Pro Runner Megan Roche, MD on Training After COVID and Post-Vaccine

Should you run if you have COVID? How do you modify your training prior to getting the vaccine? What indicators should you watch for post-vaccine prior to resuming training?

Megan Roche on post-COVID training

These topics and many more are addressed in today’s podcast. As the vaccines become more prevalent and races are back on the calendar, this information is timely and actionable.

In prior episodes, we talked about the mental struggles of dealing with COVID and the subsequent training setbacks, such as the episodes with:

This episode is different in that we’re focusing on the physical aspects of your body fighting COVID and the immune response to the vaccine.

Most recreational athletes have to make their own call on training modifications and timing of races. With the recent research data as well as the anecdotal evidence, there are finally some guidelines to help runners with that decision making.

Running coaches are not typically epidemiologists, but today’s guest happens to be both. As a runner herself, Megan Roche empathizes with the athletes who just want to run, while balancing her advice with the understanding of what the body is coping with through COVID and the COVID vaccine.

Megan Roche Tackling the Challenging COVID Questions

Megan Roche is a medical doctor with a degree in neuroscience and is currently pursuing her PhD in epidemiology – the study of health and diseases across populations. On top of that, she’s a pro runner, coach, and podcast host of Some Work, All Play.

Megan was the 2016 USATF Trail Runner of the Year at the ultra and sub-ultra distances. She is a five-time national champion, a North American Mountain Running Champion, and a six-time member of Team USA.

In this episode, Megan helps us understand the challenges that runners are faced with who have a mild to severe COVID case, as well as before and after a vaccination. She answers questions about:

  • Why people respond so differently to the vaccine?
  • Can we predict and prepare for our own response?
  • Should we bag a run or two prior to getting the vaccine?
  • Which symptoms are indicators that we should not run at all?
  • What type of exercise is ok to do post vaccine?

Megan’s Suggested Training Modifications

In her recommendations, Megan stays true to her coaching philosophy of joyful running and a long-term outlook. All that is to say – allow your body the time that it needs to recover.

If you end up taking days or weeks off to recover from COVID, your training may not return to “normal” as quickly as you expect. Megan points out that the body is dealing with a lot post-COVID so your training and racing will be significantly impacted:

Megan has a wealth of knowledge on this topic and we’re thrilled to have her share it with the SR community. Check out the full podcast episode below.

Subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotifyStitcheriHeartRadio, or Google Play.

Also don’t miss our prior episode with Megan Roche on being a happy runner.

Links & Resources from the Show:

Thank you Precision Hydration!

Thank you to our newest sponsor, Precision Hydration. If you’ve ever struggled with hydration or electrolyte issues, use code STRENGTH15 to get 15% off your first order. They offer tablets, packets, and other essentials to help you train in any environment.

Precision Hydration knows that there isn’t a one-size-fits all approach to hydration, which is why I love that they help athletes refine their hydration strategy for whatever event they’re training for. If you can’t get a custom sweat test done, they have a free online test that will give you your own personalized hydration strategy.

It’s heating up where I am and I’m ending my runs a lot sweatier than I was just a month ago. I know I’ll be paying a lot more attention to my hydration and electrolyte needs. This is especially important with longer runs in the mountains here at altitude.

You can learn much more about hydration in my conversation with the founder of Precision Hydration, Andy Blow.

Check out Precision Hydration and get 15% off your first order of electrolytes that match how you sweat by using the code “STRENGTH15”.

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