Quad injury, looking at two months with no training

I just want to vent a little bit… Maybe also you can chime in with similar experiences dos and donts, etc

I was sprinting while playing basketball, about three weeks ago and felt (almost heard) something in my leg crack. I noticed the type of pain I hadn’t felt in about 13 years, and identified it almost immediately as a muscle tear.

I stayed put for a few days, went to a physiotherapist, and they told me it didn’t feel like a big rupture of the muscle and suggested light low impact exercise, even cycling, provided there was no pain. I tried the trainer, after 5 minutes I felt a mild discomfort so I stopped. A few days later, about 10 days in, I tried and managed to cycle for about 40 minutes, no sharp pain, just a mild discomfort . When that happened I stopped. I had three such sessions on the trainer and an one hour session outside , really careful not to overdo it or feel any pain.

Fast forward to two weeks after the injury , I got an ultrasound done and there is an 8 cm tear in the “rectus femoris” (I am not 100% sure this is the right translation) . I am not sure about cycling anymore, how can I cycle if my quad has such a big injury? I am concerned I could have made the injury worse with the mild cycling I did.

I am now looking at staying inactive until almost February 2022. This would put the total time with no real training at about 2 months, which has been the longest since 2016.

I don’t even know t to do with myself… It’s not that cycling took more than 10-12 hours a week, but also the preparations , the review of numbers, and the general good feeling it brought me, are not there anymore. I also go to places cycling and don’t own a car so it limits my mobility… This sucks big-time :pensive:

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I feel for you, taking a break from cycling is always tough. I found that usally, just the first 2 weeks or so are hard and every time I see someone cycling when I can’t I feel frustrated.
After that I gets easier.

I think it would be important in this type of situation to find something else to do. Like replace to ~10h a week you were spending cycling into something else you’d like to do. Maybe learn about something, reading books, spend time with friends and family,…


What helps me is to extend that training mentality to getting better. Focus on the process. If you are supposed to do certain physio exercises, do those as prescribed. Do you homework. And like @Angrod said, find time to do other things. You’ll get good at cycling again thanks to this exact same mindset.

Just to be clear: I think we all suffer from anxieties around this. Every time I take my scheduled training break, I wonder whether I am able to get up early again, to do all those workouts regularly and as prescribed. Know you are not alone!


Ouch, heal fast & well!

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thanks! no worries, it didn’t really hurt that much, the anguish of not riding however, is what gets me.

I am getting different messages from different health care professionals, I am hoping to find whatever works best (i.e. best recovery while minimizing downtime as much as possible)…

When I had my major op in 2019 I was getting mixed messages too. The nursing staff were telling me 6weeks +, but when I saw the Doc at around 5weeks he said I should have already been on the bike. He didn’t have to tell me twice and in the longer term I came back stronger. I hope you do too. I think some medical staff give well meaning generic cautious advice, whereas others give the advice bespoke to you and how you are responding.

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Update: I am 7 weeks in. My pre-injury FTP was 295 watts, now I can put in an hour or so at 190 watts and I sometimes feel discomfort and overload in the leg the next day. I have been asking around if this is normal but I feel a little lost. I am cycling with some care not to overdo it , I don’t push it at all in the climbs I have been cycling about 5-6 hours a week the last three weeks.

I saw a physiotherapist who told me about two weeks ago I should have been exercising from the second week.

Two different physiotherapists have recommended me , exercise with no pain during the activity. If it hurts a bit or gets swollen after the activity, don’t overthink it and just ice it and get some ibuprofen, and wait till the discomfort is gone before the next session.

It seems to me that progress is slow but little things like not instinctively avoiding stairs anymore remind me of how much better it is now.

Yesterday it was the 3rd day in a row cycling and I took a rest day today. It frustrates me that I need to take a rest day after 5 hours of Z1/Z2 over 3 days, but we’ll, it is what it is…

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