Returning to cycling after surgery

Returning to cycling and swimming after surgery

Like myself, life happens. You too might have had to take a break from your other triathlon training activities due to a surgery or illness. So what is the best way to return to cycling, swimming and running after a break?

Well that time for me has come!  And I am back in the saddle!

As I mentioned in my original blog post about Ironman 70.3 Hawai'i I recently had to get a minor surgery and so I have been sidelined from my normal Triathlon training plans.

Well as of today, I have Doctor's orders that I can resume normal function so I thought it was a good idea to draft together a post for my other triathletes, cyclist, runners and swimmers whom have been in this same boat about the best way to return to your sport.

How to return to Cycling after a surgery or illness


Depending on your surgery this can vary greatly! If you have just gone through a knee surgery and are returning to cycling, then I highly recommend that you ease into your normal activity.

This would be best suited for starting out on an smart indoor bike trainer. This is a gradual process with knee or leg surgery and you should always use your body as a guide. DO NOT PUSH YOURSELF.

My surgery was not that severe however I will still be doing a gradual increase on my indoor trainer as well. It is always better to be safe than sorry. I plan on doing gradual workouts increasing in intensity and time over the span of about two weeks. 

Base this on your own efforts and where you were before. To ease into your max time.


How to return to Swimming after a surgery or illness


Returning to swimming after a break is going to be a lot more difficult than cycling, for me at least.

Swimming tends to be most of our worst sports, in triathlon, and thus I have a feeling my body probably had the least amount of muscle memory built up for it. So how do I plan on returning to my usual swim routine.

Week 1 will be casual swims, probably about 400m and doing some slight drills. I will also go back to using a pull buoy and fins probably for this week as well.

The same with returning to cycling after a break, make sure you ease into it. Listen to your body! If you start to feel like you are doing too much, back off for now! It is better to be light on your training than to risk a crippling injury that will sideline you from your race.

Returning to any sport after an injury is always difficult. Most endurance athletes are so used to constant workout, that being unable to workout for any length of time is painful! For me this last two weeks has been awful! I feel out of shape. I look more out of shape. And as much as I am looking forward to getting back on my bike, I know that I am in for some of the hardest swimming and cycling workouts I have had in a long time!

About the Author James

Hey there, my name is James and I am the creator and editor of this site. I have been doing Triathlons for a while now and am competing in 70.3 Ironman's as well come this year. I created this site to help those new to the sport and to share my journey with other athletes.

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