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How do you retain cycling fitness away from the bike?

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

How do you retain cycling fitness away from the bike?

Old 09-09-23, 10:01 AM
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How do you retain cycling fitness away from the bike?

When you have an extended time away from cycling, (say 3 weeks to a month) what do you do to not totally lose all fitness? Inquiring minds want to know.
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Old 09-09-23, 01:08 PM
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Running or swimming would be my guess.
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Old 09-09-23, 01:31 PM
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Any other form of aerobic exercise. Depends what is available. Run, swim, hike, tennis, ski, gym.
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Old 09-09-23, 01:42 PM
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When not training for the pro tour I prefer to win medals in swimming and pho eating.
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Old 09-09-23, 02:02 PM
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I ski in the winter and if traveling and I do not have access to my bike, I use the hotel gym fitness center and ride one of the fitness bikes or any other aerobic machine they may have.
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Old 09-09-23, 02:16 PM
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Paint my house. Took me 3 weeks and I needed to tune everything else out, so no cycling. Climbed ladders, sweated a lot, lost 5 lbs. Started back riding this week and did 150 miles over 4 rides which is huge for me, typically do 100-120. 60 mile ride today, longest this year. Not winning any races but feeling ok.
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Old 09-09-23, 03:33 PM
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My wife books us at B&Bs so no gym or pool. Can’t run due to foot issue which will have corrected this winter. Maybe volunteer to paint the B&B?

not thrilled with doing wall squats but will find other non-aerobic exercises
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Old 09-09-23, 04:08 PM
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Back in the day... Ha... When I was traveling to frequent conferences I found my body rejecting the common stationary bicycles I found the the hotel gyms. It seemed they gave me bad habits that resulted in muscle memory loss for when I returned to ridding. For me stationary ridding on a strange machine was just not right. When doing the elliptical machines though I found I could get a reasonable workout with a fast recovery time. Much like cycling. So when I was traveling I made almost exclusive use of the ellipticals.

When I was in areas without a gym I usually found stairs. Yep... Up those stairs then ride the elevator down and up again. In those days I was just beginning to loose my down so it was up all the way...
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Old 09-09-23, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
My wife books us at B&Bs so no gym or pool. Can’t run due to foot issue which will have corrected this winter. Maybe volunteer to paint the B&B?
not thrilled with doing wall squats but will find other non-aerobic exercises
Ah, so it's 'vacation'.
There is no substitute for riding/cycling Outdoors; just as there no sub for tennis, swim, golf or any athletic activity with very specific requirements. But everything you can do, which is more than nothing, helps.
That said, swimming is ok for cardio, but mostly nothing for legs (at least the way a cyclist uses them). Running is tough on the joints, Hiking with altitude gain is good, harder you go the better, just like riding.
Best I found is ice skating... A good hard hour on ice is almost as hard as a good, hard hour on the road... Of course you need to have some skating proficiency. In Winter, XC Ski can even be harder, but less muscle specific for the legs, but very, very close.
Stationary Trainer is just a no-go for me - my mental strength for sitting on the trainer is obviously, very weak... LOL!
I've been off the bike for 10 weeks, - no nothing, result of getting t-boned by an auto which ran a stop sign... NO weight bearing on left leg.
decent healing though, so I was cleared for 'some' weight bearing, last week... Set up the Trainer, last week, to 'spin' with right leg. 3 sessions and my spirit collapsed...
Monday I setup the MTB with flats and have a rig for my left foot/ankle... started riding around the block/neighborhood, 15x... LOL! It was wonderful !!!
Now doing more adventurous rides further away from home, every day ! - awesome !!!
Yup, nothing like riding the bike...
Can't you throw a bike in the car/conveyance and do a 'short' daily ride?
Ride On, always
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Old 09-10-23, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
When you have an extended time away from cycling, (say 3 weeks to a month) what do you do to not totally lose all fitness? Inquiring minds want to know.
Two different questions. Maintain cycling fitness? I can't. Minimize loss of fitness? The best I can do is to workout on a spin bike.
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Old 09-10-23, 07:44 AM
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I have a broken big toe (not from cycling) which I keep rebreaking when I rode. Finally I had to stop riding (next xray in 1 1/2 weeks so keeping my fingers crossed)

I have done a LOT of yard work, trying to keep from gaining weight, its better than nothing and doesn't hurt my foot/toe
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Old 09-10-23, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
When you have an extended time away from cycling, (say 3 weeks to a month) what do you do to not totally lose all fitness? Inquiring minds want to know.

Do the 3000 squats in 30 days challenge. Best to do it when you are not riding so this would be the perfect time to do it. 100 body squats a day.
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Old 09-10-23, 10:41 AM
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I swim and run all year and add skiing in the winter. I sprinkle in some hiking too. I try to get a leg workout in at least once a week, either at home or the gym. I’d like to get 2 in, but life tends to get in the way of that.
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Old 09-10-23, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bampilot06
Do the 3000 squats in 30 days challenge. Best to do it when you are not riding so this would be the perfect time to do it. 100 body squats a day.
I can see doing that as long as the goal doesn't require doing full squats (with or without weights). Squats that are limited to the range of motion and load level of pedaling a bike---fine. At 72, I'd like to preserve my knees.
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Old 09-10-23, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
I can see doing that as long as the goal doesn't require doing full squats (with or without weights). Squats that are limited to the range of motion and load level of pedaling a bike---fine. At 72, I'd like to preserve my knees.

I just do what my coach tells me to do. I am sure if you are limited in motion that’s fine. I don’t use weights, need to put a 10 pound kettle bell in my work bag.
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Old 09-10-23, 03:01 PM
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The last time I was off the bike for more than 5 days was about 22 years ago. At that time I hiked the steep trails near home and it helped maintain some fitness and sanity.
The time before that was in 1988 and I sat around and ate ice cream and gained 35 pounds.
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Old 09-10-23, 03:45 PM
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Brisk long walks.

Where are you going?
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Old 09-10-23, 04:34 PM
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I spent 2 1/2 weeks in southern Thailand with the family with no gym access. I ended up doing quite a bit of running and found a proper area to do body workouts like pull-ups, dips, push-ups and ab crunches.
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Old 09-10-23, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
When you have an extended time away from cycling, (say 3 weeks to a month) what do you do to not totally lose all fitness? Inquiring minds want to know.
I never spend that much time away from cycling. cycling is my main exercise. I do some easy weight lifting and push-ups, but would surely benefit from doing other fitness activities. I rarely do, though. I just ride the bike.
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Old 09-10-23, 04:43 PM
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I sail for one and two weeks at a time. It’s hopeless. Just have to up the volume in the weeks before and ease in when I get back.
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Old 09-18-23, 06:43 AM
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Well I won’t have to worry about an extended trip since my wife and I caught COVID in Wales and will be returning home forthwith. However, the recovery period may be the same. The dog and cat will be elated.

was doing push-ups, planks and squats as of yesterday. Will get on the trainer at home and soft pedal/noodle.
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Old 09-18-23, 09:11 AM
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I run more often, fast, until I'm tired. It usually lasts 20 minutes and the distance is 5km more or less.

Very good for the Vo2 max and varying sport from now and then is always a good idea.
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Old 09-18-23, 09:23 AM
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Snowshoe fast in deep snow. Heavy New England snow works very well. A lot like riding hills seated in big gears. You can get your heart rate way up! Running across the small fields of the local family farms was like doing intervals on the bike and paid off in kind.
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Old 09-18-23, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
My wife books us at B&Bs so no gym or pool.
Find a nearby YMCA. Even if you're not a member, you can use it with a day pass.
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Old 09-18-23, 10:36 AM
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