Endurance only plan for injury recovery

Hey all,

Unfortunately, about a week ago I fell unceremoniously on a sewer plate that wasn’t fully covering a manhole and went full yard-sale and broke my scaphoid bone. This is likely the first and only thing I have in common with Tadej Pogačar.

I’m obviously quite bummed out, recovery with the cast is about 6-8 weeks and then it’ll take some time after that before it is fully healed. I’m going to wait a bit longer, but I will be able to exercise during this time. However, due to the location, you can imagine I cannot really tolerate stuff like sweet spot or VO2 — the trainer I use at the gym (wattbike) has tri bars though and I was thinking to do just 3 sessions of Z2 a week to try and maintain some fitness would be good.

I looked through the TR plans and couldn’t find something like this. Is it best just to make this manually or is there something I’m maybe missing?

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If it were me, I’d just pull up TrainNow and let it give me an Endurance/Z2 ride that fits my time specifications. No need to overcomplicate it since you’re just trying to keep the legs spinning and burn some calories. Naturally when you are ready to return, you can start regaining the top end snap with a better plan.


Thanks for the response — yeah I think that’s not a bad idea, especially since at the beginning here there may be days I feel like I should rest a bit more and the training could be somewhat irregular.

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This was my three weeks of pure endurance coming back from an injury last year. What works for you will be different - and the TrainNow suggestion is probably best. But this sort of approach worked well for me

Check out the Traditional Base plans. They’re predominantly endurance work.

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did you look at Traditional Base 1?

Last year I broked my 4th metacarpal.

Problem is that my legs had power but my cast was smelling really bad after training because of the sweat. Also it is not possible to hold the bar with this hand.

I could only do short Z1 work unfortunately. I don’t know how was it helpful for my performance.

if you have assistance for changing the cast frequently go for Z2 work. In my case I was living alone I had no access to medical assistance, so changing the cast wraps was problem.

I believe regaining your fitness will not be a problem after 6 weeks of break or Z1 or Z2 work.

Not to be that guy but do you really need a plan for this? You already know you can only tolerate Z2 rides and are going to ride 3 times a week. So just ride endurance for however much time you have, 3 times a week?

Personally I would go for one longer ride and add some form of intensity to the other 2, e.g. some tempo or sweet spot if you can tolerate it. Any riding is always better than no riding to offset fitness loss but some intensity will make a huge difference.

I really liked this video by Jesse Coyle on maintaining cycle fitness:

Kind of along the “do you need a plan” thinking, do you have a Zwift account? You could just go ride Tick Tock and Tempus Fugit (super flat courses) and do laps for however long you feel like riding.

No, I don’t think I need a plan per se but structure in general just helps me keep track of what I’m doing. I just don’t think I can tolerate the intensity of something like sweet spot (mainly do to pressure on the hand at this point). The plan @WindWarrior suggested is actually what I’m looking for, I think I was just looking in the wrong spot.

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Ouch! I broke my C7 traverse, and it was about 5-6 months before I could get back on a bike. :melting_face:

Definitely get the OK from the doc before you resume training, but @ciarrai, @mtbjones, and @WindWarrior gave you two excellent ideas to maintain some fitness while recovering.

You could use TrainNow and pick your day’s workout depending on how you are feeling that day, or a great alternative is to start with The Traditional Base Low Volume I which focus entirely on building aerobic endurance with low-intensity rides.

Then if by the end of it, you feel ready to transition to a bit more volume, you can continue with the Traditional Base Low Volume II & III or resume with a training plan. If you still need low-intensity rides, you could either repeat the training phase or continue with TrainNow workouts.

The goal here is to keep the body active whichever route you go. Just always be mindful of how the body is feeling and not push the recovery past its limits.

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