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I've pretty much taken the last two months off after a full race season - with only a handful of studded snow rides since the beginning of November. 2008 was my first full season racing sport... learned alot and did very well.... well enough to be forced to move up to Expert / Cat 2, or whatever it will be called for 2009.
Anyway, my question is about time off and when to really start putting in the miles. Of course I realize the sooner the better. My ride today proved that I have already lost quite a bit of fitness. Does it come back fast? how much time do I really need to get back to racing shape for 2009?
 

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LMN said:
It will take 4 months of steady trainning to get back to where you were at the peak of last year.
I took 2 weeks off the bike, with some cross training like running, yard work, cutting down some trees, then two weeks of just riding around, and then I started back in with tempo, long intervals and long rides on the weekends.

Despite no racing or anaerobic work at all since the first weekend of October, my most recent test indicates my 20MP is only 10-15w shy of where it was at my best last year.

And, like many people, no amount of interval work will get me "race fit". I have to race myself into shape; being strong as an ox in a TT is great but doesn't translate perfectly to working in a break in a crit.
 

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Waiting for Godot
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yeah, you want to start your base training right away and don't skimp on slowly building up the milage. even though you maybe behind, do a full base/build program and then start your interval/speed stuff. you might be doing the end of base/build by the time of your first race, but you will improve this year as opposed to just matching last years fitness and speed.

remember every year helps the next if you build a strong base to put all that hard work on top of.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Now

mtcowen said:
I've pretty much taken the last two months off after a full race season - with only a handful of studded snow rides since the beginning of November. 2008 was my first full season racing sport... learned alot and did very well.... well enough to be forced to move up to Expert / Cat 2, or whatever it will be called for 2009.
Anyway, my question is about time off and when to really start putting in the miles. Of course I realize the sooner the better. My ride today proved that I have already lost quite a bit of fitness. Does it come back fast? how much time do I really need to get back to racing shape for 2009?
I usually end up with 2 months off as well. The last 2 years I started up again the week before Christmas. It works well to get me in shape for the April/May races. Start getting the miles in, and don't be afraid of a little intensity either.
 

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I took two weeks off in October.

Then did a 4-week prep with some weight lifting and aerobic activities (running, and MTBing).........and finished base 1 with lots of tempo (and limited FTP work) on the bike. Lots of skate skiing as well (7 sessions).

Performed first power test of the season this past Saturday:
-5 min test is about 3% down from my best last season. :).
-20 min is down about 8%. :-(


I believe doing things smart during the down time, helped mitigate power losses. But in periodization training, power loses are going to happen no matter what.

Anyways, to answer your second question, I started getting ready for 09' back in mid-November. But I usually like to build for races in April/May, then take a week off, then build up for Sept/Oct.
 

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mtcowen said:
I've pretty much taken the last two months off after a full race season - with only a handful of studded snow rides since the beginning of November. 2008 was my first full season racing sport... learned alot and did very well.... well enough to be forced to move up to Expert / Cat 2, or whatever it will be called for 2009.
Anyway, my question is about time off and when to really start putting in the miles. Of course I realize the sooner the better. My ride today proved that I have already lost quite a bit of fitness. Does it come back fast? how much time do I really need to get back to racing shape for 2009?
2 months is a pretty long time to take off. much longer than most expert level riders. but too late now. don't get tempted to take short cuts though. specially since you took off 2 months, building up the base again will be important.
 

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mutaullyassuredsuffering
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Nice

Poncharelli said:
Performed first power test of the season this past Saturday:
-5 min test is about 3% down from my best last season. :).
-20 min is down about 8%. :-(
Nice work! That drop makes me jealous. My 2 months off (2 hours a week of exercise tops) resulted in a 17% loss in the 20min test.

Life goes on outside of this racing thing though!
 

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