Fractured Ribs, marathon plan in tatters, advice needed...

I need a little advice please; 10 days ago on a snowboarding holiday I fell awkwardly and broke a couple of ribs!  It was probably ill advised to go snowboarding 3 weeks before the Manchester Marathon, especially as my training was bang on target, but never mind.

Unsurprisingly, I can't now run as breathing deeply is too painful and with every footstep I'm getting pain from the vibration in my chest.  I'm resigned to missing out on Manchester, but I don't want my 15 weeks of training to go to waste, so I'm planning on targeting Liverpool Marathon on 29th May now.

I'm lucky to have use of a turbo trainer, and have done a couple of sessions so far without any ill effects, so I'm planning on training on this to maintain my fitness until I can run again.  I've never been a cyclist, and know very little about turbo training so I'm wondering if anyone else out there has used one as a substitute for running whilst injured?

I'm hoping I can replicate the running sessions on my training plan on the turbo; for example yesterday's session was intervals: 7M of 1M jog, 4x1M at 10K pace with 400m recovery, then 1M jog to cool down.  I used my heart rate monitor to estimate the efforts of my warm up and 10K pace on the turbo, so I warmed up in Zone 2, then did the intervals in Zone 4.  I did each of the intervals for the duration of time a mile at 10K pace would take me.

Does this seem like a reasonable way of replicating things?  Any advice gratefully received...


  • Oof.

    Sounds like a good plan. You can go deeper and harder on a bike though - running is hard on the legs - cycling is much easier - so don't be afraid to push.

    I've done OK on fairly little running but with many turbo sessions on the bike in the past. Much better than I thought I'd do.

    Heal well.
  • Thanks cougie for the reply. image I'll perhaps push a little harder then, I just thought I'd go easy to start with as the last time I did any cycling was about 5 years ago, so I figured it'd take a bit of time to develop my 'cycling' muscles...

    Good to hear someone else has done well using a turbo with little running.  I'm hoping I can be back running in a couple of weeks time?  Guess I'll have to wait and see though... 

    Least I've got all my long runs in the bank, so hopefully it shouldn't be too difficult to pick up where I left off when I'm back running. Fingers crossed...

  • If it helps - in 2014 my longest run was a half but I did loads of turbo and in London I was only about 15 minutes slower than my PB. I did set off easy expecting the legs to really fall off - but they didn't !

    Fingers crossed for you.
  • As Cougie says, you can maintain fitness very well on a turbo trainer.  I was off running for about six weeks last summer then had 7 weeks running before a trail marathon.  Ok so I probably would have done better if I'd been running right through, but I was happy with the outcome.

    If, like me, you're not a regular cyclist you might find it difficult to maintain the intensity of your running sessions on the bike.  10k pace is what - 95%max hr - zone 5 or 6?  Running I can do mile reps at 10 pace without too much trouble, but I can't maintain 95%hrmax for more than about a minute on the bike. zone 4 probably equates to marathon pace. I also found that just maintaining 70% to replicate easy runs was a bit boring, so I tended to do various interval type session in zones 2, 3 and 4 and found this taxing enough.  I If you're a regular cyclist you might not have a problem with higher intensities though.


    When I returned to running I found that it initially felt really hard on my calves so perhaps consider doing a few calf raises to keep them active.

  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭

    Ouch Buxton! well i did my calf in skiing in February - serves us right ehimage

    Cougie and lou's advice i am taking on board for London.  my turbo is dusted and out and box sets downloaded.  Hope all goes well 

  • i find cycling really helps my running..unfortunatly running doesnt help my cycling

  • Thanks lou Diamonds for the reply; like you, I'm not a regular cyclist... I also don't normally run with my HR monitor on so I really wasn't sure what HR zone would equate to 10K pace effort. 

    My Garmin 220 only has 5 HR zones and when I was looking at the manual, it says Zone 4 (80-90% of max HR), equates to "Fast pace and a bit uncomfortable, breathing forceful" and "Improved anaerobic capacity and threshold, improved speed" so I figured that this was approximately 10K pace.  I'm hoping as my 'cycling muscles' improve, I'll be able to push up into Zone 5? 

    As for the boredom of replicating a 'long run', I'll let you know on Sunday as need to do 2hr 15mins easy to replicate a 16 miler; think I'm going to need a really good film to get me through! image

    Thanks also for the advice about calf raises; I hadn't thought about that so I'll definitely start doing some of them... My OH (a runner who always struggles with achillies problems) spends ages each day doing them, so I can just join in with him!image

    Ouch to you too Shedboy; hope the calf is improving and you're still on track for London.  What have you been doing to maintain your fitness since Feb?  It does serve us right really; who in their right mind would go on a winter sports holiday whilst maraton training!?!??! Oops...  (they are just the best holidays though!) Got my fingers crossed for you in London, let me know how you get on...

    Good to hear that cycling helps your running seren nos; fingers crossed it has the same effect on me.

  • I was skiing last week - two weeks before Manchester.  Who in their right mind etc etc....

  • Hope you had a good week skiing lou Diamonds; where did you go? We were in Val Thorens; had a fab week despite the fractured ribs! They've stopped me running, but thankfully they didn't stop me boarding...

    My OH has gone off to do a fell race this morning, I'm very jealous as its lovely weather in the Peak District today! Time for my 2hr 15min easy cycle now, box set is at the ready! ????
  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭

    Good luck Buxton - hope it went well.  I found not checking the time every minute helped as well as a few faster bursts now and again.  In answer to your earlier question - i ran on it for 4 weeks!! had a week and a half off because i got flu whilst skiing too (eh!!! thats just not fair but at least it was at end of week).  It was a mistake but i haven't done anymore damage luckily as i had a scan- i just haven't let it heal properly.  its just sore sore sore.  I actually ran 21 miles yesterday and whilst its tender and i basically was in agony for last 5 it done.  Did 2 hrs on bike today real easy.  

    If cougie is looking in I would appreciate their advice.  I've done dozens of 10-14 milers this year, 3 16 milers an 18 a 20 and 2 21 milers.  I have forgone a lot of the shorter runs and no speed work or intervals.  I was aiming for 3:10 but thats long gone and i should just run and enjoy it.  I was looking at 9mm pace (i ran 8:45 yesterday and the pace wasn't an issue just my injury and cramps in calf).  If i get myself and calf better I've been advised to walk run and go for 4:30 or slower.  I know I'm not race fit but did a 1:39 hilly half a few weeks back (yup injured as i NOW know - idiotimage).  I am totally at odds as to what is achievable.  I did 3:18 last year in my first marathon on less training but was very cycling fit. Don't actually care about time but kind of care about beating my boss who is going for 3:55 or something - hehe.  Any advice appreciated but i suppose i need to fix this thing properly now.  Ultrasound scan next week and week after as well as massages, strength, cycling and stretching.  

  • Just enjoy it you Duffer. And get back on your proper thread, Shed Boy. That's an order.image
  • ShedboyShedboy ✭✭✭
    Haha i feel like ive been caught being naughty! You know mw Ikle just looking for a second opinion - or one that suits my dumb racing head. You got it get better and just enjoy london!! Ues M'am image
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