Recovering fitness

Until October time I was clocking up a decent amount of time on the bike, following a plan, and progressing slowly but surely. I did feel I was reaching a point of needing some time off so took a couple weeks entirely off the bike before starting the ramp up transition plan. My previous FTP was 280w but dropped to 245w after the time off (this was also tested on my TT bike rather than road bike so not all of that from would be loss of fitness but due to change in position).

Sadly our family life has been turned upside down as my youngest son is ill. Without doubt I know that family comes first, and that is entirely my number one priority. Naturally I’ve had a lot more time away from the bike, maybe doing a workout a week now. The strength and yoga sessions have been great though as they are easier to fit in.

I’m trying to look forward in to next year when we hope to start to return back to family life. I’m just wondering how long it takes to get back to a previous level of fitness? Is it easier to get back to a previous level of fitness than to break through to new fitness levels?

Please don’t think that this is me being more concerned about my fitness that the bike. Sometimes thinking about good things in the future is a welcome distraction from the present.


@TTDragon Great quote and hope it is a speedy recovery for your son.

The time it takes to return to your prior fitness level will probably depend on the overall time away from the bike but if you are doing strength and yoga and the occasional ride I would think that will help somewhat from a maintenance perspective. Some of the strength and flexibility may actually set yourself up for gains later via a stronger core or focused single leg exercises.


Sorry to hear about your son, here’s to him recovering quickly!


I hope your little one returns to good health soon. Don’t forget to take care of yourself too. It’s easily overlooked. :hugs:

Re your question: the drop in fitness also depends on your base fitness. People that have ridden consistently over years will have a small drop, whereas people that just picked up riding earlier this year will have quite a significant drop. Either way, you’re likely to reach the previous level quicker than the first time round.


Thanks for the replies and messages.

I’ve been riding 5 ish years now. To be honest, barring illness I’ve never really had a break from the bike, which with hindsight hasn’t been a good thing, possibly contributing to the plateau I felt I was reaching. I did a lot of yoga last year so planning on keeping that going, along with adding strength and let the cycling take care of itself hopefully. I’ll see where my next Full Frontal puts me, I know it will be a lower but I guess the challenge (and fun?) will be in seeing how high I can get it back again, especially if it’s still the TT bike. Part of me is dabbling with the idea of forgetting some racing and getting a MTB to expose the mountains by us.


@TTDragon This blog post is timely:

How Long Does It Take to Lose Fitness

Perfect! Thank you.

As an older rider, I have found that I lose fitness much more quickly than I did when I was younger.

Wishing your son a speedy recovery

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Best wishes for a speedy recovery for your son.

As well as the above blog post here is an excellent podcast on the subject:


As already mentioned, there are a lot of factors in how quickly you can regain the fitness you had prior to taking time off. Regardless, I think you’re approaching it with the right attitude - continue the strength and yoga, stick to a plan, and be as consistent as possible. It may take some time but viewing it as a fun challenge can help keep your spirits up and pressure off. Remember cycling should enhance our lives, not cause more stress!
Hope your son is recovering well and happy training to you!


Thank you all :heart: