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Accident - what now?

On my way home from work yesterday at 4pm, a car from the opposite lane cut across for a right turn and did not see me coming along on the cycle lane with stagnant traffic on my right ... reflex set in and I managed to break in time to miss the car, but did a somersault, landed on my head, crushed the helmet, hit the left shoulder/arm and skidded on the road to a stop.

Two pedestrians on London's Kings Road offered help, the driver of the car that caused the crash got out but quickly disappeared after one lady suggested to swap details. Unfortunately I was not quite with it, sitting on the side walk, so did not get his registration.

Sort of fixed the bike and cycled another 7k to Richmond Park when pain took over and I called the WAT officer for a pick-up. She got me straight to A+E (even before checking my bike!). After 3 hours I got the news: broken elbow, damaged shoulder joint and ligaments, road rash and bruised ego. Happy New Year!

Now, I had set-up my training plan to have 8 weeks base training 04 Jan to 28 Feb and then HIM training plan from 01 March to be ready for the Cowman on 04 July. Also planned on Reading Half Marathon 23 March, Thames Turbo Sprint 03 May, Windsor OD 13 June.

The doc said it will take "several months to heal" .... any suggestions how to keep my base fitness? I kept riding about 150-200k a week up to ... yesterday ... running about 15-30k a week, just did not swim much since October.

Is my plan still realistic and achievable if I can only get back into it 01 March? What should I do to keep fit? Not sure yet if I can do cross trainer, stationary bike, long walks, etc, as I feel like being hit by a bus, very soar all over today and all the medicine makes me feel tired.


  • risris Posts: 1,002
    that's pretty crappy for the start of the year but at least it is the start of the year and not the middle of it.

    i'm going to guess that the only realy way to know how long it will take to get back going again is when the injuries are on their mend path and you can get to a physio. you might be able to ride on a turbo in time (i'm sure i've heard of cyclists who have collar bone breaks doing that) but it might be running -i've heard good things about swim running - but i don't know how do able that is with arm/shoulder knack.

    rest up well, j2t, and i hope you get a fast mend!
  • david01david01 Posts: 17
    Sorry to here about your bad luck. I have had a number of injuires over the past few years i tryed to get back into trainning to fast and just made things worse. lisen to the doctors ever when you dont want to and most important thing is lisen to your body it will tell you when you are ready to start to train again.

    Sorry if this is bad news for you but i do'nt want people to make the same mistakes as me and put you out for longer hope you get well soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • jmurt71jmurt71 Posts: 46
    +1 to david01's post - you've just had a bad injury and you need to take it seriously and tackle it head on but also need to listen to your body so you don't overreach yourself. Obviously your attitude is really positive seeing as you're looking for advice straight away but you need to give it a while to let your body recover - and a break in January isn't going to ruin your year. It's possible you can beat the doctors target by a week or maybe even two or three, but not without listening to good advice from doctors, physios, etc - you see a lot of good pros (rugby, soccer players, etc) recovering quickly but they have expert support so you need to think that way too.
    Thinking positively is what's going to help you - just remember Michael Carruth (Irish boxer who won Olympic gold in 92, sorry but big event in Ireland) broke his arm three months before the Olympics and still won the gold, he actually spent time each day in the cast visualising training/sparring in his head - it kept his muscles stimulated and sped up his recovery. ('In the Zone' - Felicity Heathcote - his sports pyschologist is a good read)
  • Another +1 to the above.

    I broke my elbow after coming off my bike trying to swerve a suicidal pedestrian just down the road from you at Holborn three years ago. I'm amazed it hasn't happened again since, but bad luck on your accident. What a crappy start to 2010 – although your positivity is admirable.

    Don't know how serious your fracture is, or whether you've had to have it pinned (as I did). But I was in plaster for only about 10 days, and then back on my bike within about six weeks.

    Once you get back on the bike, invest in some elbow pads. They're cumbersome, and won't stop your elbow hurting like hell if you do come off again. Yet they gave me a bit more confidence on the road.

