Covid-19 & Training

🦠 PSA! 🦠

EVERYONE: If you have had Covid-19 at any point, PLEASE include it in your medical history for ALL of your medical providers! At this point in time, you hopefully will not be judged for having contracted it. (I know many last year wouldn’t tell anyone they got it because some judged that you caught it for not following all the rules. With Delta, that pretty much goes out the window now.) Because it is so varied with multiple symptoms and body systems involved, it’s not a cookie-cutter approach to deal with it. I know we don’t list colds and flu on medical history, but this is different as some symptoms can be odd and linger for months or longer. What may sound like a weird symptom in isolation, can make total sense when known in the context of Covid.

ATHLETES: If you work with a coach, please tell your coach if you test positive! Your training should be modified initially and then monitored closely to insure you are recovering properly and not pushing too hard too soon. This is a concern because of the number of people who end up with long-Covid syndrome and those who may develop heart arrhythmias. While it isn’t a majority that develop these complications, when it happens, it can be crushing for an athlete to have to pull out of training and competition for weeks to months. The issue is we have no way of knowing up front who may develop these complications. But if coaches don’t know, they can’t monitor you and help you.

COACHES: If you work with endurance athletes, ASK THEM ALL if they have had Covid in the past. You need to know this if you’re writing training plans for them. If you don’t feel comfortable with how to handle an athlete with Covid, or any other medical condition/injury, consult with or defer to their healthcare providers. If their healthcare provider isn’t sure how to deal with training, reach out.

HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS: If you have patients who are endurance athletes that test positive for Covid and you aren’t sure how they should handle their exercise and training, reach out.

Because of my bachelor’s degree in exercise physiology and a doctorate in physical therapy, I understand both the normal AND abnormal physiologic responses to exercise and training. This is my passion! I understand some pathophysiology of disease (by no means do I know it all!), but I understand the physiologic impacts of all the different body systems on exercise. For the last 18 months, I’ve been reading and trying to learn all I can about the impacts of Covid on exercise to help my clients. I’m willing to consult with you, whether athlete, coach or healthcare provider to merge all this info to help maximize athletic performance. No, I’m not your “normal” physical therapist or coach! Call or text me at 865-409-1782 if you’ve got questions, concerns, or need some guidance. I’m happy to help you!

Dr. Jeanne Williams, PT, DPT, OCS
We help endurance athletes (from beginners to pros) train and cross the finish line faster and injury-free!


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