News: Helping Eddie Dunbar Back to Best


Trainsharp give us an insight into dealing with a broken collarbone and how they helped get Ireland’s Eddie Dunbar back to his best after his recent get down

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News: Helping Eddie Dunbar Back to Best

Breaking your collarbone is part-and-parcel of being a cyclist, there aren’t many professional cyclists that haven’t. TrainSharp coached Eddie Dunbar was one of the many that suffered a broken collarbone recently after coming-a-cropper on a training ride near his hometown in Banteer (a year after breaking his left one in the Tour of Yorkshire).


Our initial reaction to hearing of a broken collarbone is “how bad?” If you get lucky with the break and it is a relatively simple, transverse break you can often be back on the bike in a couple of days. In other cases, with a compound, displaced bone, the healing process is a lot longer.

Eddie’s break wasn’t the cleanest break, but a successful session at the hands of a skilled surgeon meant that Eddie was able to get back into the swing of things pretty quickly.

Our job was to ensure that Eddie was as relaxed and panic-free as possible during this process. Understandably, he was a little aggrieved at the situation, as his chances of riding the Tour of California – a major season goal of his – were slashed. Panic is the first thing to control. Once you explain to the rider that it isn’t the end of the world, the rehab process is much smoother.

Acting as a buddy to bounce ideas and chat to is as much a coach’s job as telling a rider what training session to do. It’s not all turbo sessions and barking instructions!

We got Eddie back on the bike less than a week after the incident, but to begin with it was all easy riding indoors; He still clocked 10 and a half hours of riding in his first week back, 6 days after breaking a bone, with some new metalwork drilled into you is good going by any stretch!

Making a positive out of the injury was the priority. One of the biggest challenges a young rider has to deal with is the sheer number of races they have to do. Often racing starts as early as February and runs right through to end of September/October.

Without much opportunity for some R&R, sometimes an enforced period of rest can be a god-send for the youngsters. To this end we were able to plan in an extra ‘peak’ to Eddie’s plan. Re-setting the training in April, using the rest period to work on the basics again – steady rides, leg strength efforts, and generally enjoying the bike (café rides, seeing friends and family etc.) before setting Eddie up for a new target, the An Post Ras.

With some enjoyable turbo sessions to pass the time, mixed with some race-specific turbo sessions that were tailored to replicate the style of racing at the Ras, he was itching to get back to racing, sure enough he was firing on all cylinders at the race.



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