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I was recently really sick and stopped biking for about 2.5 weeks. Before that I was biking 10 miles per day for about 2 years.

Since getting better I've been biking 10 miles per day for about 2 weeks. I am not 100% done being sick - I still have rhinorrhea, but I feel like I am unable to go as fast as I used to before the sickness.

Am I just imaging things or did I really 'get out of shape' during my sickness? Has anyone else had a similar experience?

(On a side note, I also think that maybe the winter is making me go slower - though there is a chance that I am crazy)

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It says that rhinorrhea is basically a stuffy nose. This could be preventing you from getting enough oxygen into your blood and therefore slowing you down. Many cyclist choose to take EPO when they find they aren't getting enough oxygen to their blood. Ok, just kidding, don't do drugs. –  Kibbee Feb 26 '13 at 19:04
    
speaking of drugs, would taking creatine help me get into an even better shape or will it just make my quads even less likely to fit into pants? –  mkoryak Feb 26 '13 at 22:20
    
What will help you get into even better shape is riding your bike more. Go farther, climb more hills, push yourself, and forget the supplements. Your body will do the rest all on its own. –  Carey Gregory Feb 27 '13 at 5:11
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This isn't a question so much as an attempt to start a conversation. Voting to close, but maybe it can be edited into something more constructive? –  Neil Fein Feb 27 '13 at 6:56
    
Yeah, apart from protein shakes, and other more mild supplements, I would tend to stay away from most of that stuff. Although big muscles will help with cycling, unless you are a sprinter, aerobic capacity is way more important, and there aren't really any safe supplements for this kind of performance that I'm aware of. –  Kibbee Feb 27 '13 at 13:32
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closed as not constructive by Neil Fein, freiheit Mar 4 '13 at 4:09

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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You're probably just still overcoming your illness. 2.5 weeks isn't really enough time to lose any noticeable amount of aerobic fitness for an average, healthy person.

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I agree it is most likely overcoming illness is the biggest contributor, however I disagree about loss if fitness. From my own experience and reading the internet (therefore it must be true :) ). However, "noticeable" is subjective... "After two weeks of not running, studies show that VO2 max decreases by 6%." - and this is athletes - less fit people appear to loose it faster.... refer: runnersconnect.net/running-injury-prevention/…. –  mattnz Feb 26 '13 at 21:18
    
If he's doing 10 mile rides, I don't think he's probably approaching VO2 max. That said, maybe I am wrong about the amount of fitness you can lose over 2.5 weeks. But I still suspect the greater likelihood is his body is recovering from illness. –  Stephen Touset Feb 26 '13 at 22:00
    
@mattnz The original article (jap.physiology.org/content/60/1/95.abstract) says that the apparent detraining after 2 weeks is due to a decrease is plasma volume, and is almost entirely reversible. So I would argue that there isn't an actual loss of fitness. –  kmm Feb 26 '13 at 22:11
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Being out for a couple of weeks can put you off your game, besides which it sounds like you're not quite over the thing, and any sort of breathing problem will hamper your performance. And many riders swear (despite physicists' arguments to the contrary) that cool, damp weather somehow slows you down.

(But of course none of this disproves the theory that you're simply crazy.)

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The bad: anything 3 days or more and you will noticeably lose endurance fitness.

The good: You will be able to recover the lost fitness relatively quickly, generally in about the time that you took off for whatever reason. If the time off was for illness, you may have some effects from whatever made you sick as well.

Bottom line is that a body that was once fit can get fit again and usually fairly quickly. Even after years of no exercise, a once fit individual can get back into top shape (not counting effects of weight and age) in a matter of a few months.

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"anything 3 days or more and you will noticeably lose endurance fitness" -- Are there studies that have shown this? –  kmm Feb 26 '13 at 21:47
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3 days seems like an insanely short period of time to notice any loss in aerobic fitness. I too would like to see evidence supporting this claim. –  Stephen Touset Feb 26 '13 at 21:59
    
There have been several articles about this in the last couple years of Triathlon magazine. I'm sure there are other studies elsewhere. If I have some time this evening I'll do a search or two. –  Ken Hiatt Feb 26 '13 at 22:51
    
getfitguy.quickanddirtytips.com/… "In as little as 72 hours". –  Ken Hiatt Feb 27 '13 at 0:05
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Personally, I find that I can often benefit from a few days off. Being a commuter, I find that biking everyday sometimes doesn't give you enough time to recover. I find that if I take a week or so off (like when I'm on vacation) I have much more energy for riding than before the rest. –  Kibbee Feb 27 '13 at 13:34
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