by dunnoh   February 17, 2014  

I have been off my bike with a hideous chest infection for 4 weeks. I have the Tour of Flanders in 6 weeks and I was stretching myself riding the 8 miles into work today.

Any tips on regaining my fitness without killing myself in 6 weeks?


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Chest infections of 4 weeks duration are pretty serious and your GP is best placed to guide you (especially with the damp weather). Presumably you had a course of antibiotics ?
I went down to pleurisy and pneumonia by trying to push through a dose of flu - not clever at all. All in all it was probably 3 months of recovery for me.
Good luck but I really would not force it.

posted by arfa [542 posts]
17th February 2014 - 14:18


I had the same up to a few weeks back...the general consensus seems to be you need to take 2 weeks or so off after the chest infection has completely disappeared before you start riding again - else you risk it flaring up again.

My GP nurse said that wasn't necessary...but enough people have said the opposite that I took no chances.

posted by StoopidUserName [56 posts]
17th February 2014 - 14:33


Ride fast for long.

Sir Velo

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posted by Raleigh [1733 posts]
17th February 2014 - 14:52


Are you currently symptom free? (ie no coughing, sweats, pain with deep inspiration, or shortness of breath with normal activity like walking around at work or going slowly up a flight of stairs) I would suspect given the long duration of your symptoms that whatever you had was viral as bacterial infection will pretty much hospitalize you within 1-2 weeks if left untreated unless it's caused by atypical bacterial like Legionella or Mycoplasma--but you would have fevers, sweats, and continued shortness of breath and coughing in that case. Anyhow, if you're symptom free but just deconditioned you could try some short, flat rides and work your way up to longer, hillier ones. Another thing to note is when I've had a bad chest infection for weeks, it's not uncommon to get a post-viral bronchitis where inflammation left over from the infection causes you to cough or wheeze (in the absence of infectious symptoms like fever or chills) especially when exercising or doing anything that causes you to take deep breaths. It's helped me to get a prescription for an inhaler like Advair which contains a steroid (fluticasone) to reduce inflammation and a bronchodilator (salmeterol) to open up the airways. But if everyday life has you exhausted and wanting to take naps, it's probably best to hold off on any training IMHO.

Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling. ~James E. Starrs

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posted by movingtarget [136 posts]
17th February 2014 - 20:01


Thanks for that. I had pneumonia several years ago and the minute the back pain kicked in I was off to the doctors for anti biotics. I took those for just over a week and was ill for another couple of weeks. My wife declared me fit and well when I started looking at cycling equipment! Ill pop to the doctors and try to get an inhaler - that sounds exactly what I need. Thanks!

posted by dunnoh [177 posts]
17th February 2014 - 21:08