Effects of De-Training

THE VIRTUAL 5K IS TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't forget to wear your bib!

Don’t forget to wear your bib!

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then click here first to find out how to sign up and click here second to learn about the INCREDIBLE prizes you could win.

(psssssst: a trip for 10 to Acapulco is one of them!)

This is your LAST CHANCE to get the $15 entry plus the $10 additional entry. After tomorrow, raffle tickets go to $20/each! There’ll be other items to purchase along the way, like…

Shirts! Shirts! Shirts are on the way!
Shirts! Shirts! Shirts are on the way!

Everyone loves a shirt that says, “Kick Ass” on it, right? Right. This will be my first foray into selling-of-shirts land. I’m a little scared…

…anyway, onto the actual blog for today.

Because more people than ever are participating in endurance sports, more people than ever are getting sidelined by injury. This is just the natural progression of things, but what does it mean for your training? How long can you be out before your really start to “lose” it?

Being out sucks. Trust me, I know. Hospital gowns are not nearly as comfy as running clothes. They're kinda scratchy.

Being out sucks. Trust me, I know. Hospital gowns are not nearly as comfy as running clothes. They’re kinda scratchy.

Here’s the science:

  • 7 highly trained runners or cyclists who trained for 10-12 months, at least 5 days/week for 60 minutes daily at 70-80% of VO2 max were studied. 57 sedentary individuals served as the control group.
  • Except for exercise during testing scenarios, walking was limited to < 500m daily at a slow pace and all other physical activity was limited.
  • After 12 days VO2 max (anaerobic capacity) decreased by 7%, by day 84 VO2 max was down by 16%.
  • Max heart rate increased by 5% (aerobic-means your heart works harder to do the same activity) and then leveled out by day 84.
  • Cardiac output and stroke volume declined immediately and had decreased by at least 5% by day 12.

Reference

Coyle EF, et al. Time course of loss of adaptations after stopping prolonged intense enduracne training. J Appl Physiol 1984;57:1857.

What does this mean?

There is an immediate decrease in your conditioning after 12 days off from training, approximately 5% or more in your heart’s ability to efficiently pump blood. 5% isn’t terrible and won’t kill you, but you’ll feel it.

And you’ll really feel it after 84 days at 16% when you can’t get going.

Your anaerobic goes first, followed by your aerobic which absolutely TANKS after 3 weeks. I mean TANKS.

photo (7)

Image property of: Coyle EF, et al. Time course of loss of adaptations after stopping prolonged intense enduracne training. J Appl Physiol 1984;57:1857.

Conclusion: 12 days is where the most marked changes happen, but it’s a steady decline after that into the depths of de-training.

This effect will be amplified by sickness, anesthesia, damage to the body systems (pulmonary, cardiovascular, etc.), disease, and lack of training to begin with. So, if you’re sick or have some kind of immunological disease, these effects would be more dramatic and over a shorter period of time.

Getting out of the hospital is a big step. No one runs out of the hospital and does 16 miles. No one.

Getting out of the hospital is a big step. No one runs out of the hospital and does 16 miles. No one.

I hope this helps some of you when you’re curious about the how long it takes a well-trained athlete to de-train and by how much.

Don’t stress over it, though. Your body needs whatever time it needs to heal and that’s the most important aspect of training: healing.

Now go out and run!

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4 thoughts on “Effects of De-Training

  1. Great idea to do shirts – you should do lulu shirts for your 5K! I hope you got my raffle prize in the mail, sent it late last week.

    all the best, paige

  2. Abby, Is there a typo in your blog today where you say “There is an immediate decrease in your conditioning after 12 days of training,”? Should that say that “There is an immediate decrease in your conditioning after 12 days without training” or “after 12 days of not training”? Not meaning to be a nit picker but thought maybe it didn’t read the way in which you want it to.

    Love, Dad (Obi-Wan)

    ________________________________

  3. Pingback: Obi-wan: The Emotional Side of Post-Injury Athletes « run stronger every day

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