Sorry for the long delay in posting folks, I have been off the computer and off of work for a week. I am feeling very refreshed and recharged.
I've been working on some projects around the house this week and one of the biggest ones was putting together a training plan for the wife. As of last week she was cleared to train as she sees fit (with some obvious prohibitions for someone who has had disc. We've worked out a basic training plan, and will post the programming and her impressions for your reading pleasure. The 'we' in that sentence is very important. This is very much a collaboration. For several reasons: the first is the wife is an experienced athlete and coach. She has considerable knowledge of training in general as well as to what her limits are and how hard and far she can push.
The second is in this first stage of training after a serious injury the biggest hurdles are mental. Fear of re-injury is a major factor, and one often overlooked by the texts. We're going to do several things to assuage those fears. First,I'm going to listen to her and acknowledge those fears; this seems like a small thing, but many poor trainers ignore this step, and their clients suffer for it. Then we're going to avoid spinal loading and flexion totally and completely. The third thing is the idea of novelty. I have some boxing gear, and we're going to use it for some light recovery work once a week. Similarly,once she gets some basic strength back we are going to keep the work in the weight room novel and fun. The final key is comfort. If a trainee is comfortable with a type of training, then she will be more apt to push herself; this leads to more confidence. Programs applied with confidence and effort will always be more effective.
For the wife this means more conditioning work than I would normally prescribe for a post-op trainee. As a rower/endurance athlete she is more comfortable with this type of training than strength training, and she is happiest when she is training every day. Considering the nature of her injury, rowing (in a boat, or on the ergometer) is well out. Too unstable, too much shearing force on the spine, too much association with the injury.
Since Kate has talked about competing in a couple modes of cycling there was a natural progression, but she isn't quite ready to wheel the streets and trails of Western Washington just yet. We are very lucky to have a good friend at Lemond fitness who has loaned us one of their pro spin bikes. Very stable, super adjustable, and an absolute heavy-duty beast. The flywheel itself has to weigh 20 lbs. I damn near killed myself carrying it from the car. I set Kate up in a vertical position with the saddle very close to the bars to eliminate as much flexion as possible. The bars are very comfortable in her current vertical position, and will remain so as she progresses. The bike will allow her to get into a more realistic riding/racing position depending on where she decides to go.
Some people are down on spin bikes as a mode of training, but I think they're great for a number of reasons: very stable, very easy to increase load/resistance/intensity, zero impact.. but more on that later.
So that's the thought process. The training plan looks like this:
Bike 3x10 minutes just below AT.
Lift. starting with 3x12-15 reps
Rear foot elevated split squats
Calf raises (to counteract some of the innervation issues from the surgery)
light boxing workout (mostly at recovery intensity)
Intervals on the Slideboard or using the prowler (pulling, strapped to her hips)
and a 5 minute "free" interval.
Lift. same as above.
Bike short intervals 10x30:60 above AT
Tuesday, Friday and Sunday she will also do exercises prescribed by her PT.
This program starts Monday the 29th and will go for 4 weeks.
From there we will access and adjust.
Continuing with the collaborative nature of this project on this site we will be posting weekly updates from the wife herself. How she likes the programing, the new equipment, what her mental state is, and the truth about her journey. I think this is an interesting story. I will continue to write about technical aspects of training and the wife will focus on her personal story.