Forum home Road cycling forum Training, fitness and health

Broken wrist - how can i stay fit?!

Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
edited November 2008 in Training, fitness and health
Suffered my first cycling accident today - now stuck with a broken wrist and 6 weeks in plaster. :( I'd got it all planned that i was gonna up my mileage this winter with a view to improving on my first season. Now i'm really not sure what i can do. I've thought about maybe getting on the turbo, but can i (or anyone else) bear a sweaty, smelly cast for weeks on end? I've recently been doing a lot of running (did my first marathon the other week) and was looking forward to getting seriously back into the bike. How much fitness might i lose in 6 weeks? I'm worried that a lot of the miles i've put in over the last 2 years are going to be lost and i'll be back to where i was before i took up cycling. Any thoughts?



  • If it makes you feel any better, I had five months off the bike last winter (Nov to Apr). First few rides were pretty atrocious fitness-wise, but it came back quickly enough.
  • Sucks, doesn't it? :(

    I suppose how much you/others put up with a smelly cast is a matter of priorities! Presumably any form of aerobically meaningful exercise is going to make you sweat, so it may as well be on the turbo. Might be ways to minimise it though.

    I've invested in a bloody great industrial strength fan and it is excellent. Certainly my arms don't get sweat build up at all and it makes training indoors at higher intensities a LOT more feasible than ever.


    You will gain back a lot in the first 3-4 weeks of training but the balance of gains may take several months, or the break might help you breakthrough a previous fitness plateau. There's no formula for this stuff.
  • iain_jiain_j Posts: 1,941
    I was off the bike for about 6 weeks this summer after a bump, and when I got back on (just riding to work) I'd never felt so unfit - yet after just a couple of weeks of doing the 3.5 mile journey twice a day I felt like I was most of the way back to fitness.

    As for the smelly cast... I fractured my wrist years ago, after 4 weeks in plaster... my god, it stunk :shock: :lol:
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Why not keep running? you'll keep your heart/ lungs going nicely. And after 3 weeks ask for a plastic cast that you can take off for a shower? (I'm not a doctor or anything but it might be worth asking!)
  • Broken Collarbone saw me back on the Turbo in 2 weeks a couple of years ago. You need to rest for a period in order to get a good start to healing yourself, but you can come back quicker than you'd think.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Yep..turbo trainer. Get a heart monitor and so it properly - probably a good way to train.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    Thanks everyone! Looks like the turbos the way to go.
    I suppose how much you/others put up with a smelly cast is a matter of priorities!

    More a case of avoiding divorce! :wink: Great fan by the way, Alex. My club have got a track day lined up over christmas (never ridden track before!), so that gives me something to aim at.
    All i've got to do now is get Mrs G to hide all the food in the house! I normally eat like a horse and stay skinny - god knows how fat i could get not doing anything! :lol:

  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,609
    Make sure you ave a stereo or TV on - it can be VERY boring when you go over 20 mins.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • I'm in the midst of witners 3x 1 hour sessions a week at the moment. DVDs are the only thing getting me through them... although we had a powercut in the middle of Tuesdays sesh... 40 minutes turbo training in a powercut is very much what imagine purgatory would feel like.
    "In many ways, my story was that of a raging, Christ-like figure who hauled himself off the cross, looked up at the Romans with blood in his eyes and said 'My turn, sock cookers'"

  • i'm currently off the road recovering from a broken arm and dislocated shoulder and i invested in a turbo. It's very boring :cry: but i wouldn't be surpised if the very specific (and very hard) interval workouts i'm doing might not actually improve my fitness by the time iget back on the road :lol:
  • Hi Rich

    I crashed my bike on a mountain trail and among my minor injuries was a sore wrist but not broken like you! I tried cycling on my bike for short distances but every bump hurt my wrist so I just went home again! :x

    I couldn't cycle any distance for about three weeks and I certainly found that my fitness did drop significantly as I sat about at home and when I was going anywhere I had to walk!

    If you are not cycling for 6 weeks to maintain/increase your current fitness level you will of course have to do some alternative forms of exercise! You appreciate that If you did just sit about until your wrist is properly healed then your fitness level will reduce significantly but not I would think that would be to the level you were at before you started cycling!

    I haven't broken my wrist before so couldn't comment on that what a smelly, sweaty cast would be like! :lol: You should try using your turbo to see how it goes-you have put in a lot of work to achieve your current level of fitness and you are of course keen not to lose that!

    You might like to use a local gym until your wrist is healed as perhaps using your turbo for 6 weeks might become quite boring and repetitive-the last poster above my comment makes comments on using a turbo!! A local gym would at least give you a change of scenery and there will be a variety of equipment you can use to maintain your fitness level as much as possible! They will also have some cycling machines! :lol:
  • vorsprungvorsprung Posts: 1,953
    I came off in feburary and broke my collar bone

    This is a far worse time to break a bone, i missed all the early season stuff in Apr/May and was still in catchup in June

    Anyway, I was turboing most days as I couldn't ride the bike
    My plan was one or two "intense" sessions a week with intervals at 85% HRM+ I think by the end I was doing 90%+ for 3x10 minutes for this.
    One session a week I'd do a "long ride". This started out as 90 minutes at 70% and ended as 30 minutes at 70%+100 minutes at 80%
    The other days - or when I felt tired- I'd do 30 or 40 minutes at 70% or less

    When I came back to riding I still found it difficult and I felt slow
    I do audaxes (which you might think are not challenging but they float my boat) and I found I could do the "minimal" audax BR distance of 200km at a fair speed straight off, second week back on the bike. Then I tried the 2nd most difficult 600km event in the UK (Kernow and SW 600) and I didn't do this sucessfully although I did make it to 400km before I ran out of time. A couple of weeks after this I did do a 600km within the time limit.

    I think using the turbo for the 3 months I had to wait for the bone to set did help me maintain some fitness. However, I would say that I was less fit than I'd expect for that time of the year when I finally got back on the bike. This was despite being able to do killer intervals. Just shows that fitness on the turbo is not the same as on the road
  • Richie GRichie G Posts: 283
    Thanks again for your opinions. I think i'm gonna have to take it easy for a bit, as i ended up back at the hospital with suspected broken ribs- currently struggling to get up stairs! I'm gonna try and ease back into things with lots of walking, then when my chest's less painful start using the turbo. I seem to have been training for something or other the last 12 months so maybe a break wouldn't be such a bad thing. Still, i was told off by Mrs G for sighing loudly every time i see someone on a bike! Don't think i'm gonna be great company for the next 6 weeks!
Sign In or Register to comment.