Another recovery journey

Some background. I’m 67 years old, a long long time endurance junky. Previous Ironman, ultra marathon runner, etc. 2021 Race Across America finisher (3,037 miles) with my 8 person team, 2022 Race Across the West finisher (925 miles) with my 4 person team. 9,200 bike miles in 2020, 9,400 bike miles in 2021, and 6800 miles in 2022. (I kinda felt I needed to pull back in 2022)

My current dilemma (again). I had my third surgery on my right foot/ankle/Achilles 28 days ago. I decide to test myself yesterday. Was able to complete a 5k ride on my trainer yesterday (1/07/2023) with an “amazing 41W average. I’m back on my crutches today and a pain med. I figure I’ll have to spend the next 2 to 3 weeks testing my flexibility on my trainer before motion becomes comfortable and safe.

I’m 66.5 kg with my last ftp of 237 and I love climbing. I’ve created a motivation by signing up for the Triple Bypass event this July so I have effectively six months of recovery and training.

My thought is to start from Base Training (again). I expect my ftp has fallen off the cliff already.
Any thoughts?


Spend time recovering from this before you start any training.


I had a bone spur removed from the back of my heel near the Achillies attachment area in November. To get rid of the spur, a good portion of the Achillies was removed and reattached, which left me in “No Weight on the Foot” mode for almost 6-weeks. My foot pain was pretty well gone after about 2-weeks, and I began riding the trainer after about 3-weeks using an old shoe with the back cut out of it. My trainer rides started at Progression Level 1, 30-minute endurance rides with the intensity cut to between 40% and 50%. That initial ride gave me a whopping TSS of 4! My idea was to begin VERY easy and progress very slowly. I had ZERO pain or discomfort in my foot. I kept to 30-minute endurance rides, but slowly began increasing intensity (added 5% a ride) until I was back at 100%, then started adding time and/or higher progression levels.

Seems counter-productive to me to ride at all if you have ANY pain or increase in swelling / tenderness of the foot.

I’m still not walking yet, but I hope to be released to begin putting weight on the foot this week and will start with some easy outdoor rides if that happens. Everything I’ve read has me thinking that it’ll be 6-months for the foot to be fully recovered for running and other weight bearing activities. For cycling, I’m hoping to be back into a more structured training program by late Jan. Being an older, less resilient person, I’m anticipating a couple months to get back to pre-op bike fitness levels.

Good luck to you. I have no advice, but I can empathize with your frustration.

I would wager, based on having had much less significant injuries, that your priority should be pedaling pain free. Once you can achieve that, start with a base plan. I wouldn’t start on a plan until the pain is gone.

Again, good luck🤘

Thanks for the reply and great advice. I had the same surgery you had back in January, 2017 ending up with four anchors in my heel. My recovery was almost 12 weeks before I got back to outdoor riding. Had a great summer of riding and then went back to fall running season. Started having discomfort in December of that year and discovered that two of the anchors were dislodged. Second surgery in March 2018 repaired that debacle with two more anchor points and another 12 weeks off. Perhaps around a total of 35,000 miles on my bike for 2019 to now. The surgery last month was minor compared to the first two with the removal of scar tissue and bone that had built up and started causing numbness and pain. My Achilles and anchors were in good shape per my surgeon. But his probing around to verify that really upset the surrounding area. :man_facepalming:t4:
I agree with your comments regarding the pain and not pushing until I’m pain free. My intent was to test the “pain’ level and recovery. Just from this experience, I need to take a more conservative approach to not screw this up.
I’m not very patient. In 2010, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had surgery with 3 plus months of total down time. I needed something to embrace instead of just dwelling on my Life situation. Twelve months later, I finished my first full Ironman. That journey still continues to drive me to keep moving forward.
I wish you continued recovery and a return to what you love doing.


1 Like

Thanks. The pain free approach is very important this time around. In the past, I ignored many of the pain signals. You can only get away with that a limited number of times.