Rebuild after breaking bones

Hi all

I had some big plans this year to train up for the L’Etape du Tour in July. My base training went well over winter and I was gently building up my workload. Then back in mid-March I was on a cycling holiday for a week in Calp, Spain, and unfortunately came off my bike round a bend and fell heavily on my hip. Although it wasn’t diagnosed immediately an eventual CT scan showed three breaks in my pelvis so I was told to keep all weight off my right leg for 6 weeks. I have been on crutches until yesterday, when I had a follow-up scan and the doctor gave me the all clear to discard the crutches and get back on my bike. Now obviously I plan to ease back into this gently, so I had a quick Zwift session last night which seemed to go OK and I’m not feeling any major issues this morning.

Soooo… my question is, would I be really dumb to think I could build back up enough fitness after my six weeks off to finish the L’Etape before the broom-wagon? It’s a challenging 138km/4600m, and although I’ve done rides like this before I’ve normally had much smoother trainer period.

If I were to go for it, What would be my best approach to regaining fitness in the 8 weeks available?

I’m interested to hear from anyone with similar experience!

Ride on!
Neil

3 Likes

I think @pav would be best to answer this and, honestly, I think you need to be working with him closely. I’ve experienced a similar thing (broken arm a few years ago) and even this needed constant changes to the training plan, tweaks, and almost daily contact with him.

For what it’s worth, while it might be expensive, if you want to attempt to salvage your L’Etape ride, a couple of months 1:1 coaching will be wroth every penny.

Best of luck with this! I hope it works for you.

3 Likes

Dear me! I am sorry to hear your story. I don’t have broken bone stories that are relevant but I have had many pelvis problems and 2 recent knee surgeries.

I don’t think there is a clear no to getting to the Etape start line. In one of my knee surgeries I was back to more or less full load in 3 weeks. For the second it was 12 weeks. My message is that you keep ramping up and listen to your body. Your body will tell you if you do too much.

Then you come to the plan. As @James said, a coach will help you manage that if you don’t have the experience to do it yourself. The most important thing about a coach in the recovery scenario is keeping you realistic about where you are and providing objective feedback on progress.

3 Likes

Some excellent advice here. I echo the others in both suggesting that the start line is certainly feasible - you might need to get lucky with consistency (for example, not getting a slight cold) - and working with a coach will manage your expectations and set you on the right path to success. The danger being you might overdo it trying to catch up. Best of luck either way!

2 Likes

Thanks everyone.

Hey @nemach! Let me know if you want to have a chat :slight_smile:

Second working with a coach on this

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck. We are all rooting for you!

2 Likes

Exactly. You are in the right place for camaraderie

1 Like

Echo working with Pav on the rebuild.

However my first thought/question would be after the second scan. Did they say ok to get back into training? The reason I say this is often Dr’s are so used to regular people and not those who train and push the body hard. So while it’s ok to ditch the crutches and get back on the bike you could well still be healing and the rebuilding needs to be managed and not rushed.

Coming from not a break injury but my SI joint/glute. I pushed to get back on the bike and back into training for the Dragon Ride later that year after nearly two months been unable to drive let allow do much more without pain. I pushed too much and whether or not this has impacted my recovery but two years on I’m still not right. No I didn’t make the ride.

That said today I still hurt and struggle to ride much more than an hour. However today I’ve currently got a higher ftp than I did back then only about 5-6watts but still.

Take care and hope your recovery goes well.

1 Like

This is a great question - have you consulted your doctor on this?

How’s the recovery going, @nemach ? Did you decide what you were going to do?

Thanks again for all the comments and interest!

The good news is that I’m back on the bike again, mostly indoors, but I’m getting outside when the weather is good. I reckon my FTP has dropped from c. 210 to 185w, but I’m quite confident it will rise quite quickly as blood volume gets back to training levels etc. I’m also supplementing on bike work with stretching and core exercises.

General pain has all but gone, with the only remnants appearing after long walks. Cycling is not a problem

I’ve decided that as I’ve paid for the event I’m going to go, as I’d rather have a DNF than a DNS!

I’ve got a couple of test events planned, including a 200k ride three weeks before L’Etape. So unless that is a complete shambles, I’ll be at the start line in Nice :wink:

If anyone is interested, here’s my Strava:

5 Likes

Very happy to read this. Best with your training! Please let us know how you get on