It's that time of year, again, at least for roadies in the northern hemisphere.
I'm interested in opinions and experience regarding the fitness developed in base training, i.e. riding lots of slow, easy miles, and avoiding hard efforts. As a very general rule of thumb, I've heard keeping your HR below 140. I guess the purpose is to improve muscular capillarisation (not sure if that's a word) and mitochondria.
So, is it inevitable that you lose some or all of your base conditioning during a season of hard riding? I mean, if you just did hard, 20 or 30 mile rides, I could see that you're going to sacrifice something. But what if you do lots of longer rides. Is it the lack of easy miles that causes it to decay? Granted, I'm ready to give my legs a good, long rest. But base training for three months just seems like starting over from scratch.