Race prep post-surgery

I’ve just started riding again after a 6 week layoff due to minor surgery. My question is: Does one lose all types of fitness on a linear basis, i.e., have I lost strength, aerobic, endurance and base fitness equally or maybe one more than the others? I am targeting an 80 mile gravel event in early February so do I need to start building base all over again or might I better jump into SS training right away; or some other approach? Prior to the layoff I was carrying pretty good fitness from years riding and some long gravel events in Spring and Summer.


Your fitness and strength will be lower fo sure. I had 6 weeks off once because of surgery as well in October / November and followed that up with a broken collorbone in late February. But that did not stop me from having one of my best years. At first things may be so far out of reach, but the fitness that you had will come back.

I would recommend starting off with Sweet Spot 1 or our Sweet spot 18 week plan and then moving into the gravel plan borer your event. Not a lot of time before February, so might just have time for sweet spot 1 and 2 before the 6 week gravel plan. But having that 18 week sweet spot would be best value, may just have to end it early.

You will start off with a field test to set your new training zones. yes they will be lower, but don’t let that bother you! I imagine it will come up before retesting before the start of the gravel plan and again even after the gravel race! So just stick with plan. Don’t do any extra or try to build it all back in a day.

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