July 17, 2015
by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching
My July blogpost is about how to deal with an injury. I chose this topic because I’m just getting back from an injury and that’s why I’d like to write about it. Being inured was a hard time for me and I learned a lot about myself during this time. Being injured probably taught me a lot more than if I would have been racing and training like planned. I think that I’m an easy athlete to work with but things are definitely different when you are injured. Have you ever been injured and had to take time off the bike?
Of course, I have been injured during my long career as a pro cyclist. I’ve crashed, had broken ribs, injured my knee(s) etc. But as crazy as it sounds, I never actually had to take a lot of time off or miss races due to it.
So this situation was all new to me. The difficult thing was that my injury was an old injury that had returned. This means I made the first mistake by getting back on the bike and I kept racing even while the original injury was happening. Now I was forced to pay for that mistake. The only thing we could do was to figure out what is causing that pain in my right thigh and how to solve it. I could not keep riding my bike through the pain.
Yes, I was struggling with just riding easy, resting a lot, and not racing for almost 2 months.
I just love to ride my bike and if I don’t ride my bike, I like to be active and do other things. I can enjoy a rest day and taking it easy, but spending a whole day on the couch, watching TV just isn’t my thing.
Of course, as a pro athlete it is even harder if you are forced to take time off during the race season. There is a lot more pressure to perform or deliver results. Everything you think about is to be back on the bike and racing as soon as possible.
I still hoped to be able to race my Nationals, but time was running out to get fit and ready to have a good race. This added even more stress on me.
Once we finally decided that I’m was not going to race the road race Nationals in my home-country (Switzerland), I felt much better. Instead, we decided to take the time to get the physical treatments done, heal and recover, and get back to normal training along with some local racing. This was the best plan to get me back to 100% as soon as posisble. The new goal was to be back racing with my team in July. Luckily it all worked out and this week I’m racing with my team in Canada.
– If you feel that something isn’t right don’t just push through it
– Try to figure out from where/why the problems and pain are coming from
– I had to learn to be patient and to really listen to my body.
– I had to learn that ignoring pain wasn’t the solution.
– Once we knew how to treat the injury, we were also able to come up with a plan. That helped me a lot, it is important to have a plan and a goal.
– Step by step back to normal training
– Trust and listen to your coach! Do exactly the workouts/ training you are supposed to do
A big thank you to my coach! I know she always gives me very good advice but for sure she had a hard time with me in these 2 months. That’s why I appreciate her help, patience and support even more.
Thank you also to my team to give me the time to recover and a reasonable race program for my comeback.
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ABOUT PATRICIA SCHWAGER
Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen (Current ALP Cycles Coach) as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.
For 2015, Patricia will race for Team Tibco. Along with racing she’s looking to share and pass on her knowledge in her new role as an ALP Cycles Coach. Visit her online at http://patriciaschwager.com
About ALP Cycles Coaching
ALP Cycles Coaching is located in the mountains of Colorado, and is a cycling coaching company with over 25 years of professional sports experience. ALP Cycles Coaching is unique in that we have 4 coaches, Alison Powers, Jennifer Triplett, and Patricia Schwager who each brings her own coaching strengths and personal experiences. We work together to create a training plan that works for each and every person. Visit them online at http://alpcyclescoaching.com
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The last lap took everything she had. She crossed the finish line euphoric and then slumped over her bike, weaving to a stop and bent over, exhausted from the effort.
We all have a pain cave. The question is - how deep do you dig when you approach it? How willing are you to push beyond your perceived physical and mental limitations? And what is it you fear most that you tend to avoid because it shines a light on an area you need to address?
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