Regain fitness - how long does it take?

Hi, I have been completely away from training for 3 weeks due to a flu that lead to a sinus and ear infection. Today I did a ramp test and it was really hard to accept a drop in FTP from 309w to 260w!

So now I have to start rebuilding what I had gained over several months of structured training. Does anyone have any experience of how long it might take to be back to where I was before the sickness?
My plan is to start out easy over the next couple of weeks, or month, and gradually ad on more intensity and volume.

Any thoughts are much appreciated!

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I took 3 weeks off last year to spend time looking for deer. I didn’t do a ramp test before I stopped but I came back 2 W higher than the last ramp test 6 weeks prior. I did do 1 week of endurance rides before starting up again.

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Very unlikely to drop that much in 3 weeks. More likely still suffering bit from illness. Give another week of lower intensity/endurance stuff then retest. Sure you’ll be much nearer old ftp then restart plan/training etc.


what if you do a week or 2 of endurance-only rides and test again?
almost 50 watts lost in 3 weeks doesn’t sound right…

Actually based on some of the recent articles, his 15% drop is quite close to estimates (possibly less than).


I was also thinking that it might be due to still being a bit ill and that I just need to get back to it again. I will do as you suggest and have another week of easy/lower intensity and the retest.

Something like Truuli-1 or similar towards end of weekbefore you retest will give you a gauge on how doing too.

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@phatlip I was out 3-4 weeks due to a virus and lost about 10% FTP. I went back to SSBMV doing 2-3 workouts/week plus additional rides outside to keep sane. after 6 weeks I’m close as far as threshold power but, judging from races, my durability and matches are still down a little.

Hi, did you start at the beginning of the SSBMV and now you are 6 weeks into that?


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You should really just do a week of lower intent recovery rides, a SS ride, and maybe 1 or 2 rides with some sprints. Get the legs used to moving again and all that. I wouldn’t even adjust your ftp yet. Then try do a ramp test, but you should have a pretty good idea where your ftp is from this intro week.

I submit my recent experience: raging sinus infection all winter, stressful work period, and low low volume of workouts followed up by sinus surgery in Feb and 1 week completely off the bike. The first few workouts were absolute crap, but it was just about spinning the legs and getting the heart pumping. I tested 2 weeks after starting, and only dropped like 316 → 292. Not nearly as bad as I feared, so I’d be SHOCKED if you truly lost that 50W that quickly.


For regaining fitness you should make a routine regarding your training. Diet plays a big role in regaining fitness, but it must be customized according to your lifestyle and workout routine. If you are looking for some tips to stay fit, then this How To Stay Fit & Healthy With These Simple Tips! – AQF Sports can help you much. I think you should go low intensity exercises first, then adding hard exercises into your workout routine will not cause any fitness issue regarding your health.