Regaining Fitness after 10 – 14 days rest

The mid season break is finished, the bike is back from the shop all shiny and mechanically sound, the motivation is high and you’ve some time on your hands with the bright mornings and late evenings. What to do!?.


Most riders will generally revert to what they were doing before the break or even start doing some long endurance miles again. In most cases this can actually slow you down and strip fitness for you. Research has shown that it takes roughly 6 weeks to totally detrain ones VO2 levels. So if you have only spent 14 days resting well then your VO2 system is not totally detrained and needs topping up. Detraining in general over a 14 day period is quite low for the average athlete and in most cases the average can be overtrained or carrying fatigue and the break will actually improve his/her performances.

When returning to training it is advisable to start short and slow. Zone 1 for the first day and about 50% of your target race mileage. for the first 3 – 4 sessions the mileage can be increase along with the effort by 10 – 20% depending on how you feel until you have reach your target race mileage. Once you have this done the mileage can be dropped again and some hard intervals added to top up that VO2 tank. Efforts of 1, 3 & 5 mins are suggested. The recovery periods ratios for Zone 7 are 1:7 and Zone 6 being 1:4. Examples of this would be {power meter session 6no.(1min on 500w + 4mins off 180w) rpms @ 100} & {heart rate session 6no.(1min on Z6 + 4mins off Z1) rpms 100}. It is always important to conduct a warmup and warm down to accompany a workout of this type. Below is what your training file should look like after a session of this type is complete.



With your goals set for the remaining months of the years racing calendar it is important that you analyse that goal and identify any weakness you may have in completing that goal. Lets say your goal is a 2 Day and you know that there is a Time Trial (TT) on one of the days. The TT is only short (5km) but its on a long drag and generally into a head wind. You think you have a chance of being top ten in the general classification but for your TT abilities. Now is the time to put some effort into improving your weakness and giving yourself a chance at that top 10. Find a stretch of road similar to the TT stretch and prescribe a day a week into your program for this particular type of conditioning. Another weakness may be you getting dropped on a short steep climb on last years final stage when you were in with a shout of a top 10. The climb is in the last 10km of the race. Again another weakness that needs attention and inclusion in you prescriptions. So your goal will dictate your new prescriptions in the lead up to that goal. Remember all the long miles and base work has been done during the winter and early part of the season and after your initial easy return to training week its now time to go and get specific again towards that goal.

You goal is in your hands!

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About The Athlete Clinic

Coaching & Athlete Services including, Coaching, Fitness & Physiological Testing, Physical Therapy, Orthopaedic Sports Massage & Injury Management, Strength & Conditioning, Athlete & Group Development Programs, Research & Development Programs
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