How to return after a short-term injury?

I’m looking for advice on returning from a short term injury. I’ve been doing structured training for about 6 months and started on TR in September. On the LV plans, I completed SSB1 and was halfway through SSB2 when I aggravated an old niggle by stacking up too many hard sessions. On consecutive days I did a run that was probably too hard for my level, then Palisade the next day, then I did a hard swim, then Mills. After that I felt a bit achy but still did a run the following day and then things started to flare up. (The niggle is an unstable SI joint if anyone’s curious.)

This is how things have panned out since I accepted the niggle was real on 23rd Nov.

  • Week 1 - still in denial, tried 2x20 and then 2x10min sweet spot - this was too much and made it worse
  • Week 2 - no cycling at all, started on NSAIDs for a week
  • Week 3 - eased into short tempo / sweetspot intervals
  • Week 4 (this week) - more structured sweet spot work - 4x6 mins this morning.

My question is really how to rejoin the TR program. I expect my FTP is now lower but I’m easing back into training and couldn’t do a ramp test to check it - the ramp test would be too intense. I was also approaching the hardest sessions of SSB2 so if I rejoined there I might struggle (or aggravate the niggle again). Do I pursue my own sessions until I feel “ready” to jump back into SSB2? Do I go back to the start of SSB2?

Many thanks.

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How about traditional base 2 until you’re feeling 100%? It’s a nice progression of tempo & sweetspot: https://www.trainerroad.com/app/cycling/plans/126-traditional-base-low-volume-ii

So I recently broke my hand which meant no outdoor riding. It actually came at a ‘good’ time as I wasn’t doing any structured training but was getting ready to start my off season base building. I know it’s not exactly the same situation as you but this is what I did: Couldn’t ride outside for 3 weeks due to cast, I did jump on the trainer with my arm in a sling and did what I could, nothing greater than an hr, no intensity since I could only grip the bar with one hand. Once I was out of the splint, I started my training plan, which involved an FTP test first thing. I had lost about 15w, and adjusted my FTP in TR down about 7, thinking I would get it back pretty quick, which I did. I’m about 5 weeks out of the splint at this point and comfortably back at my prior FTP, doing workouts as expected

For your case, if you think the ramp test is too intense, I think the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether the SS workouts are too intense. If so, maybe insert a week or two (or whatever you think you need) of tempo or endurance workouts to finishing healing up. Once you think you can re-test I would do that, and then jump back in with an adjusted FTP. Depending on how long you’e been training with power (I saw you’ve only been doing structured training for 6mo) you may just be able to do this by feel. I did the ramp test, but I’ve been riding with power for 10y so I was able to ‘guess’ my ftp based on feel and was pretty damn close to what I tested at. YMMV.

Hope this is helpful

Also a good idea, as long as you can handle the longer rides with your injury

How are you managing your SI issue? Strength work?

Thanks for this, it looks good. The trouble is I’m struggling to find time at the moment as well so an hour is about the most I can muster. I might try using some elements of this e.g. a progression set from tempo into lower sweet spot.

That’s interesting, thanks for sharing. I’m still getting used to the niggle and how much I can do without aggravating it again. You’re right I am new to power - since May - so I don’t have a great feel for it right now, although I can tell I’ve lost some form on the bike. I think what I might do is lower my TR FTP maybe 10-20W and try some structured sweet spot for another week or two and if that goes OK I might go back to the start or week 2 of SSB2. Or maybe I’ll just do like you suggest and concentrate on tempo/endurance for a week or two. It’s summer, Christmas, just nice to be outside.

Yes pretty much. I generally avoid running as that seems to be the biggest aggravator, but I want to get back into running. I’m going to look at moving from 7 to 6 days a week of training and add a clinical pilates class once a week. It’s something the physios have all been saying to me for a few years but I hadn’t really found a class (or looked tbh) and thought I would try to get by without :neutral_face:

I should add - I’m still slightly sceptical of TR. I like the plans and the rides and the forums, but I believe I had more gains in the ~3 months of structured training that I did myself. I was doing sweet spot 2x a week (either 2x20 or 3x20 mins) over/unders 1x a week and VO2 or anaerobic 1x a week. When I started SSBLV1 my VO2 max as measured by Garmin started falling and hasn’t really gone back. With the lay off it’s now nearly 10% below peak. My FTP did increase over the course of SSBLV1 but only by 7W - slower than it had been. On the other hand, I understand that big gains are to be had when you first start structured training so maybe that’s what I was seeing.