    You'll get some NHS physio once you're out of plaster, and make sure you do all the exercises vigorously. It sounds like you're the sort of person who would anyway! And if you don't get the arm straight with the NHS, it's well worth investing in some private physio to finish the job.

    All the docs will recommend swimming to stretch the arm (and I'm sure, eventually, to sort the shoulder issue), but listen to what they say about when it's safe to do it. The medical profession in general seems receptive to folk like us who want to look after ourselves, and I'd say most doctors would be happy to give advice on this.

    But above all, as stated above, listen to your body. Your positive thinking will get you ready in time for your events this year, but only if it's tempered by being careful and realistic about what you can do.
  • JulesJules Posts: 987
    I think leaving your injury to heal properly is vital. You don't want the psychological hit of going back to training then aggravating something as you went back too soon.

    When the time comes, I assume some form of pool based excersise should be the first thing you can do?

    By the way, if you want to claim compensation you still can even without the car driver's details. You need to report the crash to the police within seven days, then make an untraced driver claim via the Motor Insurers Bureau (see their website). Claiming might not be your thing but it's an option.
  • ZacniciZacnici Posts: 1,385
    Echo Jules - put a claim in. You have to replace a helmet, not cheap, and other bike bits, clothng etc which may also be damaged, I bet your wheels aren't true and they will deffo need re-trueing. It all mounts up. Again echo Jules and JMurt - let your body heal.

    Good luck with the recovery, heal first then I am sure you will get back on form quite quickly
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Thank you so much for your support and motivation. I WILL get back to even better form in time and I WILL complete my planned OD and HIM. Maybe with a different goal, i.e. finishing with my head held high rather than a sub xyz, but I WILL compete and be a triathlete.

    I also agree with all of you that I need to a) follow doctor's advice and more importantly b) listen to my body. For me triathlon is more about lifestyle, to overcome difficulties + hurdles and not so much about the actual race, even though it is a great motivation to prepare for a specific event and improve on previous performances.

    Elbow did not need pinning and I will be able to get some private non NHS help. Most importantly, the accident was a sad finish to an otherwise good 2009 and I see it as a great start to 2010 with an opportunity to review my training plan, get back to basics and prepare for a great secod half of the year!

    Thanks to all of you and have a great season 2010!
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Yes, I have access to a gym but no turbo. I will try a stationary bike and eliptical trainer if possible.
  • bathtubbathtub Posts: 280
    Sorry to read about your accident just2tri.

    Are you a British Triathlon Federation Home Nations member ? if you are they have a Legal Claims Service which is free to members. Link below

    http://www.britishtriathlon.org/triathl ... galclaims/

    Good luck and wishing you a speedy recovery.
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    The police came to my place to get details of the accident and basically told me ... bad luck. The driver should have been more alert.

    BUT more importantly I was told I should not be riding on the inner lane, close to the curb, unless it is a dedicated cycle lane {in London?!), but either in the middle of the road (never mind the speed, a bicycle is a vehicle with the same rights as a car - imagine the conversations with other motorists ....) or close to the right of my lane (middle of the road on a two lane street). This way cyclists are more visible to oncoming traffic.

    I have tried the "keep right in your lane/middle of the road" approach before and it seemed even more dangerous to me, as cars in m lane sway right to overtake parked cars and other obstacles and I was pushed onto the lane of the oncoming traffic. Only leaves the middle of the road approach and I will install a boxing glove holder where the bottle cage should be ....!
  • just2trijust2tri Posts: 198
    Ok, so you will not believe this. I went to see an Orthopaedic Surgeon specialising in sport injuries. Same diagnosis as A+E, broken elbow and injured joint/ligaments.

    Treatment? Sling, cast? Nope! Move it as much as possible, swimming, cycling and running, only limitation is how much pain I can tolerate!

    BUT need to be careful not to fall again on the same elbow/shoulder or I am doomed. Should all heal within six months!
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