Minimum bike with running focus

Realise I could be asking a ‘piece of string’ question here but anyway:

I have several calamities going on at work, which will squeeze me a bit time wise but more worryingly, will increase my stress levels quite a bit. This will be going on until end of March at earliest. I’m lucky to have a decent gym at work but juggling meetings to carve out time to get it may become harder.

A possible entry to CCC (unlikely), an Endure 24 in June and targeting a sub 4 marathon, there probably won’t be much, if any tri on the horizon again. I did toy with the idea of trying for Swissman but decided against it. I do want to do a couple of mtb XC events though.

With that in mind and needing time for S&C sessions, what do you reckon the minimum amount of riding a week you’d need to ‘stay in touch’ with your previous strength? Not talking about maintaining FTP, just enough to not start from again from deep in the hole.

I’m probably squeezing in ~2.5hrs at the moment.

Literally zero for <12 months I would guess. Not something you need to obsess over. When you start training again you will feel weak but pick up strength again quickly.


If it’s only endurance capability, it won’t fade quickly even if you stop, a couple of hours that include tough intervals would likely tide you over for quite some time…imo.

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I’d agree with @Hewligan here, having done exactly this myself.

No proper cycling from Sep 2013 until Late May Bank Holiday 2018.
By June 2019, my cycling was better than it ever was.

Don’t stress.
Work pays the bills and allows us to do sport.
That always takes precedence over exercise.

No tips on how not to get stressed, sorry :cry:


Thanks all, good to know. I’ve had to come back from virtually nothing a few times due to surgery but that was when the bike was the main focus and I could put more time to it, gradually. My last surgery was 2016, so I was a bit younger.

I’ll see how work is shaking out over the next few weeks and put a plan together around the and next year’s goals.

How old are you Poet?
For those of us on the wrong side of advancing age I’d suggest it may be more of an issue. :flushed:
I can’t be more specific other than at 42 layoffs take longer and longer to recover from unfortunately… such is life

Ah - yes, that’s a good point!
I’m in the middle of M35-39.

Strength, conditioning and diet are meant to be good for the ageing athlete.

Is there a cycling club who ride one evening per week - possible 1.5 hours. Try to keep up with the faster riders and try to maintain roughly the same performance each week. Riding with a group may also provide a degree of stress relief from a tough time at work.

If that doesn’t work, I would probably recommend a single 2 hour ride, but don’t treat it like a slow base building ride, keep effort level at 75-80%, and try to keep intensity similar each week (a power meter will really help), you shouldn’t lose too much if you do this

Final suggestion is in the winter to take part in a 1-1.5 hour Zwift race once per week.

Yeah I’m in a CC, used to race for them and am very familiar with TT racing, so I have a handle on what to do within the session. It’s more a question of ‘how little is enough’. Last year my FTP was 267 (mostly), I shudder to think this year.

Good point on the Zwift ‘racing’ :grin:

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We say it’s good for older athletes because without it they get weaker with age. But it’s probably just as important for younger people, we’re just better able to ignore and cover it up.

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Oh, yeah monkey covers eyes emoji ha ha ha!

I wouldn’t worry about FTP, if you maintain a base, your FTP will come back with some focused training later on.

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Exactly this … as my poor broken body repeatedly tries to tell me. My ego needs to shrink a little and accept that, no matter how boring it is, it is a necessary AND HELPFUL thing to do.

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We are discussing stretching on the Oz site. This guy came up a bit:

I switched to just cycling a few years ago. When targeting my TT pbs. I found a few hard turbo sessions were enough to see improvements and now dropping to a couple per week, I’m able to just about maintain that. I’d agree with what Matt says about the social aspects of a group ride. On your own in a shed or garage is quite isolating and if work sucks, then meeting up with mates and letting off steam that way could well be better for your general well being.

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Yes to Zwift racing; I’d do that and get out on your MTB for a blast when you can. As already alluded to, as we age, coming back takes longer, and generally not to the level you were previously at.

I made a comeback after a longer period off than Poet; again though, I was in my early/mid 30s then!


Zwift racing always has an extra element for me because I stick to the TT bike, which means I don’t get a draft (the 10 riders behind me do though :laughing: )

Indeed! Yesterday I was in a group of three who got shelled out of the front pack; after a while a random Cat A guy caught us on his TT bike pushing 4.5w/kg - so I jumped on his wheel and dropped the other two. After about 10 mins, I thought he deserved a ride-on, at which point in the faff he dropped me :roll_eyes::sweat_smile:

I never use the companion app. I have tried, I can’t even concentrate on it enough whilst generally riding, let alone in a race! What i tend to do is look up those who are listed on ‘Ride with’ afterwards and give a Ride On then.

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I tried doing it on my laptop - even worse!