Restarting training After Concussion

I am just over a year into recovering from a concussion suffered in a motor vehicle accident.
My biggest symptom/disability is pressure in my head and an inability to spend any significant time in front of a computer (of course, I am a computer consultant). I have tried to return to work and it wasn’t pretty. 2-4 hours of work felt like 10-12. I basically worked a few hours, ate lunch and slept.

Physically I am fine. I can ride, my balance is good, but my fitness has taken a hit, and my weight is up. I have little motivation to get on a bike and have spent most of the past year doing trail work.

A neurologist who examined me recommended 3 sessions of HIIT per week. I looked around in the training plans and only sprint triathlon looked like it might fit the bill, but I’m a mountain biker. Should I wade through the custom plans, or plan builder? Was hoping for something easy because time on the computer isn’t my thing right now.

P.S. Now that the snow is falling, build season is over and I have more time, so mid-level plan would be ok.

Sorry for your injury and long recovery. That must be tough to handle.

As far as plans, a few options to review might be the “Enthusiast” plans under the Specialty section:

  • The Low Volume versions have just 3 workouts per week and definitely fall under the HIIT heading.

  • Maintenance offers two phases, each with 8-week blocks for 16-weeks total if you did both.

  • Time Crunch 30 or 45 (workout length) each are 8-week blocks

  • I’m no coach or doctor, but time of year may matter a lot less than the place you are starting. I say this with the general consideration that starting back into training may well be done safer with an easier plan and/or progression than those I shared above.

  • The Traditional Base, Low Volume parts 1 & 2 might be worth a look for something with less intensity.

  • The Experimental Polarized Plans, Low Volume could be worth a look too. These have 1 HIIT and 2 Endurance workouts.

I have no idea what’s right, but wanted to offer a range of options outside the HIIT realm in case you find that doesn’t work for your return.

Thanks - I will look at those.

Re: Concussion. I will say, if you are tall, make sure you can’t hit your head on the grab handle above the door. If you can, remove it.

Good advice. Hope you get to a full recovery soon

I’d recommend you look into one of the Time Crunch or Maintenance plans. Given your situation, I’d start slowly and watch myself carefully.

I’d start low and if you don’t feel right, stop and talk to your doctor.

Be patient and try to keep a long term view. I’m 3 years post concussion. Still can’t tolerate large computer screens very well but thankfully IPad does not cause the same issues. I’m old enough that I was able to retire but tried working for a year and had to give it up. I’m an engineer and spent most of my time in front of a computer.

Now I’m back to training with same vigor as before the concussion but it took me a long while before I could really push myself. Legs felt ok but had trouble going hard mentally. Just didn’t have the grit. Didn’t ride at all for 8 months right after the concussion and then started with a couple of months on the trainer before I felt comfortable riding outside again. Took around 2 years before I felt that my mental toughness was fully recovered.

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Sounds like I’m kind of in-between. I raced a local weekly series this year, but really had to push myself to even show up, and I can’t say I had a lot of fun - part of that was not being able to handle much socializing (oh, and my doctor took my driver’s lic away for 2 months so I had to ride there, race and ride home, plus ride to all my appointments))

Interesting about the screens - I can handle small screens (phone and tablet) but bigger screens are an issue. I think it might be partly because small screens only have one app open at a time.