Broken shoulder and staying/getting back into shape

After 4 months of training for my main event, the Mallorca 312, I broke my shoulder 2 weeks ago, just in time to miss the race. Attended as a spectator yesterday and was heart broken lol.

My doc told me one week 100% rest with no movement so I mostly stuck to that and sneaked 2 easy rides in this week.
Now it’s been 15 days since I broke my upper humerus and i feel like getting back into the hike after my doc told me stationary bike is fine as of tomorrow.

I was at about 310 ftp @ 85kg about 3 weeks ago and had trained about 8h a week before my accident. After 2 weeks of no riding I guess I lost some fitness but want to make sure I won’t loose more or might even gain some until I can come back full force when I will be allowed back on the bike in 6 weeks.

What trainings plan would be recommended for this to keep or even moderately built fitness while still injuried? At the moment I can only use one arm on the bars so high intensity sessions are not an option for now.

Being based in Switzerland means I mostly ride mountains and longish 100-200km rides on weekends which is my main fitness/amateur race goal for summer.

Regards from sunny Mallorca

PS. Joined TrainerRoad cause of the podcast to come back after injury as a better cyclist :wink:


I’ve recently had a shoulder injury, broken clavicle which needed a plate, so spent a good portion of time one armed. The only real difference is that because of other injuries I was off the bike for longer before the clavicle got fixed.

Best thing I can suggest is to restrict your training to whatever zones you can do without needing both arms on the bars,most likely endurance, possibly nudging into low tempo. You absolutely don’t want to stress the shoulder until you’ve validated that won’t do any damage. Be aware that non cyclists can have a very different idea of what indoor cycling is, in my case one physio was a keen cyclist, the other thought indoor cycling was basically sitting upright, twiddling my feet, you can guess which one I asked cycling questions :rofl:

In terms of plans, Traditional Base is the only one that doesn’t rely on sweetspot or above, and the only one I’d contemplate at this point, possibly with a slight manual reduction in FTP number (I manually reduced from 296 to 200, you might not need such a large drop), but if endurance feels like you could have a chat whilst working out, you’re in the right ballpark, just don’t test it. Once you can train at full strength, do a ramp test then decide as normal depending on where you are in trad base. For me, on Friday the doctor okayed full strength, within an hour I was on zwift to prove I could ride hard with both arms without it hurting, then the next day I did a ramp test, 202, then Tuesday I started SSBHV1, now I’m in GBHV having done SSBHV2 and AIFTP reckons I’m at 250, ramp test due on Tues.

It’s a process, don’t rush it now and delay your recovery. You’ll do great! :muscle:


Good recommendations above. While you’re healing, I wouldn’t push anything above zone 2. Your body is doing a lot of work you can’t see.

And you’ve essentially had what some people have for an offseason - 2+ weeks totally off, so start back like it’s an offseason.

Start with building volume of low- to mid-zone 2, I would recommend going by HR since your power numbers are off. You can use TR and dial down intensity via erg mode if you want, or just use the Free Ride options and track your HR. Keep it down in that 65-70% of HRmax for a couple of weeks while you’re healing, but get the legs moving.

As you get stronger, you can push aerobic work up a little bit toward 75% with some duration at 80% max HR. And once you’re full go in a month or so, you can introduce your threshold work a couple of times per week.

Nothing fancy, just good quality aerobic work to get you right. Cheers and good luck!