How quickly can I get in race shape?

Right now my CTL is 0. I have been shut down since 2nd week of feb with an injury. I am going to try to ride this weekend. MRI shows I have some swelling still on my knee but my physical tests show no pain on the knee so its time to start. Since I am coming off an injury I will need to slowly ramp up the training.

I reset my ftp by lowering it 15% to a starting point.

Goal will be july 23rd for an A race. Lets see how fast I can get my fitness back.

Training history, and your A event demands?

I would listen to doctors advice first, then personally I wouldn’t do any intensity until back to maximum training hours per week for a couple of weeks, without any issues from the injury.


It depends on how fit you were before (and what you consider race fit), but I bet 2 months is easily done. I took a few years off and was relatively fit in 2-3months, but I had a few years of structured training under my belt beforehand.

1 Like

training history - when I got hurt I was 3 months into my build phase. I have raced competitively for 20 years. Managed to win a race last year. Took 4 months off to work on family projects. A race would be a 100 mile gravel race.

I was thinking of doing 2-3 weeks of just 50% power for rides. Ramp up 2 hours extra per week till at 10-12 hours then add intervals in 2 days a week.

I was 10w down from my peak fitness last year when hurt. I felt like I was 1 month away from peak 2022 when I was struck down.

Sounds reasonable to me… you will only know by doing and being prepared to back off if required. Given that history your fitness should bounce back OK I would wager.

100mile gravel race is no joke though, its tough on the body even when you’re @ 100%. Good luck with your recovery

I finished the week in a good spot, no knee issues after what I thought would be an easy group ride. Ended up with .86 if for 2 hours.

Worked on some house issues for 8 hours and spent a ton of time on my knees, and that caused some discomfort. I will take a rest day and make sure I ride easy z2 on the trainer all week.

1 Like

I wouldn’t even try to guess till you’ve gotten back to riding semi-normally. But 2 hour hard group ride with no issues sounds like a decent start.

Even so, after what sounds like nearly 6months off from family and injury I might not go into an event like that with super high expectations. I would just ride by feel and try to be happy with whatever the outcome


Today I did my first hard workout. McAdie +1, I thought I would struggle but was able to nose breath for a decent amount of the work, my HR never really changed when I did the overs. Ill take this as a sign that some things are changing.

Still have to get over the mental aspect of being down so many watts on intervals. I might do my first race next week, mentally I need to lock in and clean up my diet.

How fast you get back into race shape depends on a lot of things, but IME your aerobic base is pretty hard to kill.

Bounces back way faster than some might fear, assuming it exists. The longer you’ve been riding, the easier it bounces back, regardless of how far down you’ve fallen.


This morning I had intervals 2 x 16min at 104%.

Not an enjoyable time but completed none the less. This might be a big week, hoping I can get some saddle time

1 Like

4 weeks after having 0 ctl, I got a good ride in.

Managed to avg 15w less then my ftp and my NP was 20watts over my ftp for 45min.

I think the fitness will start coming on like a freight train at this point. I might not have much snap in early summer races, but I will be very well rested for late summer races. Currently at 35 ctl


Just knocked out a 6.5 vo2 max effort. I marked it as easy. Pretty amazing how fast the fitness is coming back.

I’m going to keep plugging away, my goal is a b race June 10th and a race 3rd week of July.

1 Like

Just finished off my 4th training week. Tss of 765

Might be time for a rest week after weekly tss of 371, 319, 377, 765.

I really want to pound out another week of training, but I think its best to just get a few easy rides in this week.


Definitely get some rest in. Coming from zero recent training you will have a lot of freshness but I suspect you risk running straight into a brick wall of fatigue if you let that progression go too long. Doubly so after such a big week.

1 Like

Thats more like a training camp week, compared to your other weeks!

1 Like

Do a proper test after you do a week or two of base training. Better to know the real answer rather than guessing.

It’s going to take 6-8 weeks to get back some good fitness. The detraining studies show that it takes twice the time off to get back to your peak so if you’ve been off for 3 months, figure 6 months for peak performance.

FWIW, I recent took 8 months off but stayed fit with lifting, rowing, and running.

In one month my FTP went up 30 watts. In the 2nd month, my FTP went up 5 watts but I feel that my TTE is much better. But I’m already plateauing after 2 months and I’m 25 watts away from my peak. If my future gains are like 5 watts per month then it will have taken 8 months to get back to 100% after 8 months off.


Yeah. I managed 3 hard training sessions and a 100 mile ride with 6000’ of climbing

1 Like

700 tss after weeks of only 300. That’s injury territory, believe me. Don’t whack it up too much too soon.

1 Like

Plus one for taking an easy week. That’s a big jump!

1 Like