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  1. #1
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Coming back after major injury. "I'M BACK" Maybe!!!

    After racing for 3 years with no coach, no plan no nothing, weighting 150lbs and having okay/descent results I got to a coach, a Powermeter, a training plan/nutritional plan and dropped down to 128lbs and racing cat 3 more competitively. Things were loooking pretty good for the fall season OF 2013 and excellent for 2014. Then disaster struck. French broads Criterium cat 3 I went down in the 4th turn on wet pavement. I jumped back up starting riding but wasn't in the right frame of mind. I started having a weird headache and feeling out of. 3 laps later i was pulled for safety reasons and told to get checked out. My wife drove me back from Asheville NC to Jacksonville Florida and I never got back on the bike. Headache went on to last 10-12 days with occasional dizziness. a week later I lost complete hearing in my left ear and developed extreme tinnitus and the scariest part I would get vertigo/dizzy whenever I was trying to focus (listen) to something and someone else was talking in the background. I went to Ear, nose and throat doctor, who then sent me to the top ear specialist in the wisconsin/Midwest {during this time I relocated to Waukesha/Brookfield Wisconsin**. I had multiple CT-Scans MRI with contrast of the brain/ear area. I was giving dizziness tests where you have to follow red line on a board while wearing googles, and test where they pump cold and hot air in your ear along with over a dozen hearing test. after 5 months the vertigo went away but not the tinnitus. I gets so loud sometime the only way to sleep is to drink "The Vodka" to help me fall asleep.
    Well after 8 months where I never stepped foot on the bike and shot my weight up to 165 lbs {my weight before I started cycling** the doctor contacted me today to tell me that I am officially cleared to ride/race again. I was also explained to that the hearing loss is permanent but not one of the 3 specialist can explain exactly why it happened. They don't feel there to be any safety concern and that I should take it easy when i get back on the bike.

    So now Im a Wisconsinite and I feel like Im in heaven with all these rolling hills here. My questions for BF is a few actually;

    1) is it really gonna take me 16 months to get back to the fitness i was 8 months ago. (was told double the amount of time off the bike) I will drop the weight fast again?

    2)any recommendations for the first 6 months on how to get that fitness to start coming back?

    3) I dont plan on racing till 2015 because i want to be back to where I was before the crash but I was looking for Info on teams, training rides and the whole Wisconsin/Illinois Cycling scene. I Probally am looking for a team for 2015 35+/cat3

    Mainly my concern is that its gonna take me over a year to get back to that state of cycling. thanks again its good to be back

  2. #2
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    From MN here... good luck on the recovery.

    No telling how long it will take you to get back to your previous form...but I bet you it won't take 16 months. Since it is now April and you want to start racing a year from now... I would say to take it easy for the next 3 months and start a base period to just get in the miles and build the endurance back up. Put in as many miles as you can and slowly start to incorporate interval workouts going in to the summer.

    By July... go in to something that would resemble a build phase...try to peak this year in August.

    Your issue will be maintaining form through the winter months coming in to next March. :-) Welcome to Wisconsin....

    You'll be back under 150 lbs by labor day.

  3. #3
    »\_(ツ)_/» Ygduf's Avatar
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    Where in MN? I grew up in Osseo/Maple Grove!

    And to OP, I have no idea the answer, but just enjoy being able to ride again and the fitness will come. Brain stuff is scary.

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  4. #4
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about the injury!
    cat 1.

    blog

  5. #5
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    Hope the hearing does come back. Brain stuff is scary.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
    Where in MN? I grew up in Osseo/Maple Grove!
    Im just 5 miles west of Maple Grove. ;-)

  7. #7
    »\_(ツ)_/» Ygduf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clones2 View Post
    Im just 5 miles west of Maple Grove. ;-)
    I drove over a possum in Corcoran one time.

    I didn't ride at all when I lived there. In hindsight, that was dumb. I bet it's great.

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  8. #8
    Making a kilometer blurry waterrockets's Avatar
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    Glad you're back and rolling again. Scary stuff.

    The double time estimate is a WAG. It will take what it takes, and you can race again before you get it all back. My teammate took 7 months off, and he's stronger now, 7 months later than he was when he got off the bike. He had probably matched his previous fitness at 4-5 months. It wasn't an injury that pulled him, and everyone is different.

    I lost a lot of fitness to an illness two years ago and still haven't recovered it -- but I'm the closest I've been. I was only off the bike for 5 weeks. I think I have about 3% FTP to get back still.

    My one piece of advice is not to look back. It doesn't matter a damned bit where you used to be. Look at where you are, where you're going, and get moving. Once you have some progress, set some short-term goals and nail them. You'll probably never again in your life experience the power gains at the rate you're about to see them, so enjoy that part of it.

