For anyone getting back in shape after a forced rest period…

Question: I was in race fit condition before I had a fall on December 20 and have been off the bike ever since. I suspect I may be ready to get back on the bike by Feb 01. Do I have enough time for a 100km race on March 08. If so, what training should I do in 5 weeks?

Thanks,
Recuperating Roger

Sorry to hear about your fall Roger. I was off the bike about six weeks this winter myself. Every time I get injured and have to rest, I worry about losing fitness. But it’s surprising how fast your fitness comes back!

First off, make sure you are ready to get back on the bike. Take it slow and don’t re-injure yourself. (You’re better off coming back a few days late than a few too early.)

But let’s assume you are ready to go and have five weeks till your race. The good news here is that you were in shape not too long ago, so you should be able to get back to that level shortly. Just think of the past six weeks off as a well-deserved rest!

The other good news is that if you were in race shape, your training plan must be working!

You won’t be starting from scratch after a long hiatus, so I would just backtrack on your current training plan.

Here’s how I would do it:

Week 1: Recovery rides just to make sure you’re ready to get back into training.

Weeks 2-3: Start training based on what you were doing three weeks before the accident. Just pick up a few weeks before where you left off. (Basically you’ll repeat your December schedule in February.)

Week 4: See how you have progressed so far. If you’re feeling alright, continue with your plan. If you are feeling race-ready again, do a good hard week like you might have had planned for late January.

Week 5: Taper off and rest up for the race. Keep the volume low, but be sure to throw in some intensity so your legs are primed for the race.

March 8th: As long as you feel up to it and have the green light from your doctor, race!

Good luck and have fun!

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