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Concussion Q - Significant loss of conditiining, fitness???

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Concussion Q - Significant loss of conditiining, fitness???

Old 04-21-11, 10:05 PM
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SteelCan
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Concussion Q - Significant loss of conditiining, fitness???

Background:
A buddy of mine who was really riding strong - Top 10s in a RR and Crit. One of the hammers on the A rides for the past few months.
Crash:
Tried sand-surfing 2.5 weeks ago in a RR race to avoid trouble and went 35to0 in an instant. Over the handlebars, cracked helmet and lost consciousness for a few min. Took a ride to the hospital - brain scanned. All checked-out A-OK by a neurologist. Had ringing-in the ears for a day but other than that, not more than a scratch (ditto for the bike)

He took 2 weeks off from outdoor rides but was hitting his trainer - nothing hard core but just to get his time in. He's been out for the past few A rides. (Decent rides, everything from Cat1to5s at the ride)
He definitely lost something. He can't handle the accelerations. He says he feels like he went from an 8 to a 2 as far as fitness. He was certainly stronger than me before but now he can't even nurse my wheel when I try to keep him on-board.

I did a few searches for concussions and their affects on conditioning and fitness. I couldn't find anything.

Question:
Thought someone here might have experienced the same thing. Share details on how long it took to regain that ability. (I personally don't think it is a "head-case" or mental issues)
TIA for sharing any insight.
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Old 04-21-11, 10:36 PM
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Follow up with a neurologist if he hasn't done so.

I had a bad concussion in 07 after a crash at the end of a race. It took at least 3 weeks before my head wasn't foggy anymore and I don't think I even looked at the bike for 2 months. My personality changed for a long time- I was very easily agitated and my attention span was next to nothing.
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Old 04-22-11, 07:42 AM
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I was hit by a car last August, and was completely fine except for the concussion. I had a really hard time recovering from it, even though I didn't miss any workouts and jumped right back into training and racing, though looking back on it I think I dug myself in deeper by not letting myself recover fully, so some extra care now might pay off in the long run. I definitely felt like my fitness never got back to where it was before the accident. A few mitigating factors: I was still trying to get back into shape after a two-week vacation in July, it was toward the end of my season anyways, it was my first season racing, and I didn't have much of a base behind me.

Like saratoga I had some pretty stark personality changes like depression, lack of focus, memory loss, anxiety, etc., that lasted for much longer than I would have expected. Then the physical things like the headache, nausea, lack of sleep, etc. made training and racing more difficult. I was diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, which eventually (finally!) eased up, but again, my case may be unusual in that I have a history of both migraines and a severe head injury followed by many head surgeries.

Definitely follow up with a neurologist, though in my experience there's often not a whole lot they can do besides run some tests to make sure there's nothing crazy going on and tell you to wait it out. It's a tough thing to deal with because there's no obvious physical symptoms, but the effects of knocking your brain around can be pretty profound. The most important thing right now is that he doesn't crash again--another concussion at this point could be really serious.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:31 AM
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My worst ever crash involved a bad concussion, and going unconscious for 20 minutes with seizures. The year after that accident would be my last racing year until this year. I definitely lost fitness, the will to train hard, and had a lot of problems with heat exhaustion. What bothered me the most was the loss of focus; not visually, but mentally. As hard as I tried to be on top of my game at all times during a race, there were too many times when I found myself just hanging on because I had lost focus for a few minutes. I would be patient with your friend. He may be battling with himself enough already.
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Old 04-22-11, 09:17 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
My worst ever crash involved a bad concussion, and going unconscious for 20 minutes with seizures. The year after that accident would be my last racing year until this year. I definitely lost fitness, the will to train hard, and had a lot of problems with heat exhaustion. What bothered me the most was the loss of focus; not visually, but mentally. As hard as I tried to be on top of my game at all times during a race, there were too many times when I found myself just hanging on because I had lost focus for a few minutes. I would be patient with your friend. He may be battling with himself enough already.
I would add that you talk to your friend about being patient with himself as well. Shovel, I can only imagine how much you were battling with yourself after that accident. If you had to talk to a younger you post crash, what advice would you give?

I'm thinking it might help the OP to talk to his friend over a beer or on an easy ride because a lot of our sense of self comes from our performance depending on how it is that we define ourselves. An injury like this is never easy on the psyche, especially because your body is 'fine' but something isn't quite right. And unfortunately, we're all tempted to ride more and ride harder to try to fix it, but that's often not the solution.
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Old 04-22-11, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by shovelhd View Post
I would be patient with your friend. He may be battling with himself enough already.
Yes it is bothering him. More of a surprise to him that he could ever be on the bubble and getting dropped.
Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
I would add that you talk to your friend about being patient with himself as well. I'm thinking it might help the OP to talk to his friend over a beer or on an easy ride because a lot of our sense of self comes from our performance depending on how it is that we define ourselves.
I'll get the first round. Unfortunately, he is busy w/family. What I did was simply email him this link :-) Here that Kev? Give it another month before you beat yourself up.
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Old 04-22-11, 12:52 PM
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Concussions are a very scary thing. It's one of the injuries that truly reminds us that we're not supermen. You've got to really take some time off, read a lot, do simple-->complex math; do as many mental jumping jacks as you can. Practice focusing again. Worry about the bike later, BikeForums and the Fred-tastic rides will be there until we run out of expensive metals.
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Old 04-22-11, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kvangundy View Post
Concussions are a very scary thing. It's one of the injuries that truly reminds us that we're not supermen. You've got to really take some time off, read a lot, do simple-->complex math; do as many mental jumping jacks as you can. Practice focusing again. Worry about the bike later, BikeForums and the Fred-tastic rides will be there until we run out of expensive metals.
I agree 100% with the first part. One of the scariest parts of bike racing for me is the fear that I'll re (re-re) injure my brain.

