Restart after major injury

After a TT crash a couple of weeks ago resulting in 9 broken ribs, broken collarbone, broken shoulder blade, partial collapsed lung, extensive road rash and bruising it’s going to be at least another couple of months before I should get back on a bike my consultant advises. Can get going on rhe Watt Bike much sooner though.

Would like to use TR to help my plan out my eventual return to racing again. Not really sure how and where to start. Will be after a period of almost no physical activity at all, let alone turning the pedals. Perhaps a bit of very light unstructured work until I am comfortable for anhour or so, then the usual base - build - speciality plans?

Interested to hear from others that have gone through similar.

In 2019 I broke 4 ribs and a kneecap plus all the other damage that goes along with a bad crash. Sounds like you suffered more damage, but no broken legs parts. I had to have my leg immobilized for 4 weeks then a hinged brace for a few more weeks. Lost a lot of muscle mass in my right leg.

My advice is to stay as active as possible based on what the medical professionals allow. As they told me “motion is lotion”. Set goals based on the physical therapy milestones. Focus on eating as healthy as possible.

Try not to dwell on the short term loss of fitness. My injury happened in the beginning of that race season. Once I could resume training my coach and I put together a solid plan and the fitness came back. I did start with 2 weeks of 1-3 hour endurance rides. Then we proceeded to a structured training plan.

By fall I was back in good form and getting better race results than the previous year. Two years later and it’s like it never happened. Just a minor setback in the process.

I suggest finding things to do to keep you entertained. That summer I went to a bunch of baseball games and outdoor concerts.

Good luck!


Nick, I’m sorry to hear what you’ve been through. I’m back on a training plan after breaking all three bones in my ankle (trimalleolar fracture) so I feel your pain after 3 months off the bike!

I did a few weeks of picking my own rides on TR and Zwift before starting a plan again. Like you, I’ve got a Wattbike and I didn’t feel confident in doing a ramp test for FTP so I did the Health assessment Submax test to estimate FTP. I didn’t like the result but it feels right so I’m training at the right level.

I’ve also signed up for the adaptive training beta as I’m hoping that will be helpful.

I hope you continue to heal and recover well.


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Thx Ian. I am also not confident about the FTP Ramp Test (done it many times before but not during recovery from such an injury). What is the sub max test? Don’t see on TR - is it a WB one or a Zwift workout? I vaguely recall WB having something like this for my old WB Pro but am not familiar with what there is for Atom as I just use TR stuff.

In December I fractured my hip socket, pelvis and broke some ribs. I was in hospital for two weeks and couldn’t do anything for a couple of months. My suggestions are as follows

  • Try and find a physiotherapist who has knowledge of endurance athletes. The consultants tend to give stock answers
  • When you are able, start doing something. My first sessions back on the turbo were literally just turning the pedals over for ten minutes, which started to ease the post surgery stiffness
  • Once you are ready to do a bit of structure, just lower your FTP rather than do an FTP test. It can always be adjusted based on feel
  • Endurance workouts like Carter are a great way of starting structure - at this stage it is still about recuperation rather then fitness
  • Avoid hard efforts until you are confident that you have recovered from your injuries.
  • Celebrate the successes along the journey and don’t worry about your level of fitness- it will return. After 6 months my FTP is back at pre crash levels

Good luck


Hi Nick, the submax test is a Wattbike thing and it is in the Wattbike Hub as ‘health assessment submax test’ and I did it on my Atom. There’s a WB webinar covering it - - and they mention elsewhere that you stop pedalling just after the start of the next minute after your heart rate hits 85% of max. I’m going to keep using it until I feel confident that my ankle can handle the TR ramp test and then I’ll go back to that. (I’m really conscious in sharing this that I’d just injured one body part though, and haven’t had a partial collapsed lung).

Also, I’m prone to overdoing things and trying to do too much too soon (which is one of the reasons why the structure of TR is so helpful to me!) but my physio has been really helpful in moderating that (e.g. advising me to just do 2 minutes for my 1st time back on the bike). For me, physio has provided that support in the weird time between being signed off by consultant /getting back to some kind of normal.

Thanks for that. Looks very straightforward. I know my max HR very well so should be good to judge when RPE is at 7.

It’s a pity that TR doesn’t jave a similar test!

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Good suggestion re. physiotherapist - I shall certainly look into that. Thank you.

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I’m back! Started riding and training again with TR a month or so after the crash. Set a custom training plan to target the Ely & District Hardriders 25 TT in February next year. Have not missed a single work out. Added in a few rides out on the road and the WTRL TTTs on Zwift on Thursdays. Got myself some good physiotherapy and restarted my Pilates practice. Six months on and my FTP is pretty much back to where it was pre-crash and there is next to no discomfort where I was injured. I have a couple months left to dial it up a bit and get back into the aero tuck more comfortably. Need to get out on the road at race pace to rebuild some confidence, but overall am delighted with progress and TR has been a big part of that.