Coach Fred Matheny Replies:
I’m sorry to hear about your medical problem. It’s always hard to be off the bike, especially right before an event that you want to target.
It’s also a tough situation since you have only 2-3 weeks to get back into some sort of cycling shape before the event. If you can’t ride, running and rowing would be the best stopgap fitness choices. But you say they’re ruled out, too.
So you want to do something that will help your aerobic capacity along with your cycling muscles until you can get back on the bike. How about hiking?
If that’s allowed by your physician, uphill hiking at a strong pace translates fairly well to cycling. If you don’t have hilly trails nearby, walking fast uphill on a treadmill would work, too.
I don’t have experience with elliptical machines, but some riders like them for off-season training, so that would be another possibility.
Can you swim? That will help with aerobic capacity. Or you could work into fairly high reps in either squats or leg presses with light weights.
I hope this gives you some ideas to retain some of your cycling fitness until you can get back on the bike.
Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred’s full bio.