First time post, so hopefully I'm doing it all correctly :)
Been a runner for over 20 years, off and on, mostly on. Never gotten the flu once in my life.
I was training for Spring races (which have now all been cancelled of course), and things were going great.
Six weeks ago I had one of the best 10mi runs ever, feeling great, heart rate was good, everything was coming up aces.
One day after that great 10mi run I woke up with a 12 hour stomach bug. I took a couple of days off that next week but ran two days. Felt fine. Woke up the following Friday morning with the flu and was in bed for 8 days.
This is my 4th week since coming back from the flu.
The first 3 weeks of getting back to running I felt like a shell of what I formally was pre-flu. My stamina was reduced greatly, as was speed. Over the first 3 weeks things started feeling somewhat better, but I'd say I still was only at around 70% of how I felt pre-flu. I have never looked into heart rate zone training much until last week, and looking back at those first 3 weeks arond 72% of all runs were in zone 4 or zone 5. Sadly only around 18% were zone 3, and 5% zone 2, so I was likely running too hard having just come back from the flu.
At the end of the third week (which was this past weekend), I caught what I believe was a different strain of flu!!
That's 3 illnesses in a row for a guy who hadn't been sick in years!
So, I figure I wasn't recovering well after the first flu and was probably running too hard, too soon, and that kept my immune system down and made me susceptible to another bug.
I have gotten a 12 week heart rate zone plan all planned out from next week to the start of Summer, but to be honest it's already killing me. My thinking was I probably need a few months of just slow solid base training. I've done 2 runs this week, one in zone 2, one in zone 3. I'm not used to trying to keep my hr low, so my pace is way slower than normal. I have a naturally high max hr (around 200), so trying to keep my hr low is really tough. Pre-flu I could easily run a nice feeling tempo run between 170-180bpm for 10+ miles and feel fine. I have been checked out by a cardiologist also and he said that bpm is fine for me.
Now, running with that high of a hr really tuckers me out.
I know this is a long first post, but I guess my question is should I continue with a hr zone plan, or start trying to get speedwork back involved in a few weeks? I felt so good just 6 weeks ago, probably the best of my life, and it's going to be really hard to do low hr training for 3 months. The hr zone plan will be great for building a solid base, but I already had a good base pre-flu of around 30 mpw with good speedwork and tempo work occurring weekly. So I'm almost not sure if I'd really need all the lower hr work.
But, I don't want to push too hard too soon and get sick yet again, since it seems my immune system isn't in a good place right now.