How to return after major surgery?

I’ve been using TR since Dec 2022 and started a custom training plan with sweet spot then Short Power Build and was going to start a XCO plan in the next weeks but has to stop all my training on the last 3/2 weeks after a major surgery, expecting to be back next week or so.
I started with a 190 FTP and was with 235.

How can I return to my training plan after around a month without physical exercise? Start over? I’m sure my FTP dropped, not worried about it.
I train for myself and to ride with my friends but not planning on competing/racing.

Are you using Plan Builder and Adaptive Training? AT will account for your time off. Either create a new plan starting on your first day back, or add a “time off” notation for the dates of your recovery and schedule a ramp test on your first day back. Use AI FTP to automatically detect your new FTP, then just keep pedaling. Hope your surgery and recovery were successful.

1 Like

I’ve found this approach to work well for myself:

Its not TR way (as TR doesn’t really consider HR), but, a) it simply works, b) there is no stress worrying about tracking ftp changes (down and up), c) results in productive workouts, and d) results in a fairly quick return to fitness as seen by power-to-HR.

My usual timeline to a return to fitness is twice time off, as mentioned here Detraining 8 weeks in Olympic champion rower and by Jeff Linder of NorCal Cycling YouTube channel High HR after 2 Weeks Off - #3 by WindWarrior And FWIW I’m older and not elite. But that “4 weeks off = 8 weeks to fully return to fitness” rule of thumb has repeatedly held true for 2 weeks off and 4 weeks off.


I did as @rkoswald suggests, adding “time off” for a surgery that had me off the bike for a full month. everything worked as noted, The only thing I would add, is that I was allowed to start very slowly and easily walking, and did so most days increasing distance very gently. My surgeon flat out said not faster than 19 or 20 minute miles, which is not fast. I put those walks into TR as “runs” (tho obviously they were walks :slight_smile:
In any case with an FTP history like yours, my FTP drop was, to me, surprisingly modest (225 to 206) and my return to previous fitness levels took about 6-7 weeks. Of course, we probably had utterly different surgeries with different impacts, so my main point is that it Plan Builder and AIFTP did this pretty well, and itworked out better than I anticipated.

1 Like

I used plan builder and AT too. I though about that and was afraid if I put a month without any workouts would mess up but whole schedule of training.

Thanks. I’d be surprise if I get back to my fitness after 8 weeks.

Thanks so much for your testimony. I’m glad other went through similar stuff.

Yeah, major surgery may extend the timeline.

1 Like

I had to have a surgical rebreak - of my arm last year ( 18 months after it got set badly when I broke it for real- not cycling I might
add ) . Anyway I used the FTP predictor once I was OK to get back to training . I was pretty horrified at the predicted drop but having heard Amber on the podcast say exactly the same thing after having a baby -I went with it , and I have to say I think it was remarkably accurate . I think I was off the bike for about 6 or 7 weeks , but the predicted FTP enabled me to complete the sessions properly and my FTP started to climb so I was back to normal in a couple of months . I don’t think I would have been a) without TR or b) if I had adjusted the FTP myself . I definitely wasn’t in a place where I felt like doing a ramp test ( a bit like Amber said ) . I’m sure you’ll get medical advice on this , but from a TR point of view - allow it to do its AI stuff , and you’ll get a pretty accurate start point I think . Good luck .


Thanks so much for those replies, I’m so glad.

What sort of major surgery is it? My self when I had my bowel (colon) cancer removed as it was pretty serious I dropped my FTP by an arbitrary 50w (17%) and it felt right if it hadn’t rather than testing I would have dropped it again. After the 5weeks when the docs told me not to ride I got back fairly quickly to riding with my mates just no ‘hero pulls’ initially.

1 Like

Sending healing vibes your way. I crashed my bike in may 21 (tibia plateau in several pieces) and I’ve had my 5th OP (corrective osteotomy) on Nov 1st last year. It takes time but I hope you bounce back just as fast:


Hey there! Glad you’re getting plenty of helpful replies! :smiley:

Using a Time Off annotation on your TR Calendar will allow Adaptive Training to modify your plan until you’re able to return to training. AI FTP Detection will take into account the time you’ve missed as well, so you can lean into that duo to get you back on track!

We’d recommend using AI FTP Detection first if it’s been a while to make sure your FTP is correct. Then, Adaptive Training will take over with your plan, and adaptations will make sure you get dialed into the right workouts.

You could also delete your old plan and start anew if you’d prefer – no trouble with that, either!

Alternatively, if you feel the need to just get back into training without much of a specific plan to begin with, you could always use TrainNow and/or Workout Alternates to ease back into things if you’d prefer.

Hope you’re recovering well and will be back on the bike soon!

1 Like

Little question here, if like my custom training was like 6 months total, a month away with “time off/illness” will postponed all my next workouts or will shorten my total from 6 to around 5 months?