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How long off the bike till you notice a loss in "fitness"

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How long off the bike till you notice a loss in "fitness"

Old 05-30-18, 06:50 PM
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voyager1
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How long off the bike till you notice a loss in "fitness"

Hey All,

I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on something for me. Living here in the deep south we have been dealing with lots of rain from the tropical storm Alberto this week. My last ride was on Sunday (and was cut short) due to a thunderstorm that pulsed and blew in with wind and rain and lightning. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (today) were washouts. I am hopeful tomorrow will be good. I get many of my rides in early in the morning since I have small kids, so moving rides to the evening is really hard.

I was wondering how many days have to go by till you start feeling the loss of fitness of being off the bike. I come from a running background and the general rule of thumb was 3 days and you could feel it. Was wondering if that applies in cycling. I am not racing or anything, just training for my first 100 mi in late September.

Thanks!
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Old 05-31-18, 05:25 AM
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Get some rollers or trainer of some sort.
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Old 05-31-18, 08:23 AM
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You need to define "fitness". I believe your aerobic engine capacity can decrease relatively shortly. It may start to decrease after 3 days but I doubt it would be noticeable. Might be noticeable after a week or more, but it should be easily gained back. Strength/power/muscular fitness is a lot longer before noticing a decrease.
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Old 05-31-18, 08:40 AM
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The extra rest will probably make you faster. A couple of days isn't going to do much. A couple weeks might.
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Old 05-31-18, 09:22 AM
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If you're fit, 3 days. Muscular strength drops very noticeably in 2 weeks. Yeah, get either a set of resistance rollers or a trainer. Those things are a "gotta have." Some days I use my rollers even when I could have ridden outside just because there's something very specific I want to accomplish. Super for my recovery rides because there's nowhere I can go that's not uphill. I've had my resistance rollers for over 20 years. They amortize really well. More value for the dollar spent than the average good.
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Old 05-31-18, 10:54 AM
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I notice after 4 days.
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Old 05-31-18, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by voyager1 View Post
Hey All,

I was wondering if any of you could shed some light on something for me. Living here in the deep south we have been dealing with lots of rain from the tropical storm Alberto this week. My last ride was on Sunday (and was cut short) due to a thunderstorm that pulsed and blew in with wind and rain and lightning. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (today) were washouts. I am hopeful tomorrow will be good. I get many of my rides in early in the morning since I have small kids, so moving rides to the evening is really hard.

I was wondering how many days have to go by till you start feeling the loss of fitness of being off the bike. I come from a running background and the general rule of thumb was 3 days and you could feel it. Was wondering if that applies in cycling. I am not racing or anything, just training for my first 100 mi in late September.

Thanks!
Depends on fitness level. 5 days usually.
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Old 05-31-18, 01:13 PM
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Agree with 4 or 5 days.
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Old 05-31-18, 02:33 PM
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After 3-4 days off your legs are likely to feel heavy/slow first time back on the bike, and it's probably not the best idea to do anything really high intensity that first ride. But you haven't actually lost any "fitness" at that point; it takes more than a few days. In fact, if you've been training regularly, you may get a nice little bump in form just from being rested.

The high-end anaerobic capacity is the first thing to be affected, but even that takes more like 10+ days for significant loss.
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Old 05-31-18, 06:04 PM
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2-3 days. By then blood plasma starts dropping. Takes a day or two to get it back.
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