Training during injury recovery

Had a bad crash three weeks ago, ended up with fractured collarbone and elbow. Fortunately, so far it seems neither is too severe as no operation is required. I do still need to wear the splint/sling for at least 2-3 weeks.

I’m thinking to start some exercises to maintain fitness and hopefully help the recovery. Obviously not on the road, am looking at something either on the trainer or in the gym.

Any suggestion what I can do without hampering the recovery? Had great results with TrainerRoad before the injury and would hate to see much of that form regress due to inactivity during the recovery. Thanks!

In my opinion, this is a question for your doctor, not the forum. We don’t know what is wrong with you and how severe it really is. And in case of doubt, I would focus on getting healed up rather than losing some watts.


Possibly search through some of TR’s recovery-level intensity rides just to keep the legs ticking over while the collar-bone/elbow heal up?

Yes, you’ll drop some of the top-end fitness, but if you can keep your aerobic fitness through lower intensity work, you should be able to re-build that top end fairly quickly later.

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I hit a gap in a cattle guard at speed on Sep 1st of 2018. Ended up with severe lacs to face and tongue, lost a lot of blood, got some rash, knocked out a bunch of teeth, ended up with a tracheostomy tube, spent a night in the ICU. Luckily, nothing critical to pedaling a bike was severely hurt :sweat_smile: I pedaled the trainer one mile on the day I got home from the hospital and it took a reasonable amount of effort just to do that. I spent a lot of time in bed that first week but I would still spin a couple of miles on the trainer here and there. My second week I rode 42 miles (for reference I’d been doing 125-150 per week and was fit to race LOTOJA prior to the accident). I gradually eased back into it and just watched my heart rate. I’m a surgeon and am a firm believer in “active recovery” to keep tissue healthy. It was almost three months before my blood volume recovered enough to go all out but I did race my local CX race 10 weeks after the accident. If you didn’t lose any blood then I don’t see any reason why you can’t still be doing pretty good endurance work at this point.

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Thanks everyone for your input. Talked to the doctor and he’s given green light to trainers as long as I don’t use the injured shoulder/arm which means I’ll have just one hand on the handlebars.

What kinds of ride should I do given this limitation? And what about some gym exercise?

Great to hear you got the thumbs up from your doctor. I’d just do mellow zone 2/low zone 3 rides and see how things go. I reckon that in order to do the more intensive stuff, you need to use both sides of your upper body to put the power (rather force) to the pedals.

This way you maintain your endurance, but lose some of the sharpness (i. e. your ability to do shorter but harder efforts). The latter can be restored much more quickly, though.

I’d look for a physical therapist and talk to him or her. When I had my shoulder injuries, PT was invaluable to maintain my mobility. Essentially she did the movements that I could not or was not allowed to do. Then I would ask him or her for advice here. Make sure to get one who has experience with athletes. If you find a good one, they can work miracles.