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How long before you start to get out of shape?

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How long before you start to get out of shape?

Old 01-21-13, 06:57 PM
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bikerjp
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How long before you start to get out of shape?

I do my best to ride all year, but for various reasons I drop milage in the winter. I aim for 5-600 miles a month but from around Nov-Feb that drops to 2-300 miles (sometimes less). This month, for example, I was off the bike for about 10 days straight before heading out again on Saturday. I did a hilly 35 miles and felt okay, but on Sunday was just a bit weaker and today cut my ride a bit short because I was just out of energy. Of course, could be other things, but I suspect the body was starting to respond to sitting around more and needs to gear back up. Is 10 days really enough to set you back?
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Old 01-21-13, 07:01 PM
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for me after a month off im weak. A week-10 days i might be slow the first day, but by the second or third day im fine.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:05 PM
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I was off the bike for 10 days and my FTP dropped 25 watts. It only took about a week to get about 20 of those watts back.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:05 PM
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I recently had to take a month off the bike due to a sprained ankle. I'm having a tough time getting back to where I was.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:07 PM
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For me it depends on how sedentary I am when off the bike. If I'm laying around the house and driving instead of commuting the decline can come pretty quickly: maybe 2 weeks or so.

If I'm moderately active (jogging, weight room, etc) a couple of times a week it can take a few months.

It's really going to vary from one person to the next but 10 days shouldn't do much unless you're completely inactive and/or drinking heavily.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
I recently had to take a month off the bike due to a sprained ankle. I'm having a tough time getting back to where I was.
tell me about it. late november to mid december =little to no riding
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Old 01-21-13, 07:20 PM
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I've had a rough October-January, culminating in that nasty respiratory flu that is running around. I just got over that and hit the bike for the first time this year yesterday and it was pathetic.

I don't know how long it's going to take me to get back -- my FTP is down almost 20% from summer.
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Old 01-21-13, 07:31 PM
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I placed very high in a race after 9 days off. I wasn't training a lot - I think I took 11 days off before that 9 days off. 9-10 days is a long but not necessarily unusual break for me, even during the season.

The main thing that I observe when I get back on the bike is that my legs get a bloated feeling for the first hour or two. Once my legs shrink then things seem normal, meaning my legs and such. I also tend to pedal more roughly so I focus on spinning more when I first get back on the bike. If it's a race day then I try to warm up a bit by spinning lower gears, then during the race I try to keep spinning, gradually testing myself as the race goes on.

I think that some study somewhere will show that you can lose fitness in 10 days but it's relative to where you were before and what kind of previous experience you've had with cycling.
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Old 01-21-13, 09:42 PM
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My formula has historically been that it takes a month to regain each week off the bike. I'm in significantly worse shape now so it's not that bad, but it boils down to you lose fitness very fast and it's hard to get back.
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Old 01-21-13, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
My formula has historically been that it takes a month to regain each week off the bike. I'm in significantly worse shape now so it's not that bad, but it boils down to you lose fitness very fast and it's hard to get back.
Sounds reasonable. I suspect that age factors in there somewhere too. When you are 20 it's probably more like a week to gain back a week off. When you are 40 a month or more. When you are 60 maybe a couple months. If you are pcad...
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Old 01-21-13, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by banerjek View Post
My formula has historically been that it takes a month to regain each week off the bike. I'm in significantly worse shape now so it's not that bad, but it boils down to you lose fitness very fast and it's hard to get back.
Yes. I use about a 3:1 ratio. Short term, if I'm in top shape and don't ride for 3 days in a row, I notice it. I once took a whole winter off. It took me a year to get back to where I was. FTP goes first, endurance follows a bit later.
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Old 01-21-13, 10:04 PM
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In the past I have trained like an idiot and tend to be falling apart when I am forced to take a week or two off. I tend to come back stronger after a break. Hopefully, I have moved past that and can actually answer that question one of these days.
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Old 01-21-13, 10:52 PM
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Well I was off the bike for 7 months...a month for each week means it will take over 2 years to get back what I lost
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Old 01-21-13, 11:46 PM
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Unless you're successful at one specific sport, you should be looking at other activities to round out your fitness regimen so short spurts of time off from one activity will not severely affect that activity.
Run, lift, swim, Cross Fit, etc. etc. in addition to riding to stay in good overall shape.
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Old 01-22-13, 07:57 AM
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I think you guys are doing it wrong. I take the winter off. I simply take Lance's cocktail of EPO, testosterone, Growth hormone and a few other goodies with my cereal in the morning and in the spring I come back even faster. No reason to train.
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Old 01-22-13, 08:02 AM
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Been off for two weeks after a wreck. Going to ride at lunch today and already feeling weird about it. Hoping everything still works. I hear it's like riding a bike though.

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Old 01-22-13, 08:04 AM
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Now
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Old 01-22-13, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BykOfALesserGod View Post
Unless you're successful at one specific sport, you should be looking at other activities to round out your fitness regimen so short spurts of time off from one activity will not severely affect that activity.
Run, lift, swim, Cross Fit, etc. etc. in addition to riding to stay in good overall shape.
i started sending my coach tss points for all day school. When you have one class for 7 hours, then have 3-4 hours of homework you just give up and go to bed.
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Old 01-22-13, 08:39 AM
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It depends on your fitness and level of training before the break. High level of training makes it more like a good taper; lower levels mean you lose what you had.
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Old 01-22-13, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
i started sending my coach tss points for all day school. When you have one class for 7 hours, then have 3-4 hours of homework you just give up and go to bed.
That leaves you with 13 hours of play. You can sleep when you're dead
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Old 01-22-13, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by jsutkeepspining View Post
for me after a month off im weak. A week-10 days i might be slow the first day, but by the second or third day im fine.
No comment...
To lose strength you must first have it...
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Old 01-22-13, 12:41 PM
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About 2 large pizza's...
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Old 01-22-13, 12:43 PM
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After taking a year and a half off and having gone for 7 previous short rides this was my first ride of any distance.

[TABLE="class: summaryTable overall"]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Distance:[/TD]
[TD]56.13 mi[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Time:[/TD]
[TD]2:55:49[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Avg Speed:[/TD]
[TD]19.2 mph[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Elevation Gain:[/TD]
[TD]3,306 ft[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Calories:[/TD]
[TD]1,941 C[/TD]
[/TR]
[TR]
[TD="class: summaryTableLabel"]Avg Temperature:[/TD]
[TD]60.0 °F[/TD]
[/TR]
[/TABLE]
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Old 01-22-13, 01:33 PM
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9 - 10 days is a long time for an old fart; also noticeable for a racing cat2...
but it really depends on how 'fit' you are at the time of the break. usually after a week/ 5 days of riding I can get back to prior level after 8-10 days off, If I have a good base.

this past summer I was off because of a badly dislocated shoulder - couldn;t get the bike off the ceiling hook for over 3 wks, then another 3 wks to where I could even ride/hold the bars for more than 20 minutes...
usually I tough through recovery, but this being my 1st ever shoulder dislocation, I wasn't sure of the recovery phase and not wanting to prolong it more...
...to-date still not back to my April 2011 fitness/strength/weight level

just gotta keep pluggin away...
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Old 01-22-13, 01:56 PM
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The first ride after a week off is magnificent, the next two, not so much. Anything over two weeks is quite noticeable.
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