuffy nose), I usually disregard the original training recommendations & instead I opt to ride easy, around 50% of my Threshold Power. My simple goal is usually to accumulate as much XSS as my current training load, roughly. For instance, if I’m a 3-star athlete with a Training Load (TL) of 75, I’d aim for approximately 75 XSS. This approach helps me maintain my TL steady until I feel ready to resume regular training & start building. When feeling better, then I’ll adapt the forecast & start planning out my training again - possibly adding in an extra ~15-30 min to the recommended low intensity sessions if I’m feeling up for it.

However, if I experience chest congestion or more severe symptoms, I choose to take complete rest for a few days to allow my body to fully recover. In that case, my opinion is that the full rest will help me recover more quickly & get back to regular training!

For myself, personally, I don’t think I even touched FF slider or the recommended workout when I’ve been ill. When indoors, I’ve used Xert EBC for Android or a Garmin Edge device on the turbo and set manual ERG to ~ 150 W (my TP is ~260-280 W) and rode to accumulate XSS. When outdoors, I pretty much do the same by limiting intensity to ~150 W and aim to accumulate XSS equal to my TL, if feeling okay.

Based on your situation and the options you mentioned, I’d probably suggest option 3, which is a balanced approach, ensuring you’re not overdoing it while still getting some XSS.

Ultimately, listening to your body is key. If you feel any signs of chest congestion or if your symptoms worsen, consider opting for complete rest.

I hope this helps, and I wish you a speedy recovery. Feel free to reach out if you have any more questions or need further advice.