  9. #9
    Dazed and Confused JAX_11's Avatar
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    Thanx everyone. It's very exciting to be able to be back on the bike in the next few weeks. My goal last April was to race Tour of the Gila as a cat 3 in 2014. Now it's time to make it a 2015 goal. And while Wisconsin isn't Denver, there is a lot more terrain to train on than when I was in Florida.. It took me 3 months to get from 150 to 128 lbs by eating right. Hope to have that weight back by August/sept... I just hope to get back to where I was at and then surpass it by next year and have fun riding all this new terrain up here in Wisconsin. I honestly though if downgrading back to cat 4 next year is the right thing to do but I'm not gonna do that. The doctors all agreed though my hearing loss is 100% permanent. I don't mind it I just hate the ringing noise that the brain produces to replace the hearing loss. The first 4 months I think I will gradually build a nice base of mileage then replicate what I was doing interval wise before I got hurt. Before the winter hits and on the trainer indoors for 4 months.

  10. #10
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clones2 View Post
    Im just 5 miles west of Maple Grove. ;-)
    you went to iowa state right? your name...
    5/20

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
    My one piece of advice is not to look back. It doesn't matter a damned bit where you used to be. Look at where you are, where you're going, and get moving. Once you have some progress, set some short-term goals and nail them. You'll probably never again in your life experience the power gains at the rate you're about to see them, so enjoy that part of it.
    +1

    You can never step in the same stream twice. Enjoy the journey.

  12. #12
    Killing Rabbits
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    Quote Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post

    My one piece of advice is not to look back. It doesn't matter a damned bit where you used to be. Look at where you are, where you're going, and get moving. Once you have some progress, set some short-term goals and nail them.
    This is just good advice for everybody. Focus on Test-Train-Retest cycles while employing consistency, moderation, and progressive overload.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by spectastic View Post
    you went to iowa state right? your name...
    You got it

  14. #14
    You blink and it's gone. rbart4506's Avatar
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    Very scary!

    I dealt with my back issues a few years back. I could still ride a bit, but not train. I probably lost 6-9 months of training time. It took me a good year to get back to where I was before the ordeal started.

    There was never a definite stop and or start date with mine, but I do know that my progress spiked when I started following a proper structured training plan.

    The nice thing is I've never been more fit on the bike and have never felt better.

    Enjoy the journey and be safe.
    Last edited by rbart4506; 04-09-14 at 08:42 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member topflightpro's Avatar
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    Glad you're back. I'm going through something similar myself.

    I partially tore a tendon in my knee back in August 2012. I tried racing twice in 2013, but each time, I'd wake up to a hugely swollen knee. I spent about 18 months just doing easy spinning and working on my pedal stroke - much of it on the trainer.

    Over the last 18 months, I've had my ups and downs, with some successes and some frustration. But I figure that is all part of the process of getting back into racing.

    I just did my first real crit in more than 18 months last night. I was a bit tentative in the corners and am still struggling a bit with my fitness, but all in all, I think based on my expectations, it was a successful first crit back.

    And I would not recommend downgrading to a 4.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JAX_11 View Post

    1) is it really gonna take me 16 months to get back to the fitness i was 8 months ago. (was told double the amount of time off the bike) I will drop the weight fast again?
    I highly doubt this number, but it totally depends on the person. I take months off every winter (2 to 6) and for me it really makes the first month or two hard, but I recapture my fitness in general by weeks 6 to 8 and after 3 months typically feel I am at full race pace. Race for a few months, then relax and have fun over the winter again. I took off a few years one time and that was much harder on me, but I was still able to race at a lower level that first year and then was just fine in year two with my typical 6 to 8 weeks of riding.

    My basic rule for starting up again is simple. Block one (month 3 weeks on/one week rest), no repeated efforts, 5 days a week, efforts are medium intensity and my max HR stays about 20 beat below max during those efforts - just ride around and have fun. Block two start to think about things again and make some efforts, 6 days a week, again no repeats (intervals), max HR is 10 beats below max during harder efforts. Block 3, get on a training program and ride hard and do whatever. Take extra days off the first 2 blocks more than not. I don't really care about anything at all until block 3.

    Your issues and body might be different, and like you said this year might be a loss, but worry about your head first and if it is working fine and you work hard then you should be fine by summer, IMO.

  17. #17
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clones2 View Post
    You got it
    which year
    5/20

  18. #18
    Senior Member spectastic's Avatar
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    so what happened that caused the dizziness, hearing loss etc?
    5/20

  19. #19
    These Guys Eat Oreos Creatre's Avatar
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    It kind of depends on what your base looks like and how quickly your body can adapt. Everyone is different.

