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  1. #1
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    How long before you lose fitness from time off the bike but have to race in 2 weeks

    Been off the bike for exactly 10 days. Been training pretty good for 8 months before that. Was planning on getting back on the bike tomorrow with a hilly road race in 12 days. ( hilly by Florida standards). Am I pretty much in trouble fitness wise for being off 10 days or not? Also having the 12 days before the race give me time to be ready?alao since I was off for 10 days would almost be like a taper with 12 days to get loosened up and ready to compete. Stopped riding for personal soul searching reasons. Anyone have anything they can tell me as I still am new to the cycling world. Kinda new anyways!

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    If you really have a good base then 10 days won't kill you. 12 days to your race should give you plenty of time to loosen up your legs, get some cobweb clearing efforts in, and make sure that your bike/gear is working okay.

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    Senior Member RacerJRP's Avatar
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    I will be off the bike for 8 days in a few weeks while I am away on vacation. My first of 5 races in 7 days starts 36 hours after returning home.....we will see how that goes.
    If I was as good at racing bikes as I am at racing cars youd all be in for a world of hurt!

  4. #4
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Ocala is not that hilly. I'll be racing a 53-39/12-21 and doubt that I'll ever be in the small ring.

    It will be hot and humid, though. That is a bigger concern. I'd work more on adapting to the temps and humidity than trying to get more "fitness".
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

  5. #5
    My idea of fun kensuf's Avatar
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    I do something like this every summer. The first four days suck, then it comes back.
    Putting the Duh in Floriduh.

  6. #6
    Must Go Faster veloboy971's Avatar
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    You might lose a tad bit of fitness, but you also should be very well rested provided you don't over do it in the 12 days that you're back on the bike!

    Man I'm glad I'm not in FL right now cause I'd be there and then hate myself during it for how hot it will be
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  7. #7
    You blink and it's gone. rbart4506's Avatar
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    ^^^ So that's my problem

    Sucks being in early season form when everyone else is in mid-season form...Lots of chasing and burning legs/pain...
    "On the other hand riding down a hill at 55 MPH wearing (essentially) women's underwear and a Styrofoam cup on your head is the epitome of rational life-extending decisions." - RacerEx

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    Anything over 2 weeks is likely too much. You're in the 1-2 week range. I say just step back what you were doing a few weeks ago and go from there, and don't try to cram stuff in.

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    Senior Member kleinboogie's Avatar
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    I don't know what the current thinking is but a few moons ago a trainer told me that people lose 25% of their fitness in 2 weeks. ymmv. GL in your races.

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    Just remember that most trainers get their information from one weekend-long seminar...and if really was many moons ago, odds are that trainer had zero formal training.

    Quote Originally Posted by kleinboogie View Post
    I don't know what the current thinking is but a few moons ago a trainer told me that people lose 25% of their fitness in 2 weeks. ymmv. GL in your races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mollusk View Post
    Ocala is not that hilly. I'll be racing a 53-39/12-21 and doubt that I'll ever be in the small ring.

    It will be hot and humid, though. That is a bigger concern. I'd work more on adapting to the temps and humidity than trying to get more "fitness".
    If it is the same course as last year, which I believe it is, there is nearly 1500ft of climbing for the 36mile Cat 4/5. Longer of course will be more because you will do another loop. 46mi, would be 1750ft climbing.

    So the heat, humidity, and the climbing will be so much fun.

    With that said, I always run 53/39-11/23 in FL.
    HTFU

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    It's probably accurate that after 2 weeks off your first day is pretty dismal, and I could see a 25% drop off being quite possible (for a max effort time trial or hill climb kind of thing). If you were doing a 4km pursuit then I could see it not being a good idea to do it after 10 days off.

    For a mass start race where you don't have to go 100% the whole time, with 12 days to get the legs loosened up... You'll be fine.

    Remember that you don't get better by training. You get better when you rest. If you want to get better at riding you don't just ride your bike faster and faster and faster so that after 24 hours of straight riding you can now go 35 mph. Riding actually hurts your strength. That's why you're strongest at the beginning of a ride, not at the end - a lot of my first or second stop lights stops produce 1200+ watts when I "roll away" from the light. Later the same perceived effort is 600-800w.

    When you rest you get stronger.

    You have 10 days of strength building rest. I bet that you'll actually be better as long as you don't ride 3-4 days of the next 12. If you ride every one of the 12 days you won't be taking advantage of your 10 days off and you'll be worse.

