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So as I punish myself on this trainer, horribly unfit, I thought, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to document my ‘return to fitness’ and my goal of competing in the para-cycling nationals.

Along the way I will endeavour to give some training tips and hints and give some reasoning behind my coaching theories. I will also, most likely, demonstrate the dangers of self-coaching by getting some things wrong.

I say para-cycling Nationals (yes, you read that right) for a reason. A bit over four years ago I was hit by a car while riding and, among other injuries, I have been plagued by ongoing hip problems. The extent of these problems has resulted in a hip replacement (at the age of 25). The operation took place in November 2016 after other less invasive surgeries failed to provide any long lasting relief. As a result, I have a limited range of motion in my hip resulting in a provisional para-cycling classification.

You would be right to think that two months is a long time between hip replacement and a return to riding. Well, in a continuation of terrible luck, my wound from the surgery became infected resulting in a few extra weeks in hospital and a surgery to clean the infection out over Christmas. So now I have finally been given the all clear from the surgeon to slowly return to cycling. So it’s take 5234 of my return. And I have never been more ready!

The first thing I notice as I sit here (at 120w and 160bpm yet somehow still nose breathing) is how much fitness you can lose. To give you some background, at my best I had a FTP of around 330-340w and even just before the most recent surgery I got my 20min efforts back to 300w.

Now I would struggle to do 180w. Also at close to 90kg I have a little handicap on my 75kg race weight self. However my coach (me) tells me that there is no real reason for concern as it will all come back, and I know he is right. I just have to be patient, which can be very difficult at times.

I have everything planned out for my return and I have a little over three months until the para-cycling nationals (28th of April) so I hope you will follow my journey and get something from the training hints and tips along the way.

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