What do you do once you break your collar bone with trials for the National Team in just 8 weeks? You start formulating a plan the will minimise cardiovascular fitness loss. Mountain biking also requires considerable strength in the upper body. It is not expected that a full recovery will be achieved before National selections. But we can do everything physically possible to still get a place on the team. Through good management and appropriate training a place is still a possible.
Chris will undergo surgery this week. He is currently waiting for the local abrasions to heal around the future surgical site. This will minimise any chance of cross infection. Once the bones are screwed back together the expected recovery time is 10 weeks. With this in mind I have been working with Chris and his medical team to come up with a method of allowing his training to continue without putting any stress on his shoulder. I must stress that his medical team will have the final say on when he can start training. My job is to get him ready for the trails without causing any further harm.
The plan is to set up a road bike on the wind trainer in front of the TV. In this setup the front wheel is raised, 30-40cm and the handle bars are turned backwards. The seat is then adjusted so that it is horizontal with the ground. This will allow for an upright seated position on the bike. Using only one arm the athlete will be able to hold on and pedal the machine. Chris should be able to pedal his stationary bike without holding on the bars. Absolutely no pressure can be applied to injured shoulder. Hopefully this will allow for continued training and little or no loss in fitness.
As time goes on and healing continues it is hoped that we can gradually lower the front wheel. This will mean that the setup will have to be reconfigured every few 3-7 days. This will allow a return to a normal riding position but still provide the respite required for recovery and in turn strengthening of the injury site specific to cycling.
The major problem facing Chris with this setup will be getting safely on and off the bike. This is where his team (family in this case) will come in very handy. They will help him onto and off the bike for each of his sessions. I will keep you all updated on Chris’s recovery and training over the coming week. Chris has his blog at www.justcrankit.wordpress.com