Hey all – bit of background on me first; I’m a runner turned triathlete, 37 years old and been running for around 7 years, triathlon for the last five. I’m a decent swimmer, average cyclist and a decent runner, so cycling is definitely my weakest discipline.
This year, I trained for my first Ironman at Hamburg in July. Around a month before, I probably pushed a little hard with not enough recovery and had a recurrence of a knee injury. With some physio and a lot of rest, I managed to make it to the start line with a ‘have a go and see what happens’ approach. Unfortunately, after around an hour on the bike I crashed and had to DNF. I had some minor road rash, but in the days afterwards I developed some fairly nasty pain in my ribs, which could be broken/cracked/bruised (here in the UK, our health service is very reluctant to X-Ray rib injuries as the treatment is the same whether they’re broken or not – rest and painkillers).
It’s now roughly three weeks since the DNF and I feel ok to ride easy on the turbo on my road bike for up to two hours, but I’ve done zero sessions with any intensity for around two months now. I swam for the first time since Hamburg yesterday and that was fine (although tumble turns were pretty uncomfortable) and I’ve run once with some pain, so I’m very cautious in that respect.
My question is: does anyone have any thoughts or suggestions about returning to bike training? My next race is a 70.3 triathlon in the middle of October so I have around 8-9 weeks until then. Based on my recent turbo rides, I would hazard a guess that my fitness has fallen, so if I had to put a number on it, I’d say that my FTP might have dropped from my last-tested 282 to around the 250 mark.
Should I continue noodling for a couple of weeks until any pain subsides to maintain some fitness or should I do a ramp test now if I can do it pain-free to get an assessment of my current fitness? My thought is to noodle for a couple of weeks and then test when I have 6 weeks to go until the race and follow a speciality plan from there, but I’m really just looking to check that this would be a decent way to go.
Thanks in advance!