How much fitness will I lose in a month?

Hello everyone,

Life is doing what it does best, and rescheduling my perfectly planned training calendar. I’ve now not trained for over three weeks, and it’s going to be two weeks before I can get back on. I COULD force in some 30 minute rides here and there, but honestly I feel like my stress load is high enough that allowing myself to be okay with taking a little time off from training will be helpful. So the big question, how much should I expect to lose? I’ve been training for a year, my A Race was about thirty days ago and it went very well. I’ll be starting sweet spot again in two weeks once my schedule becomes more manageable. I was 215w, 68kg. I realize this is likely highly dependent on the individual, but I’m interested in hearing your anecdotal information.

Highly variable, but if I take two weeks fully off, I usually expect about a 10% drop, unless I really hit it hard going into the break, in which case the drop is less since you get some super compensation followed by a drop. Usually takes about double the time off to get back to where I was.

For 5 weeks, I’d expect 15-20%, with getting it back somewhere in 8-10weeks.

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Dont worry it will come back! I am always surprised how very little nice easy ride can be sufficient to maintain decent fitness.
Anyway last January 2019, I almost did no riding and I would say I went from 240ish to 200ish FTP


Should I preemptively adjust my ftp down prior to my test? Or should I just plan on the ftp taking 10 minutes, lol.

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Nope I wouldn’t adjust down before the test. If you want, take a few days of unstructured riding to get your legs back in the swing of things and then just give the test a proper effort.

Dropping your FTP won’t meaningfully affect the results.

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Excellent, thanks @stevemz!

Please see:

Declines in Aerobic Capacity:

  • 14-30 days: 12% decrease
  • 30-63 days: 19% decrease

Sorry 'bout that. :tired_face:


These would mitigate more losses for sure. 3 weeks is a long time off, 5 weeks is VERY long. You’ll bounce back for sure, but just be okay with it taking time.

Good luck!


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I find it depends a lot on how you’re spending the month. If it’s a low stress time where I can still eat and sleep well and maybe do some strength work or low level non-cycling exercise (e.g. holidays or when I’m injured) then I usually spring back very quickly and often stronger than before. I guess partly due to getting all the fatigue out of the system and partly due to hitting training again with renewed motivation when I do get back.

If it’s time off for stressful reasons like work or moving house then I seem to lose more fitness and/or take longer to get it back. I think the stress means I’m not really recharging my batteries, plus tends to lead to other bad habits as well like eating badly or drinking a bit more than usual. I’ve found it’s much better to try and keep some training going during these periods, even a 30 minute workout is enough to get some benefit, can help de-stress me, may help remind me of the importance of good nutrition, and is still what most of the population would consider a long workout!

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Welp. Looks like I’m a golfer now.

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