Injury setbacks - how to minimize fitness loss

Well, it finally happened. After many successful seasons of injury-free riding, I’ve finally put myself on the injured list with a broken thumb from a non-cycling related injury. It’s sidelined me for at least a month and I’m now tasked with the idea of maintaining what was some of the best fitness I’ve had in my life. Of course, I know that this will set me back, and recovering properly is my number 1 priority. However, I’d love some advice:

What non-cycling activities are best for maintaining aerobic fitness levels?

How effective would something like hiking be for a few weeks until I can get on a trainer again?

Once it’s safe to get back on the trainer, what TrainerRoad workouts would you recommend for maintenance?

What nutritional modifications would you make in this situation? Reduce carb intake?

What other tips and advice has helped you get past a season altering injury and maintain as much fitness as possible?

Thanks in advance! Time to get to healing.

I apologize for a question that may seem pandering, but why can’t you ride the trainer if it is broken thumb? You don’t really need to grasp the bars or steer.


I’m curious about this as well. Just broke my foot 2 weeks ago. Just a minor little fracture, and I’m already doing easy spins/endurance rides…but any kind of intervals, or even standing on the bike is out of the question. I’m occasionally riding outside, and honestly questioning the intelligence of that at this point…but havent had too big of an issue yet. Can clip out and put foot down without pain…as long as I’m careful. And foot has been improving all week…so I assume I’m fine (ish…).

Wondering what kind of fitness losses I’m looking at. Broke foot at end of a rest week, took a week completely off the bike, then another week easing back in with very easy rides, really just getting the legs moving a bit. I think I’m looking at another week or two before I can do some real work, probablu a month before I’d be confident about full gas efforts or getting out of the saddle with real watts.

You could run…
unless you have a cast. Then it can be problematic because of sweat.

I’m also wondering why you can’t ride a trainer even if you have to ride it one handed or sitting up.

But sure, take a couple of weeks off. It’s often great to take a real break.

Do some epic hikes, climb some steep hills, etc. You could also do all sorts of functional fitness exercises - squats, box jumps, plyometric stuff, ballistic exercises, step ups, etc.

It needs a pin put in it next week, which will require some time off. So, best case scenario, I’m on a trainer in a week or so.

You can do a stair master, if you have access. It is like climbing stairs, great workout, can hold on with your good hand, or use no hands which makes for a harder workout.