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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-16-09, 08:35 PM   #1
isara
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Getting back into shape after time off

I'm really curious about how quickly it takes some of you to recover your training if you haven't been on a bike in a while.

I was out of town for two weeks and wasn't able to ride. When I got back, I tried to ride my usual 10 miles around the island (nice and flat) and I couldn't without everything hurting, being winded, and dropping into a much lower gear. I was stunned, since it's such an easy ride! I figured it had something to do with being off a bike for a few days.

Is this sudden decrease in ability common? How long does it take you to recover?

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Old 08-16-09, 09:36 PM   #2
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Yup and takes about a week if you ride regularly (4x a week). You'll get it back.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:37 PM   #3
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Two weeks is a long time. You've gone a bit slack. You'll be better in tomorrow and back to pace by mid week.
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Old 08-16-09, 09:39 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. It was pretty disheartening to come back and find that my favorite ride hurt! And it didn't seem like that long of a time to be off the bike.

Does make me worried for winter, though. I'm famous for blowing off the outdoors when it's cold, rain, or windy out. What do you folks do to combat the winter cold and downtime?
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Old 08-16-09, 10:27 PM   #5
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I dunno what winter's like in Alameda, but in NYC, it gets cold and sometimes snows. To combat winter cold, I put on long johns, wear wool socks and wool pullovers and keep riding.

If that doesn't work for you and you're resigned to exercising indoors, try rollers or a trainer. Personally, I dislike exercising indoors hence the extra layers and the continuous riding all year long. I'd just rather be outside.
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Old 08-16-09, 10:35 PM   #6
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Oh, I'm lucky here, but I'm, admittedly, a wimp We don't really have seasons in the Bay Area, but it does rain and can get pretty cold.

Still, I'm considering a move to DC, and I don't want to lose all of my hard work, so good to know about what I'm getting myself in for
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Old 08-16-09, 10:40 PM   #7
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Get some stylish wool garments and keep riding. It actually feels nice. Less sweaty anyway. And you can wear the wool stuff off the bike and not look like a bike geek.
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Old 08-17-09, 06:36 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isara View Post
I'm really curious about how quickly it takes some of you to recover your training if you haven't been on a bike in a while.

I was out of town for two weeks and wasn't able to ride. When I got back, I tried to ride my usual 10 miles around the island (nice and flat) and I couldn't without everything hurting, being winded, and dropping into a much lower gear. I was stunned, since it's such an easy ride! I figured it had something to do with being off a bike for a few days.

Is this sudden decrease in ability common? How long does it take you to recover?
For a number of reasons I hadn't been on my bike for almost two weeks, and my first time out (yesterday) was for a metric century. Two weeks is plenty of time to lose the "fine tune". I'm hoping for a quick recovery, 'cause I'm scheduled for Livestrong Philly this weekend.

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Does make me worried for winter, though. I'm famous for blowing off the outdoors when it's cold, rain, or windy out. What do you folks do to combat the winter cold and downtime?
I hate cold weather. Last winter I tried base layer under armour, long sleeve jersey and cycling jacket, balaclava along with leg warmers or tights. Even with all that I wasn't having any fun much below about forty degrees. I was much more likely to ride a trainer with a Spinervals DVD (although indoor riding on a trainer isn't much fun either).
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Old 08-17-09, 07:28 AM   #9
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I become a utility cyclist in the winter. I put the Trek into storage and take out an old hybrid (brand unknown) my wrench reckons it was a specialized and use it to go grocery shopping everyday.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:46 AM   #10
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I actually did OK riding last winter, and I did what you did. Frequent, short rides. Three miles here and there did seem to at least keep me in somewhat of shape by spring.

Granted, in spring, I ended up slacking off again and needed a bigger restart this summer. But I'm back in the full swing of things again.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:58 AM   #11
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Just a couple of days. Two weeks isn't all that long to have been away from the bike. I regularly do that year round, however, in the time away from my bike I tend to focus on other cardio activities be it basketball, racquet ball, tread mill, etc. Generally I come back stronger than when I left off.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:11 AM   #12
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That's a good point bautieri. If you replace two weeks of riding with two weeks of other activities like jogging, roller blading, or some other sport where you're moving around a lot, the impact on your cycling fitness is much less than if you didn't do anything those two weeks.
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Old 08-17-09, 09:41 AM   #13
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The kind of weather we have this week in NYC is kinda keeping me off my bike (bad ticker so I might get away with it, but it's risky), but I do 2 miles of power walking to compensate. Actually, that also points to my ankles and calves not being in near as good a shape as the quads...
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Old 08-17-09, 09:43 AM   #14
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That's a great idea bautieri and Riverside Guy. Winter (and really hot or muggy days) is a good time to work on other muscle groups when going somewhere at distance is too distasteful or difficult.
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