Build plan after surgery

I managed to fracture my hip in a cycle accident and I’m now the proud owner of 4 new screws and a metal plate in my hip.
I’m on week 2 of recovery, just wondering what plan I should aim for once I’m healed(4 more weeks or so)?

Or if anyone else have any experience coming back to training after this kind of injury? I was at the end of a 12hr/week ssb plan when the accident occured.

  1. Talk to your doctor.
  2. 6 weeks off the bike + surgery = total reset for fitness, IMHO.
  3. Your title says “Build” and I don’t know if you are talking in general or the specific Build Phase in TR? Either way, I think you need to move back to Base Phase.
  4. Seems like starting over with at least part 1 of Traditional Base (4 weeks) would be smart, to ease back into things.
  5. Then restart Sweet Spot Base.

Agree with @mcneese.chad, I had a Grade 3 AC Separation of my left shoulder September 29, 2018. I took 3 weeks off then worked my way through Traditional Base 1, 2, and finishing up 3. Workouts were just what I needed and after Traditional Base 3 ramp test I had my highest FTP yet.

I’m training for a full XCO race season with my “A” race in September. My plan is below and I’m already off to a great start with my new FTP :grinning:.

Traditional Base 1, 2, 3
Sweet Spot Base 1, 2


Thanks for the pointers. I agreed with my doc I would stay 100% off the bike 6 weeks then look at x-rays to see if everything healed up right.

Going for the traditional base build when doc clears me then.


Trad base was great when I came back from back surgery. Your form comes back remarkably quickly once your body has healed.
Even things like Taku and Pettit were great to get the motions going again and just cycle the legs.


One piece of advice: set your expectations appropriately upfront on how long you’ll be off the bike, and don’t be tempted to rush back into things and risk re-injury.

I had ankle surgery in January, and from the outset, viewed 2018 as a recovery year (even before surgery, I postponed my 2018 Leadville entry to 2019).

I took the first 3 months off completely (NWB for 6 weeks, PWB for 4 weeks). April and May I did easy rides on Zwift, and in late May started riding outside.

My initial outside rides were easy hour long rides just to get back into things. By July I started doing some outside “training rides”, and I did a few ”races” in late July/August.

I only started proper traning again in October with TR. So most of 2018 turned out as I expected - a recovery year.

This seems like a long time, but was the right approach given the nature of my injury (at times, I wondered if I was even pushing too hard too soon).

Now I feel like I’m well set for what will hopefully be a good 2019.


Just wanted to post an update here for future reference.
After getting xrays the wounds have healed fine and the doctor said I could go all out if I wanted to.
Really only the pain when really pushing it is stopping me.

I’m on week 3 of SSB Medium plan, currently at 7-8 hours a week as I add some exercises fridays. I’m already feeling faster but we’ll see how it progresses.

Lost over 150 Watts down to 165 FTP (down from 300ish).


Good deal. Welcome back to training and here’s a hope for a quick return to your prior power. :smiley:

I broke my collarbone the August 5th, five days later I got my plate and six screws and four more days later I started doing some indoor cycling at z2.

Hip fracture looks worse to come back to the saddle

As someone just heading into what will likely be a “recovery year,” I would love to hear how 2019 went for you. I have been off the bike (except for one ride two days ago) since Feb 4. Three surgeries for neck/node tumor removal during Feb. On my 1.25 hour outside ride a couple of days ago, I averaged 120 watts w/an average HR of 150. Rather scary that pace was that difficult. Now I am trying to figure out what to do from here out. I have considered unstructured/easy Zwifting (as you seem to have done initially) to start. I don’t think an FTP test would make sense at this point, because I don’t see the point in wearing myself out that much.

As someone who has had two (2) arthroscopic hip surgeries, I understand this issue very well. I did not have a broken hip – so your progression may be slower than mine – but the pathology and the recovery is likely similar.

(1) Very early on, use the bike at very low power (either “Free Ride” or “Recess” or similar – I am talking less than 100W with no surges at all – focus on just spinning without pain) to work your hip through range of motion. Think of it as a continuous passive motion machine. You can work your operative hip through ROM on the bike by pedaling solely with your other leg at first, and you can progressively (SLOWLY) increase load on the operative hip.
(2) Run everything by your physical therapist. A good PT is worth his/her weight in gold. Get one who understands the needs of an athlete.
(3) Once you are about 4 weeks out (everyone is different) you should be able to start doing some low-intensity workouts. Traditional base is the intensity level you want to be at, though the duration may be too much for your physically/mentally.
(3a) be prepared for some “positional pain” – this will pass. On my first hip op, I had a sudden sharp pain in random positions on the bike, but it passed with time. For op #2, I never had any positional pain.
(4) I would not consider doing sweet spot until at least month 3 or month 4. It’s probably too much intensity. NOTE ALSO that whatever your tested FTP was before the op will not be your FTP after the op, and so doing any SSB (or any workout) based on your pre-op FTP will leave you over-training. That said, I WOULD NOT re-test FTP while in recovery – just decrease FTP by 20% or so.
(5) I would not consider doing any threshold/VO2 max or build plans until at least month 4.
(6) More important than your short term bike fitness is your strength and range of motion and ensuring you do not scar up the anterior capsule. Diligently work on these things.
(7) Patience, patience, patience.

If you want to see how post-op recovery might look for you, you can look at my workout history on TR beginning November 8, 2019 until present to see my progression (after right sided surgery) and beginning ~April 27, 2018 (after left sided surgery – this side was worse) to see how my progression went.

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I just came across your post, and I appreciate your advice.
This year I have had arthroscopic surgeries on both hips for femoroacetabular impingements and labrum repairs. I’m three months out from my right hip surgery. I spent six weeks on crutches after each operation, and then I started slowly riding again.
Right now I’m just doing Pettit every weekday except Friday, and then I’m riding outside on weekends.

I’m wondering when I should try to start a real training plan. Also, on the podcast the coaches have said that Traditional Base is good for coming back after injury. I’m wondering if this would work better than Sweet Spot Base.

welcome to the world of hip rehab

It seems that more and more surgeons are doing staged hip arthroscopies or even bilateral hip arthroscopies. I would definitely not want to do the latter.

I waited until ~4-4.5 months postop each time to start “training” on a training plan. Before that was just rehab. The first time I went to SSB, and the second time I did traditional base. Traditional base is lower intensity – but is obviously a grind in terms of time commitment.

It sounds like your approach is about right. Each time I used workouts similar to Pettit and tapered up the intensity over time. The key, as always, is not trying to do too much too soon. I tried to avoid doing any threshold work until the 4-4.5 month stage, even when I was riding outdoors. It takes discipline but is worth it in the long run.

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