So, not having been in this position before I’ll need to seek some advice [so little research out there]. It is generally accepted that VO2 max measurements will start to drop after a mere two weeks of inactivity [hence the recommended maximum ‘holiday’ from running if possible].
Long distance stamina takes a long time to build up but then also a long time to disappear. After a year of inactivity though, even Olympians return to ‘man in the street’ levels of fitness. The fitter you have been though, the faster you regain a higher level. Your body remembers.
Of course this has limits. As you age [especially as veteran/masters runners] you are unlikely to regain the same level without extra work then before. Everyone has those magic seasons where everything goes right and PBs abound. Thank god for age-grading; allowing continued progress no matter the weather.
My question though is this: Having progressed to a certain fitness peak by the end of the 50/50 effort, how long will it be before that fitness is lost now that I [unavoidable unfortunately] have to return to more ‘normal’ levels of running? Or looking from the other side: How much of the fitness can I retain and by what means?
TDC 941 days 10359 miles