    I've been "off" the bike for about 7 months now, only riding about once every other week. I'm pretty sure I could be back to cat3 competitive in a month. Even less if I just wanted to do crits. Two things I know I've lost: 1) Endurance (long efforts, think 2-3+ hour rides/races) and 2) Top End repeatability (top end is still there, repeatability is not).

    I would do a block of endurance riding, then a block of top end work while starting to race if you wanted to just race yourself back into shape this year. If you wanted to think more long term, I would do a few blocks with a lot of volume, a lot of sub threshold or threshold riding, with maybe just a race here or there.
    Category 2 | | Velogames BikeForums Leagues: 1st - 2012 Veulta, 1st - 2011 Vuelta, 2nd - 2013 Vuelta, 3rd - 2012 Giro, 4th - 2012 TdF

  20. #20
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Creatre View Post
    It kind of depends on what your base looks like and how quickly your body can adapt. Everyone is different.

    I've been "off" the bike for about 7 months now, only riding about once every other week. I'm pretty sure I could be back to cat3 competitive in a month. Even less if I just wanted to do crits. Two things I know I've lost: 1) Endurance (long efforts, think 2-3+ hour rides/races) and 2) Top End repeatability (top end is still there, repeatability is not).

    I would do a block of endurance riding, then a block of top end work while starting to race if you wanted to just race yourself back into shape this year. If you wanted to think more long term, I would do a few blocks with a lot of volume, a lot of sub threshold or threshold riding, with maybe just a race here or there.
    Great post creatre.
    BTW I see your teammate that got himself in trouble last year raced at Sunny King this past weekend.
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  21. #21
    In the Pain Cave thechemist's Avatar
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    Not a HUGE injury but I broke my hip last august and was on the bike in December and racing in march.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I took 26 years off, trained for 6 months, and placed 12th in my first race back, an M45+ race at age 53. Don't worry about it.

    For base and losing weight, I recommend 2-5 hour Z2 rides mixed with 1-2 hour Z3 rides and lots of rest. Watch your diet and the weight will come right off.

    Be very careful with head injuries. I hit my head at 35+mph in a race and was knocked out cold for 20 minutes, during which I seized multiple times. I have tinnitus as well. My head was not right in races the following year, which was my last racing at the time. I as particularly susceptible to heat and humidity. I passed out in the field that year and had to crash myself into the crowd to avoid taking out the field (Fitchburg). I was conscious but my vision was totally blacked out. A spectator threw cold water on me and it came back. The other thing about head injuries is that you are more susceptible to further damage once you have one. Understand the risk that you (and I for that matter) are taking.

    Good luck and welcome back.

  23. #23
    soon to be gsteinc... rkwaki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
    I took 26 years off, trained for 6 months, and placed 12th in my first race back, an M45+ race at age 53. Don't worry about it.

    For base and losing weight, I recommend 2-5 hour Z2 rides mixed with 1-2 hour Z3 rides and lots of rest. Watch your diet and the weight will come right off.

    Be very careful with head injuries. I hit my head at 35+mph in a race and was knocked out cold for 20 minutes, during which I seized multiple times. I have tinnitus as well. My head was not right in races the following year, which was my last racing at the time. I as particularly susceptible to heat and humidity. I passed out in the field that year and had to crash myself into the crowd to avoid taking out the field (Fitchburg). I was conscious but my vision was totally blacked out. A spectator threw cold water on me and it came back. The other thing about head injuries is that you are more susceptible to further damage once you have one. Understand the risk that you (and I for that matter) are taking.

    Good luck and welcome back.
    Been there myself. Three concusions in three weeks in my early 20's. Saw mice scurry around my feet for years among other things. Never trained with a helmet on and hit the deck three times without one. Yeah yeah cue all the jokes...
    Every now and then the Sensei has to let the pupils hit him so they keep coming back...
    "if you ride it the way it's meant to be ridden there's no way any wife is less of a ***** than a bicycle." - gstein

  24. #24
    Senior Member shovelhd's Avatar
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    I was wearing a leather helmet at the time. Not a hairnet, a Kucharik that actually had some horsehair padding. Plastic helmets didn't exist then.

  25. #25
    Senior Member himespau's Avatar
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    As a diver, I hit my head on a dive on time when I was a teen. It made me lose my fearlessness and I backed away from diving after that. Had tunnel vision and complete loss of vision with decreasing frequency over the next 2-3 years. Scared the **** out of me that the next time it happened I was going to be behind the wheel of a car. Never happened, but that feeling of not having any control freaked me the hell out.
    Punctuation is important. It's the difference between "I helped my uncle, Jack, off a horse" and "I helped my uncle Jack off a horse"


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