I had mentioned to you people that I have been on the road for work during the week since about the beginning of August. Being out without a bike has helped me log some serious run miles, but has really hurt my bike fitness. I really pride myself on my bike fitness levels — when I am in peak shape I feel really confident in the hills and on the flats. 2010 was a good year for my bike because of the base fitness levels Ironman St. George provided me with.
But without the daily rides and 150 mile plus weeks, your fitness levels really drop. A lot. I mean imagine climbing the roof of a very tall building and dropping a rock off and watching it fall. It really is about that fast.
I am in town for a couple of days this week so I went out for a short climb with some friends of mine. Juston and Shay are my regular riding partners and really challenge me. We have a climb that we like to do from my house. We ride the climb up, ride down the backside and turn around and take the same route home. This short out and back is a challenge because you can ride it really hard, keep your watts up, and fly. The climbs on this ride are tough but manageable.
For this 15.75 mile ride, we usually finish it under 50 minutes. I think we all had testosterone for breakfast because we flew — more than likely at our normal pace — up the first climb. When we hit the top we were all worked. Cruising the downhill was just that, a gentle cruise. Usually we will attack the downhill a little more than we did. Once we turned around and started back up the hill, nobody wanted to push the pace. In a group that normally will have someone attack and go off of the front, we all cruised and took it easy today. It did not make for a solid workout. The TSS score for the workout was only a 62. WEAK!
So now I know the answer — it took me two months off of the bike, even with supplemental running to lose most of my bike fitness. You have already seen my 2011 race schedule and you know it is heavy on the bike with one marathon scheduled. That means when my travel schedule slows down in a couple of weeks I am going to have to put together a solid bike training plan. Of course, I can’t wait for that.
So the question is, How long does it take you to get your top fitness levels back after a break?
Don’t forget that you can still enter the A Garmin on Every Wrist/Bike Contest. If you need a refresher on the rules and how you can enter, you can read the post here. I am excited by the level of interest in this contest and am pumped about how that speaks about the people that I am able to interact with here. Keep up the comments and spreading the word!