How much is this time off hurting me?

So I’m officially 13 weeks into my training plan for 2010. I’m in the middle of my Base building phase, where I increase my aerobic capacity by doing long workouts in my aerobic heart rate zone. Up until two weeks ago, things were progressing well. My volume (mileage) was increasing at a steady pace while my heart rate remained fairly constant. I was also able to get my pace back to just under 8 minute miles running while keeping my heart rate low.

Then came the knee injury. It’s been almost two weeks since I did a long bike ride and 11 days since I even sat on a bike. I’ve also drastically cut back on my running. My training plan called for me to run for 5 hours last week…I did 57 minutes! This week was supposed to be a recovery week with only 3hr 45min on the bike and 2hr 30min running. I’ll get zero on the bike and if the weather holds up, maybe I can log another hour of running on Saturday and get in the planned amount.

I say all this to bring up the fact that I’m now getting worried that I’m losing all of the aerobic fitness that I worked so hard to build over the last 3 months. The plan is to stay off of the bike another week and tape up my knee for all my runs. If the knee still hurts come this time next week…I’m going to start getting real anxious! Any additional time off and I’m going to have to drastically edit my training plan, which means having less fitness on race day than I had originally hoped for. :(

Ran 7.03 miles in 54:30 (7:45 min/mile)
Avg HR – 161 bpm
Max HR – 170 bpm
Followed up the run with 30 minutes of stretching and some light weights (legs and abs)

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