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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How fast to rebuild after broken Femur?
I went down and broke my femur on Jan 29 of this year. I had a rod and screw put in and have been doing lots of rehab. Pain is almost gone and doc says the bone is strong enough.
I have given up on my early season races and goals but want to peak for late season end of august race (main goal) and then first week of october for a 24 hour mountain bike race (relay for me).

How quikly can I start to train? Last year I was maxing out at approx 3000 TSS a month. My old coach is slamed and can't coach me for at least a few months so I am trying to figure it out on my own with three week builds and a recovery week.
How much TSS a week should I start with and how fast can I add to it?
I have been back on the bike for a couple of weeks and did 500 last week. It felt like a big week but after my monday rest day I felt 90% rested. My FTP peaked last year at 283 and is probably around 230-240 right now. I need to do another power test really soon here.

Here is my current fitness & freshness from Strava: View attachment 278765
 

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I'm not a coach or a PT. I broke my right femur a few years ago and now have a rod.

How old are you? The younger you are, the faster you can ramp back up. How long have you been cycling? If you have many years and thousands of miles experience, you can ramp back up faster. In general, your body will let you know if you're ramping up too quickly. Of course, by then it will be too late and you will need to rest.

Impact training (i.e. running, jumping rope) is critical to bone growth. If your doctor hasn't mentioned it, you should ask. Riding a bike is fairly worthless with regard to maximizing bone strengthening.
 

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Bone wise you're good to go. Depends on the type of fracture and there could be other variables but I don't see a reason why you can't start working on your base. You're going to need to be smart in your training and I'm guessing your PT has some ideas on how to work on rehab.
Good point on bone health though. Might be a smart idea to check you bone density. Competitive cyclists are very prone to osteoporosis.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm 41 and have been fairly active all my life. I just got back into road biking 2 years ago. I think i will stick with adding to my CTL by 6-8 a week. I still havn't figured out how to plan TSS increase rate to get my CTL up in a controlled maner. I guess I just have to check my WKO graph after each workout?
I should probably try to get in more impact oriented. Does hitting whoops on the dirt bike count? :)
 

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I think trainingpeaks has a function in it that will help you do this. I do not use it so I can't recall details but I think it is called performance manager. IIRC you can put in your weekly TSS and it will project your ATL,CTL TSB. I think it is part of their pay site. I use them so if you need more info I can investigate further, if it would help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I use training peaks, paid version but not WKO+ since I have a mac. Carverbiker if you can find out a way that would be great. I just got back from my power test and did a post injury best with a 1 min 483, 5 min 315 and 20 min 262. that puts my FTP at 250 and WPK at 3.66 I am starting my build week 2 next week and will go for 400 or so TSS mostly Z2 with some sweet spot intervals. I will adjust TSS later in the week to try and make the CTL increase by 4-6 over last week.
I have planned out 3 week builds with 1 week recovery and a power test at the end of each recovery week. If anyone has some suggestons im all ears
 

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I have planned out 3 week builds with 1 week recovery and a power test at the end of each recovery week. If anyone has some suggestons im all ears
Have patience and persistence. Serious injuries need time.

I would suggest a slightly more modest CTL ramp and forget the scheduled recovery weeks, just keep pushing on until you need some recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Alex, what CTL ramp would you suggest and how do I tell if i need recovery? I always thought the recovery week was used to let the training stress "sink in", Would a slower ramped CTL without a recovery week be approx the same as a higher CTL ramp and then a recovery week?
Patience I have a hard time with persistance seems to come easier for me, at least that is what my wife says :)
 

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Alex, what CTL ramp would you suggest and how do I tell if i need recovery? I always thought the recovery week was used to let the training stress "sink in", Would a slower ramped CTL without a recovery week be approx the same as a higher CTL ramp and then a recovery week?
Patience I have a hard time with persistance seems to come easier for me, at least that is what my wife says :)
I prefer not to give specific advice to people that I don't know/coach, simply because without specific knowledge of an individual all one should sensibly do is provide general advice.

You have historical data on what you've been able to do, but really, after serious injury, just keep it modest for 2-3 weeks would be my suggestion. If you finish a week feeling like you could do more, that's probably about right to start with. Give body time to adapt to feeling like a bike rider again. Lots of other parts of you haven't been doing much either.

The #1 mistake I see people in your situation make is trying to make up for lost time by attempting to do more than they should, and do it too quickly.

It's my experience that training that "keeps the pressure on" is more successful in the longer run. Besides, most people get unscheduled interruptions to training that end up being recovery. It's a bummer to have an arbitrarily scheduled recovery week when perhaps you really didn't need it, only to find rest of life intervenes the following week. Next thing you know you've had 2 weeks of light training.

Signs you need recovery are multifactoral but in general if a couple of days running you fail to meet (sensible) power targets, then that's a pretty decent indicator (one bad day isn't enough). There are others of course, and that's a whole 'nother topic. Even then, it may not be you need a whole week of recovery, but just an extra day or two, and it maybe that it's not training that need reducing but other factors that need modification (e.g. diet, sleep, rest of life stresses etc).
 

