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Time off and effect on fitness


I have recently been off pretty much all excersize for 3 weeks (broken collarbone). Started back again 2 weeks ago, biking only. HR seems to be through the roof on easy (what i perceive to be easy) sessions (especially compared to what my HR was before). What is the effect of 3 weeks off? Have i lost all fitness do you think? will it be easy to get back? Hopefully will start running in 2/3 weeks, i know that would have suffered, but i can generally get running fitness back pretty easily from past experience.

Anyone else had experience with this amount of unplanned time off?


  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Depending on your specific goals it's probably done more good than harm.
    We don't schedule in enough recovery or rest time as it is so three weeks out doing nothing will not adversely affect you in the long run.
    You will have lost 'some' fitness, but from personal experience it's pretty easy to get back to where you were. Maybe if you were out for a few months you'd have to seriously re-evaluate your goals but three weeks is nothing (IMO!)
    Good luck - and don't rush it!
  • nivaghnivagh Posts: 595

    At this time of year it shouldn't set you back much, if at all. The importance of rest before competition isn't always appreciated, either. From personal experience, when I was running 400mH, my fastest ever time came during my university finals and I had had nearly a month of hardly training at all before going out and nailing it!
  • shadowone1shadowone1 Posts: 1,408

    would say that you won't have lost much fitness but some speed. Your HR would be through the rood cause you've shocked the system a bit.

    you still have loads of time to get some winter base training under you belt so stay aerobic and out of anearobic for the time being.
  • okennyokenny Posts: 231
    There's a piece in Joe Friel's Training Bible where he describes what happens to the fit body when it takes a 3 week break from sport! It's shocking how quickly things change...
    Blood volume, heart stroke volume etc....mad!

    But I think it's all pretty reversible. To take a 3 week break a short time before race season would be awful, but night now it's no problem. Probably a good thing to let the legs rest a little anyway.
  • jacjac Posts: 452
    Just to add to Nivagh's point..
    I raced a tri in May last year, had a couple of weeks off then knocked a minute off my 5k PB - having done nothing but rest, eat and forget about training.
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