  13. #13
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    I remember this year the first week I got back on the computrainer after the holidays and 2 weeks of no riding. I was really weak.
    Expect to be weak for the next 2-7 days IMO. The good news is that you will then have gotten back to your previous levels, maybe a little higher. But not right away. 12 days to get back into it is more than long enough.

  14. #14
    Elite Fred mollusk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
    If it is the same course as last year, which I believe it is, there is nearly 1500ft of climbing for the 36mile Cat 4/5. Longer of course will be more because you will do another loop. 46mi, would be 1750ft climbing.

    So the heat, humidity, and the climbing will be so much fun.

    With that said, I always run 53/39-11/23 in FL.
    Sorry to "split hairs", but that is what Internet boards are for.

    I don't like calling anything that can be powered over a "climb". When I think of climbing I'm thinking mile after mile of uphill road continuously. That isn't part of the race course.

    That being said there is some vertical on the course, but it is mostly "punchy" short hills. They will hurt, but in a different way than a long climb.

    In fact I think that some of the false flat sections of the course are better places to attack than the obvious hills.
    I'm the world's forgotten boy. The one who's searchin', searchin' to destroy.

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    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAX_11 View Post
    Am I pretty much in trouble fitness wise for being off 10 days or not?
    No, you will be fine. (depending on your base of course)
    pro-meter: lol

    blog

  16. #16
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    1750 feet of climbing in a road race is flat by New England standards. The best sprinters around here would not get dropped in a race like that. If the climbs are short and punchy, then IMO that's what you should work on between now and race day. Your ability to ride hard for 30-90 seconds and recover is likely to be one of the areas that has declined a bit during your rest period. I would do 2-3 sessions focused on efforts like that towards the middle to late part of the week before the race. You may feel like crap afterwards, but after a little tapered rest, I bet your form starts to come back.

    Good luck.

  17. #17
    Must Go Faster veloboy971's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    1750 feet of climbing in a road race is flat by New England standards. The best sprinters around here would not get dropped in a race like that. If the climbs are short and punchy, then IMO that's what you should work on between now and race day. Your ability to ride hard for 30-90 seconds and recover is likely to be one of the areas that has declined a bit during your rest period. I would do 2-3 sessions focused on efforts like that towards the middle to late part of the week before the race. You may feel like crap afterwards, but after a little tapered rest, I bet your form starts to come back.

    Good luck.
    Now that I'm living in SC for the summer I can see where you're coming from...and even here is flat compared to some places I'd bet. But even some of the hilly routes in FL seem like a pancake compared to the rides I do around here. It's hard doing recovery rides around where I'm staying unless you ride into down town cause that's the only place there's flat roads. Even with a 28 cog you can't push less than 120 watts on some of the hills (well I guess you could but you'd almost fall over).
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  18. #18
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I can't even commute without hitting z3.

  19. #19
    starting pistol means war YMCA's Avatar
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    Ocala does not have hills, only shallow rollers.
    Further south between Tampa and Orlando, there are numerous "punchy" bergs.

    Ocala does have beautiful roads though. Especially by the horse farms. I lived there for 16 months and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    To the OP, 12 days is enough, but I'd get on that bike every day and do something. The more the better. Efficiency and technique are just as important as fitness. Race form can be gained quickly, but requires hard work and lazy rest.

    CDR will disagree with riding too much, but he's a different animal.

  20. #20
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    1st ride will probably feel good, then the few after that will hurt but you should bounce back pretty quickly. with a 10 day layoff and 12 days to your race, i'd ride 9 or 10 of those days and mix up either super hard or super easy; although i'd make my 1st ride a pretty easy one just to get some feel for the bike back, i'd front load the super hard into the 1st 6 days then backload with easy riding. better to show up a little off form but rested than tired (and still off form).

  21. #21
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    General rule of thumb is one week off the bike = three weeks to get back to where you were. So I think you will be fine with just the two weeks. A week off can make you come back a lot stronger too.
    If you don't talk to your cat about catnip, who will? =^.^=

  22. #22
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    A little update. First day back got in 10 miles in the morning to stretch out legs make sure everything was fine mechanically. Did the afternoon Tuesday night worlds and did pretty well, took my pull up against the big dawgs and didn't get dropped. Did feel flat like I told I would feel. Missed a few days cause of rAin after that. Decided Sunday to do crit race to see where I was at physically and finished second by about 2 feet and I was closing another 5meters and it would of been mine. After race I knew I left a lot out there and should of attacked early into the last lap. After the crit race did a 50 mile training ride. I feel a lot better about Ocala this weekend after the way I felt this weekend

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