Initial training volume on returning to training following an injury rehab year

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  • #15926
    Ed Docwra

    Is there a suggested method for working out the initial training volume I should start with following a year recovering from severe injury? I’ve read the illness protocol in TFTNA for returning to training and seen some suggestions on the forum where people have had surgery/injuries that have reduced their ability to train however nothing that really correlates to my situation.

    Last winter I took a ground fall on one of my first days out of the season (annoyingly missing out on one of the best UK winters in quite some time…but at least I am in a position to have future ones!) At the time I was in excellent physical condition following 18 months of progressive training using TFTNA and was at quite a high training volume, around 8 weeks out from my main objective. I suffered major trauma including two fractured vertebrae, a fractured scapula and six broken ribs along with a punctured lung, thus the vast majority of 2018 was spent initially in hospital then subsequently at home recovering followed by months of rehabbing with progressively more physiotherapy, Pilates and yoga and finally rebuilding general strength. I was able to incorporate some Z1 training (bike, walking then running) towards the end of the year but most of my training time had to be spent on the rehab, strength and mobility work.

    I’m now able to progress back onto a mountaineering specific program and so am looking at planning my transition and then base volumes but am not sure quite where to start as using the average weekly volume for the past year doesn’t seem appropriate given there was no real structured aerobic base work. At the time of the fall my highest weekly volume was 30 hours and I reckon I probably averaged somewhere between 15-20hours/week over the year, I haven’t gone through all my logs and worked it out as I doubt I should use this as my start point either. Is there any rule of thumb to work out the initial volume I should start with? Perhaps somehow using a percentage of the average volume from the year prior to my fall to work out an initial volume to start on or some other way?

    Also how would you incorporate the ongoing yoga and Pilates that I still need to do into a program? The volume of this is now much reduced but I certainly need to do a maintenance amount for the foreseeable future and incorporate that along with aerobic base and strength training and there are only so many training hours available a week.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #15932


    Congratulations on coming back from such a bad accident. I know full well how hard that is and how much grit it took you to get to where you are today. There are no hard and fast rules concerning nay of the volume recommendations we make. We provide the percentages of previous years as suggestions only. There is too much interpersonal variations

    With that said:
    As for initial training volume for you with your very high pervious level of training I’d try starting at the 50% of your average when you are last training. Start with 7.5hrs of aerobic work/week and see how that feels for a few weeks. With your background in training you’ll know pretty quickly whether is is too much. Be very cautious about bumping up volume int he early weeks till your body gets used to the routine.

    As for maintenance work. Many of use have to do extensive rehab/maintenance work just to get our the door. Trust me, you will too from here on out. While it does take time, I don’t think you should count this in your training hours. It will help you be able to train but will not really contribute directly to fitness gains unless you are at a very low level.


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