Mark Webber broke his leg in November 2008, during his annual Tasmanian Challenge. The Australian was cycling and collided with an SUV, sustaining a broken right leg. He underwent surgery and began the recovery period.
Over the last couple of months, he's given us updates on his progress, remaining confident that he will be back in the car as soon as possible. Until now, he has been pretty quiet over the details of his training, but now he is providing more details.
Because the injury was a compound break, Webber had to undergo surgery and recuperate for a couple of weeks. As soon as he could, he returned to the UK, and began training. As he couldn't put the leg through much strain, he had to adapt his fitness regime accordingly. One particular change he made was to train with an oxygen style mask that actually thinned the air. The thinner the air, the harder the body has to work, similar to walking up a mountain. Obviously, under controlled conditions, this meant Webber could train his body without pressuring the injured leg.
As soon as the wound was healed, Webber could get into the pool, which is a great way of keeping aerobic fitness up, with no strain on the limbs. Now, he has added another item to his training schedule - cryogenic therapy.
The basics of this is Webber enters a cold chamber at varying temperatures for different lengths of time. Mark clarified he went from a room at normal temperature, to a chamber of -50 degrees C. He would stay in there for 30 seconds, and then move on to another one for three minutes, at -130 degrees.
It sounds utterly hideous, but apparently it boosts the immune system, keeps your body feeling good, and is also good for cellulite.
Of course, Webber doesn't need to worry about that, as his level of fitness is clearly up to scratch. Thanks to the addition of cryogenics to his schedule, he now believes he's ahead of schedule when it comes to returning to the car. Webber will be back in action on February 11th at the Jerez test, and says that is the moment they'll know whether his training has paid off. Until then, though, he is confident that he will be more than recovered enough to start the season.