"I never get sick - it's been 15yrs since i was last sick for longer than a few hrs.
However, i am now 18 days sick - i seem to be at the tail end of it now. Some sort of viral lung infection. Have done no training - well, once in that time.
What's the standard re-training protocol for getting back into training? I'm guessing at least 10 days of easy aerobic work, and ensuring the system stays or gets back into acid/base neutral zone.
Is there warning signs to back off or stop or don't yet start training? "
There are a couple of indicators that you can use to guide your return to running:
Blood pressure and pulse
Get yourself a good quality blood pressure and pulse monitor. Here are my recommendations
:http://blog.garymoller.com/2012/06/which-personal-digital-blood-pressure.html. Healthy blood pressure should be about 120/80. It is typical to have very low blood pressure following a debilitating illness. As long as it remains low, such as 110/60, you may need to moderate the intensity and duration of exercise.
Use a "Running Recovery Indicator"
Here's a fabulous service for runners. http://www.running-wizard.com/ They have a really handy recovery indicator (Look under the "My Training" tab) which uses the data you gather with your heart rate monitor. While it is a subscription service, it is worth every cent and they will have you runnign the best of your career.
Use the "neck Check"
If you have a viral infection that extends below the neck, then you really do need to take it very easy until fully recovered because excessive exercise may result in damage to the heart and lungs. If the infection is confined to the head, then you can be more relaxed about whether to exercise or not.
Go by how well you feel
I know - this is really obvious! But you would not believe how often an athlete will ignore all the signals that he/she needs to rest, or take it easy and try to "run it out". This will only delay recovery and may be harmful to the point of being fatal. Listen to your body regardless of what any tests are telling you. If you start a run and you just don't feel right within about 5-10 minutes, then cut the run short, go have a long bath and a good feed, then try again the next day.
Athletes all end up running on empty - at least that's what the testing tells me. Zinc always gets depleted, even with supplementation, it seems. This is because zinc is required in huge amounts by athletes for tissue repair. Refer here: http://blog.garymoller.com/2012/01/running-on-empty-why-athletes.html. Low zinc lays the athlete wide open to viral infections along with poor recovery.