Dramatic Decrease in Training. What I have heard/read/experienced:
1. No noticeable lose in fitness after 1 -2 weeks.
2. There is a slight drop in some key fitness paramaters after three weeks of nothing.
3. What tends to go first is the top end things - Vo2 Max and Lactate Threshold levels.
4. Over longer periods of time 4 weeks and more of nothing is that in addition to the physiological things, if you are very highly trained stuff can get out of balance - core muscles, the back etc . .
5. Base fitness can last a very long time - months and in some cases years with a minimal amount of maitenance training.
In 1997 I trained/raced seriously for the last time. Did my 9th and last IM race and then that was it for me. Have not trained at anything close to thet level for 5 years now. What I have found: My top end sucks, but after a bit I can still go out for longer bikes and runs at slower paces. My back has been a problem. In fits of madness I have ramped things up a bit for the odd running race here and there and in about 4 weeks( all race tempo work) been able to get back to competitive levels for my age-group (40 - 44).
Steve Fleck @stevefleck | Blog