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Week Off(6 posts)

Week OffThe Other Kenny
Aug 10, 2001 1:29 PM
Yes it's me again.

Question. I am currently riding about 4-5 days a week with 2-3 hard days and 2 moderate days. I have to go on a trip for work for a whole week sans bike and am wondering how this will effect my training. Will I loose much and how fast can I get it back? What can I do (besides cycling) to maintain my fitness? I am thinking that I can just run instead and at least that will help maintain my cardio fitness.

Thanks for your help.
re: Week OffJon Billheimer
Aug 12, 2001 5:46 PM
Given the way you've been training, you may well find that you're actually faster after a week off. It's called the Zatopek effect,named after famed distance runner Emile Zatopek, who after a three week enforced rest in the hospital came back to the Olympics, not only to win a gold medal, but to establish a new record--for the 10,000 metres, I think.

Generalized cardiovascular fitness will definitely not decline in one week. Do some cross-training, though, to keep yourself from going stir crazy.
ThanksThe Other Kenny
Aug 13, 2001 10:56 AM
I was hoping that that was the case but wasn't really sure.
You can lose it quickly!James1
Aug 14, 2001 11:42 AM
I read (I think it was on the CTS website or an article by Chris Carmichael) that you can lose 1/2 of your trained fitness in as little as 12-18 days I believe it was. I think by the same token you gain it back quickly as well once you restart your training.

Your legs will definitely change in a week, I can vouch for that fact. I recently took 9 days off and my legs felt different when I got back. I lost a bit of cardio as well because my RHR went up by about 5 beats in that short time!!
You can lose it quickly!The Other Kenny
Aug 14, 2001 9:09 PM
Oh great! On one hand I get stronger and on the other I get weak. I should have known that there is no easy answer. I would appreciate it though if someone would let me know what I can do to help the situation one way or another. Now I am planning to run my ass off but I know that I can only run for about 1/2 hour and my normal training rides are quite a bit longer. What is the diff? Obviously there is a bit of difference between running and cycling.

You can lose it quickly!Jon Billheimer
Aug 15, 2001 7:50 AM
Relax! I just checked some detraining data from my Ex. Phys. text, a 1998 edition. In several studies done, the max. detraining effect at 7 days was about a 2% reduction in the heart's stroke volume. Most of the significant detraining effects occur between 9 and 56 days. And these were subjects that went from a training state to absolutely sedentary. In one study the subjects even stayed in bed!

The reason I suggested the Zatopek effect for you is that you had reported some mild overreaching in your present training routine. When that occurs, it is well known that a little time off can actually result in improved performance. Besides which you're going out and running a bit.