My neurologist has recommended otherwise about the mental jumping jacks part though. I literally had to do add 10+10 with a calculator for a while after my most recent concussion. She told me to just rest my brain as much as possible--no work, no TV, no computer, no books, nothing that would make me think too hard, or at all. Just rest.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:29 PM
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2 weeks off the bike and physiologically speaking you're pretty much back to square one. In other words remember riding your road bike for the first time ever? That's the aerobic fitness you'll have.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:34 PM
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"a buddy" lol.
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Old 04-25-11, 12:56 PM
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My neurologist is a cyclist and had also had a bad concussion from a crash. He forbid me from riding on two wheels for a month. The 2nd concussion on top of an unhealed one is too risky for quality of life in the long run.

So, I had a month off. Hit the trainer about once every 4 or 5 days during that time. Just 30 minutes of tempo. That felt like a pretty solid recovery. There were times in there where my hunger went through the roof, and I just ate based on how I felt. I was eating a bit more than I did in training. The fact that I gained no weight tells me that it takes a lot of energy to heal a brain injury.

When I came back on the bike, first week I was winded. 2nd week I was able to complete some intervals. 3rd week and I was clearly coming back. I think that month off really helped.

I'm no doctor, but I'm surprised that so many are given the go-ahead to ride immediately after a concussion. That risk of a 2nd one just isn't worth it, and the forced recovery can't hurt (assuming you don't go all-out on the trainer).

Sometimes I find myself in the pantry wondering why I walked in there. I can't remember for sure, but I think I did that before the concussion as well though
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Old 04-25-11, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
Sometimes I find myself in the pantry wondering why I walked in there. I can't remember for sure, but I think I did that before the concussion as well though
Oreos?

Originally Posted by semaj View Post
2 weeks off the bike and physiologically speaking you're pretty much back to square one. In other words remember riding your road bike for the first time ever? That's the aerobic fitness you'll have.
Incorrect.

Originally Posted by GirlAnachronism View Post
I agree 100% with the first part. One of the scariest parts of bike racing for me is the fear that I'll re (re-re) injure my brain.

My neurologist has recommended otherwise about the mental jumping jacks part though. I literally had to do add 10+10 with a calculator for a while after my most recent concussion. She told me to just rest my brain as much as possible--no work, no TV, no computer, no books, nothing that would make me think too hard, or at all. Just rest.
Maybe the OP's friend should join teh bee effs?

Last edited by ridethecliche; 04-25-11 at 01:54 PM.
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Old 04-25-11, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ridethecliche View Post
Oreos?
Well, yeah. And Chipotle.
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Old 04-25-11, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by semaj View Post
2 weeks off the bike and physiologically speaking you're pretty much back to square one. In other words remember riding your road bike for the first time ever? That's the aerobic fitness you'll have.
Where did you come up with that info? (rhetorical question) Anyway I am with the "botto-like" reply from RideTheCliche, "incorrect".

Originally Posted by waterrockets View Post
My neurologist is a cyclist and had also had a bad concussion from a crash. He forbid me from riding on two wheels for a month. The 2nd concussion on top of an unhealed one is too risky for quality of life in the long run.
I'd agree that a 2nd concussion is risky (even after a "healed" one). However the likelihood of a crash on a bike ride (that causes a head strike) is extremely rare. (This isn't football). Anyway he did a TT this weekend (in rain and wind). He was satisfied with his performance. A Top 10 (~25 in his category). I will likely see him tonight for a 27mi group ride. Will see how he holds-up for that.

[QUOTE=ridethecliche;12553994Incorrect.[/QUOTE] Correct
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Old 04-25-11, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by semaj View Post
2 weeks off the bike and physiologically speaking you're pretty much back to square one. In other words remember riding your road bike for the first time ever? That's the aerobic fitness you'll have.
I feel pretty comfortable saying this...





...you are a moron.
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Old 04-25-11, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by semaj View Post
2 weeks off the bike and physiologically speaking you're pretty much back to square one. In other words remember riding your road bike for the first time ever? That's the aerobic fitness you'll have.
Bull***t. Utter bull***t. You lose almost nothing you won't gain back within a week in two weeks. You'll feel "rusty" for the first few rides, and then everything is back to normal. After four weeks, you still have your base but lack the proverbial "top end". The state of fitness you'll have after an extended break is proportional to the amount of base miles you've done over your cycling career. If you picked up the bike last year and did nothing but VO2max intervals for your training, then yea, after 2 weeks, you might be screwed. But if you have any base at all, then you'll still have that base and probably more.

I took about a month off in Feb this year after a winter of high base mileage. It took me about 2-3 weeks to feel like my old self again, and a lot of that was due to the flu which hit me right after I returned from my vacation.
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Old 04-25-11, 02:49 PM
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I don't know who semaj is, but ffs, the sarcasm is evident in his post. y'all need to learn to give the benefit of the doubt; it makes life much easier.
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Old 04-25-11, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Ygduf View Post
I don't know who semaj is, but ffs, the sarcasm is evident in his post. y'all need to learn to give the benefit of the doubt; it makes life much easier.
The internet is the king of the dead pan. Can't see the pan, much less hear it banging.
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