Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

How long before you start to get out of shape?

Notices
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 long before you start to get out of shape?

Old 01-22-13, 02:18 PM
  #26  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
There are different aspects of "shape".

One aspect that responds really quickly is heart stroke volume. You _will_ see a decrease in stroke volume and a corresponding decrease in VO2max and in your power after as little as 10 days sitting on the couch.

However, it's easy to lose and easy to gain back. It is more or less maxxed out by about 2-3 months of doing regular intervals, even starting from low levels. That's the core idea behind periodization of training. You do long slow distance off-season, working on everything except your heart, and then you add speed and intervals just before you start racing.

There are other adaptations, like the ability to eliminate lactate and the density of mitochondria in the muscles, and those take longer to lose. At the extreme, your maximum sprint power can stay near original levels after 2 months of detraining.

I would say that the 1:3 rule is accurate for breaks in training above 5 days and up to 2-3 months. Beyond that, the ratio could be closer to 1:1.
hamster is offline  
Old 01-22-13, 03:57 PM
  #27  
Clipped_in
Rubber side down
 
Clipped_in's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Teh Quickie Mart
Posts: 1,709

Bikes: are fun! :-)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 70 Posts
^^^^Nice post! What is "out of shape" is an excellent question.
I had a good year going last year, but had to go out of town for 3 weeks in August with no real exercise except for some light hiking and a little bit of time on a stationary at the hotel.
When I got back, I went for one of my favorite rides of about 50 miles that includes quite a bit of climbing, but nothing really steep. I absolutely scortched it on the ride doing it as fast and strong as I had ever done it. The catch; however, was in the recovery. The next day I was a lot more fatigued than normal after that ride. So in that cirucumstance, the being "out of shape" was my bodies ability to recover quickly. It took a couple of weeks of working hard and resting before I was back with the program.
Clipped_in is offline  
Old 01-22-13, 04:55 PM
  #28  
VegasVic
Senior Member
 
VegasVic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 4,165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First time back on the bike after more than a couple weeks off and it feels like I've never ridden before. Doesn't take long to get back into the swing of things though.
VegasVic is offline  
Old 01-22-13, 05:17 PM
  #29  
sced
South Carolina Ed
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Greer, SC
Posts: 3,663

Bikes: Holdsworth Super Mistral Fastback, Macario Pro, Ciocc San Cristobal, Viner Nemo, Cyfac Le Mythique, Giant TCR, Tommasso Mondial, Cyfac Etoile

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 268 Post(s)
Liked 96 Times in 50 Posts
Age makes a big difference in how long. Same with healing from injuries. At 56, some injuries never really go away...without surgery, and injuries you had in your teens come back to haunt with a vengeance. I could easily run a sub-5minute mile in my 20's and now I'd have to devote the rest of my life to getting under 7:-)
sced is offline  
Old 01-22-13, 10:50 PM
  #30  
bikerjp
Beer >> Sanity
Thread Starter
 
bikerjp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3,449

Bikes: 2014 Evo DA2, 2010 Caad9-4, 2011 Synapse-4, 2013 CaadX-disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
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.
Agree about cross training but if I don't have the time to ride it's hard to find the time for other stuff. I have tried a few time to add in some running but I got injured. Maybe should just take it slower but not really a fan.
bikerjp is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 07:15 AM
  #31  
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Evidently my magic number lies between 1 and 16 days. This morning's ride sucked ass. Meant to get out two days ago, but winds were 40+ mph.
RT is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 07:41 AM
  #32  
jbchybridrider 
Senior Member
 
jbchybridrider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: adelaide, australia
Posts: 2,801
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 216 Post(s)
Liked 324 Times in 132 Posts
I,ve just had 4 months off from an operation and I'm done finished and toast. It's a long road back to fitness from here.
jbchybridrider is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 09:46 AM
  #33  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jbchybridrider View Post
I,ve just had 4 months off from an operation and I'm done finished and toast. It's a long road back to fitness from here.
There is a classic story about Greg Lemond. He had a near-fatal hunting accident (collapsed lung, lead pellets stuck in heart lining, and massive blood loss), which kept him off the bike for about 2 months. 6 months after the accident, he was competing in world-class events; after 10 months, he placed second out of 90 cyclists in one stage of the Tour of the Americas; and 2 years after the accident, he won Tour de France.

He was 25 and very fit at the time of the accident, so that had to have helped recovery. Still, it's a good example of what is achievable.
hamster is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 10:35 AM
  #34  
gregf83 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 9,121
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1126 Post(s)
Liked 246 Times in 147 Posts
According to "Time course of loss of adaptations after stopping prolonged intense endurance training" there is a significant drop in the first 12 days, although the test on the 12th day seems to have limited the drop for the 21 day test.
gregf83 is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 10:54 AM
  #35  
hamster
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Escondido, CA
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
According to "Time course of loss of adaptations after stopping prolonged intense endurance training" there is a significant drop in the first 12 days, although the test on the 12th day seems to have limited the drop for the 21 day test.
That's VO2max, and VO2max is not the entire story.

This article looks interesting (but paywalled): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10999420

"Resting muscle glycogen levels return to baseline, carbohydrate utilisation increases and the lactate threshold is lowered, although it remains above untrained values in the highly trained. At the muscle level, capillarisation, arterial-venous oxygen difference and oxidative enzyme activities decline in athletes and are completely reversed in recently trained individuals, contributing significantly to the long term loss in VO2max. Oxidative fibre proportion is decreased in endurance athletes, whereas it increases in strength athletes, whose fibre areas are significantly reduced. Force production declines slowly, and usually remains above control values for very long periods."
hamster is offline  
Old 01-24-13, 11:30 AM
  #36  
RT
The Weird Beard
 
RT's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: COS
Posts: 8,554
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by hamster View Post
That's VO2max, and VO2max is not the entire story.

This article looks interesting (but paywalled): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10999420

"Resting muscle glycogen levels return to baseline, carbohydrate utilisation increases and the lactate threshold is lowered, although it remains above untrained values in the highly trained. At the muscle level, capillarisation, arterial-venous oxygen difference and oxidative enzyme activities decline in athletes and are completely reversed in recently trained individuals, contributing significantly to the long term loss in VO2max. Oxidative fibre proportion is decreased in endurance athletes, whereas it increases in strength athletes, whose fibre areas are significantly reduced. Force production declines slowly, and usually remains above control values for very long periods."
RT is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
RichardR1015
Road Cycling
27
10-17-16 02:38 PM
bsmith77328
Fifty Plus (50+)
9
07-10-15 11:48 AM
jnobles
Training & Nutrition
1
05-07-15 12:14 PM
salreus
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
6
09-10-14 06:23 AM
Shepp30
Training & Nutrition
3
05-13-10 05:29 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.