It has finally happened. The heavens converged, the clouds parted and the wind stopped clearing its throat long enough for this week to be more like Southern California.
I have been on my Trikke for three sun-filled and warm days. The "gods" have smiled on me and I have resumed my usual path down the beach in my favorite Trikke-town (or Long Beach). I feel reborn to say the least.
One of my biggest surprises has been how quickly my strength has returned in the last three trips I have taken to Cherry Beach. There are a few slight inclines that when I am at my least-best are quite challenging. I churned those inclines into dust today. In only three trips. The number three will come up again later...
I had let my carving slip quite a bit since the weather turned inhospitable this past winter but I kept up with my walking. Except for the last three weeks. The walking helped maintain some of my cardio fitness, but what happens when one is sidelined by an injury or maybe couched with several maladies at once? How long does it take us to regain our fitness after time off?
It depends on the amount of time. First off, it depends on how long you have been working out AND how long you take off. If one has been working out for more than a year, that person will lose fitness more slowly than a less fit person. Since I have been carving for a few years now, I read specifically about that model of fitness.
According to the research, I really only lost a dozen percentage points of cardio strength in my three weeks off. It seems that the loss is negligible up to seven days. Then between days 10-14 you lose 6% of your VO2 max. Isn't that encouraging? So from day 14-30 you will lose 12% of your VO2 max (that's fancy pants for cardio fitness).
So how does one advance their VO2 max as quickly and efficiently as possible? The advice I found to accelerate training is to find a hill. Not on your Trikke though, on your feet (what?). Walking uphill at a fast pace three times a week for three minutes at a time (with three reps) for a few weeks should do it.
I'm planning to meet the masses at the beach tomorrow while the sun still warms the sand, before the next system moves through the area. Will I be seeing you out there, in more than spirit?
Addendum: Read TrikkeWorld Magazine for the second part of this article, Detraining's Effect on Muscle Strength.