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this has prob been discussed, but i couldn't really find anything. I trained pretty hard over the winter, with one break at the end of january for a 10 day vacation (no riding but heavy hiking).

I spent Feb/March/and now april training pretty good. Did a first race last weekend, did ok.

Now work trip will have me off bike for one week. You sometimes hear the old adage - "If you take a week off, then it takes two weeks (IME) to get back where you were."

Is that really true? is that dependent on any variables like age or cat level?

What if i'm able to do some running - would that negate any possible loss in aerobic fitness? or - would a week off actually be good, if i've been training rather hard? (i know "hard" is subjective, and my training isn't too scientific, so i'll leave it at "hard for me").

I'm not stressing super hard about this, just more curious than anything.
 

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I think it matters with your age and fitness mostly. When I was in my 20's,30's, no problem, sometimes it felt that I came back stronger. Now that I'm I'm my 50's, taking a week off is brutal. So far this year my fitness has been a roller coaster, several good, hard rides followed by a week or two off, then getting slammed on rides, getting some of my fitness back, then time off the bike....sucks.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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I think the occasional week off is a good thing. I usually come back stronger after the rest. The studies I've seen that seem to match with my body state you don't see benefits from training for 10 days, and that the benefit from that one workout is gone after approx a month. You should still be getting benefit from the training before the week off, during the week back on...maybe a bit of a flat spot the week after that, but nothing compared to overtraining.

I travel extensively for work so I am used to it now. I try to use the travel time to lift weights, do core work, and run a bit. It nice to even out my fitness a bit as well. The first day back on the bike my lungs feel a bit crispy, but the next day I'm back to normal.
 

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Relentless forward motion
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My understanding is, from a few studies > you will lose fitness in a week. Not that much maybe 5%, maybe less. One study I read showed a loss of 7% VO2 max in 12 days in trained athletes. However, you will get that back pretty quickly. A week off is not as good as if you never took the week off... unless you are over trained. Perhaps then, the break may actually help you recharge the physical and mental batteries.

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You're supposed to take recovery weeks. Do a big 3 week training block leading into your rest week and spend some time jogging and do a couple of spins on the gym bike. Easy peasy.
 

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A single week off the bike shouldn't make too much difference to your fitness. If you've been training hard then it might even do you good to have a break. You get fitter by recovering and adapting to training on your rest days, rather than whilst you're actually riding.

If you're able to plan the timings in advance you could do a really hard few weeks on the bike beforehand, so that by the time the week off happens your legs are toast and you're ready for a rest.

The main thing is to try and keep the rest of your daily routine going during the trip. A week away from home spent eating junk food, drinking in bars late at night and no sleep isn't going to help with your cycling fitness. If you can stick close to your normal diet and patterns you're less likely to have any performance drop when you get back on the bike after the trip.:)
 

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To add to WR, you can certainly fit in my some type of fitness routine as you suggested. Anything to keep the body nimble and recognizing your efforts is a good thing. Running, bodyweight work, etc.
 

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I took a week off the bike due to horrific rains and a sick girlfriend and work. I'm recovering from a nagging IT band injury. Did lots of core, some weights, walks, etc. Great mental break. It is helping.
Having said that, last year during my non-injured training and racing I never took a week off. My coach had me take one day off, max, then it was active recovery or harder running/hiking/skiing depending on time of year.

But I don't pay the bills with racing so the time off is easier to swallow. Putting ego aside makes time off the bike easier for me.
 
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