how many days can you take off without really losing training momentum?
We're going out of town in a couple of weeks, a week before a cx race. I would be off the bike for 4 days, but if I bring it I can get a good little ride in for one day. For where we're going it's a little bit of a hassle to bring the bike and related equipment, but I've been working very hard and making some good gains and I don't want to give up ANY of my 'momentum'. We will be in the hotel pool quite a bit (playing with the kids, and going to a water park which will likely have a lot of stairs, so it's not a completely sedentary vacation. Plus, I'm sure I can get a hard workout in the day before we leave. How many days off before it starts to have a negative affect on your race training?
I'd say after 3 or 4 days we go downhill pretty quick.
Per a previous discussion, LMN said the following rule of thumb: "For every week off, you need 2 weeks to get back where you were". (Something like that.) An observation from his many athletes I believe.
Year after year, I find that to be pretty accurate. This summer I took nearly 2 weeks off while being active every day (non bike) during a beach vacation. Right before I left planned a nice peak, hit 2nd place at our weekly series while hitting a course time PR. Since I've been back, still marching closer to that PR (~50 minute course), but still 2 minutes off. Today is final race of series so hoping to get on the podium since it's been 4 weeks. We'll see what happens.
I've just accepted the fact that we will all be worst after non-biking vacation and we need to plan for it. Do I regret not taking bike to beach vacation? Not at all. We are not pros. Why complicate my life for a 50 cent ribbon or $10 gift certificate?
Ride hard the few days before the vacation, use it as a nice rest week and have fun. Ride hard the first day or two back, maybe a longer endurance ride with tempo mixed in.
I like what Ponch said.
Yeah, I was thinking if I get up early and do a hard short ride the morning before we leave, and if I'm feeling really obsessed I could hit the trainer late on the night we get back I wouldn't lose anything. I seem to be able to take 2 days off here and there with no ill effect.
If it takes 2 weeks to recover from 1 week off: maybe 3 days off only takes 1 day to recover, 4 days off would take just 3 or 4 days to recover, 5 days off 5 to 7 days to recover, and 6 days off 8 to 12 for recovery. I wonder if that might be true.
You can read about 'crash training' here
Joe Friel - ?Crash? Training
I am taking off for a 1 week trip at the end of the week and plan on having jelly legs by the time I go.
How about some jogging/running/swimming while you are there? That helps maintain cardio a little. Clearly cycling is not running, but any cardio will help in the meantime.
I have found that what Ponch said (from LMN) applies to me also fwiw..
I also sort of remember reading that we lose close to 3% of our FTP each week off (or at least that is my recollection). Experts, feel free to correct me here if I am off..
Also, I would personally ride hard the days leading up to the vacation and then maybe just use the vacation to let your legs recover... Ride the day you get home if you can and possibly the morning before you leave with the family and right there, you have shortened your "away" time by two days!!
Also, one coach told me that after a week off an athlete will be building up again during first week back, but at end of second week sees many hit another peak performance.
This is after a pretty long, full training schedule.
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