Overcoming Injuries


How can you overcome a injury that has stopped you getting fit?

Following the UCI Track World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico, our team pursuit squad were straight back into training with a big road block. But an unexpected setback occurred three weeks ago today, on a training ride back from the gym with my Team USN teammate Hayley Jones. I hit a pothole, disguised as a puddle, and hit the ground pretty hard. Immediately I could hear a lot of ‘crunching’ on my right collarbone. Thankfully, Hayley and a lorry driver looked after me until the ambulance came. Hayley was an absolute star and sorted out the logistics of getting my bike home and contacting our coach Darren Tudor and my parents.

At the hospital, X-rays were performed (as shown) and an impressive looking fracture to my right clavicle was revealed. The fracture itself was very nearly an open fracture, which means the broken bone penetrates the skin. Luckily, it didn’t, as I suspect that would have hurt a fair bit. The NHS stated that surgery may take up to six weeks, which would have meant no training for six weeks as there is no way I could have trained with a risk of an open fracture if I was moving around too much. I was extremely lucky and am incredibly grateful for the support of Sport Wales, as instead I was able to have surgery two days post the accident with an exceptional surgeon Richard Evans at theSpire Cardiff hospital.

My post-op instructions stated that the first ten days had to be no sweating in order to reduce the chance of infection. This was music to my ears as it meant I could train, just not sweat! Two days post-op, I was back on the bike. In the first ten days I did plenty of three hour turbo sessions and also, with the help and guidance from Sport Wales strength and conditioning staff, I was able to start a weights programme five days post op. The weights programme consisted of leg press, sled walks, body weight exercises and a specific core programme.

In order to maximise recovery, under the guidance of our Sport Wales nutritionist and USN I’ve been ensuring I’m having enough protein in my diet on a daily basis. I personally love the Protein Fuel 25 chocolate cream flavour drink, so have had a supply of these drinks to help aid growth and repair of the bone/muscles injured from the accident.

I’m now allowed to do efforts on the turbo, as pain allows. Three hours on a turbo isn’t the most exciting thing in the world, in fact, it really does test you. But with the Commonwealth Games 157 days away (at the time of writing), how could I not be motivated?

The physiotherapy and physiology team at Sport Wales have been a tremendous help and are working alongside my coach to help plan my rehabilitation. In less than two weeks I will be able to fully weight bear. So I’m currently counting down the days until I’m back on the track and road. For now, it’s a case of putting the work in at the gym and SRM/turbo sessions. As someone wise said to me last week; ‘There are no traffic lights on a turbo’ so hopefully this block will help me.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Sport Wales, Welsh Cycling and USN for their incredible support

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right?