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I use training peaks, paid version but not WKO+ since I have a mac. Carverbiker if you can find out a way that would be great. I just got back from my power test and did a post injury best with a 1 min 483, 5 min 315 and 20 min 262. that puts my FTP at 250 and WPK at 3.66 I am starting my build week 2 next week and will go for 400 or so TSS mostly Z2 with some sweet spot intervals. I will adjust TSS later in the week to try and make the CTL increase by 4-6 over last week.
I have planned out 3 week builds with 1 week recovery and a power test at the end of each recovery week. If anyone has some suggestons im all ears
I have not done it, but I believe if you enter TSS values in the planned fields of the calendar it will project your TSB, CTL, ATL for you. You can then adjust the numbers to see where you will be given multiple training scenarios. I think this must be done on a per day/ workout basis but this should help you structure your training until you get back with your coach.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanks for the lengthy response Alex I agree with all your points. I am about to start my 4th week back and am feeling a little tired but not worked. I will be on the lookout for signs of over training.
 

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Wow, there's been a lot of good statements in here.

I broke my left femur pretty severely about 10 months ago. It sounds like your break was less severe than it could have been; mine was a spiral fracture up the diaphasis and another in the surgical neck. The complicating factor is that the spiral broke the regions of the bone where muscles insert and connect, meaning that I had to wait before that healed to walk again.

Me at a glance:
23 y/o male
Collegiate A / SM3 racer
5'11", 145 lbs.

The surgeon said that I "might" be able to ride a bike again, so I just stayed positive and took it one day at a time. After about six weeks, I was cleared to swim with a pull buoy. After 10 weeks, I was cleared to spin easily on a trainer. I did 30 minutes, 3-5 days a week with little resistance. After 14 weeks, I was okayed to go moderate-hard (but not hard) on the trainer, and after 18 weeks was okayed to ride outside with zero restrictions.

These are the lessons I learned:
Listen To Your Body
And listen well. When I started riding outside again, I also started walking again (with a cane). Oh my God, my knees hurt in places I didn't know they could hurt. For about 2-3 weeks, I was popping tylenol like an addict and refused to back down. Talking to my PT, I just overdid it all at once. That probably set me back about a week or two, just because I had too much pride to admit I'd overdone it.

Take Care of Your Body
This is really part two of Listening, but after that setback, I was feeling good and ended up doing a 3 hr day when I'd been doing 90 minutes max. I had a tweak in my good leg, and didn't take care of it, either with massage or rolling. After three days, it was chronic and took me almost 12 weeks to get rid of. Seriously. I still have soreness there.

Don't be afraid to back down
Or, don't be prideful. Seriously, you BROKE YOUR FRIGGIN LEG. Feel like going easy today? OK. Don't feel like railing the corners on a descent? That's probably smart.

Don't Get Down on Yourself
YOU BROKE YOUR FRIGGIN LEG. You have a titanium rod holding it together. It's okay to not be as fit as you were when you hurt yourself; that will come back. It's okay to not be training as hard as you were; you'll get there.

One Day at a Time
Seriously, the only thing that go me through the first 2 months was, "What can I do today to help myself later?" The answer was PT and core work. Swimming helped me get the strength I needed to get around campus on crutches (since I was taking two graduate physiology classes...), and the classes themselves kept my mind off the fact that my friends were enjoying a glorious fall of cycling.

Remember Why You Love Cycling
I love cycling because I enjoy the wind in my hair, the joy of a 20 minute laid-back descent down a mountain canyon, and people will eventually say something truthful during a 3-hr ride. You're not going to win the Tour de France. Remember why you do it and racing is only a portion of it all.

Anyway, sorry for the long post. Good luck in recovery and beyond!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the great post. You make a lot of great points. Sounds like your recovery is going well. My fracture wasn't as bad as yours. I have been back on the bike for a while now and am happy to report that riding is pain free. I still have some work to do but am only 6% down on 20 min power. My 4-5 hour power is still suffering and it has been hard to watch guys I used to beat or at least hang with ride away from me after the 5 hour mark. At least at the finish they congratulate me and remind me I was on the couch with a broken femur 2.5 months ago.

Time to suit up and get in a 4.5 hour z2 ride before work this morning

Pete
 

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I've broken my leg twice (fib/tib, then the femur) and numerous other injuries from racing motocross. Alex's statement "If you finish a week feeling like you could do more, that's probably about right to start with" is perhaps the best observation I've ever heard. I used to do the tough-guy approach of doing twice what the PT or doctor recommended. It always set me back more than it put me ahead. It took many years and many mistakes to finally realize that the turtle approach of slow-and-steady is better than jack rabbiting ahead and then having to stop again for a week or two.

As Alex said: "The #1 mistake I see people in your situation make is trying to make up for lost time by attempting to do more than they should, and do it too quickly."

Very true! It took me 20 years to realize and accept it. Hopefully others will learn more quickly than I did.
 
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