Flora Duffy has been pretty quiet on social media in recent months, and this week she explained why as she continues to battle injury in the hope of getting her Paris 2024 bid back on track.
The reigning Olympic triathlon champion has not raced since November 2022, and she is still fighting to make it back to competitive action as a knee problem continues to keep her on the sidelines.
The 35-year-old Bermudian, speaking in an Instagram post, said it was amazing she managed to even make it through to the end of the 2022 season given the issues caused by a tear to her patella tendon. She admitted that the struggles she has endured since have left her lacking the motivation to post updates on her progress.
Flora Duffy explains knee injury
She explained: “I’ve had a knee injury for the past few months, well more than that actually. It started bothering me just after Commonwealth Games last year. So end of July last year. And then really flared up beginning of September, and a scan showed tearing in my patella tendon.
“Seven weeks before 70.3 Worlds I had a PRP injection, which is a platelet injection into my patella tendon, to help it heal. It was very painful and I couldn’t train that much right after it so I had to be very careful with my load from that injection all the way to the end of November, when my season ended.
“I didn’t run too much – just one or two sessions here or there and I was very careful with the amount of riding and intensity and swimming that I was doing. So yeah, very amazed that I got through the end of the season. However, during that time I was definitely making my knee worse.”
If Flora thought that a new year might bring improvement she was to be disappointed, as 2023 saw that knee problem escalate.
2023 brought more pain for Flora
“In January of this year it flared up really bad and since then it’s been a real struggle to calm my knee down,” she revealed.
“There’s now a few other things going on in my knee, which need to be rehabbed alongside my tendon.
“So it’s been a real puzzle to figure out the correct loading as well as how much training I can do on the side. There’s been sort of large chunks this year that I haven’t trained just to try and calm my knee down and focus on my rehab.”
Duffy is taking things very gently right now as she tries to plot a way back to actual racing. She hopes that will be in time for the Paris test event in August, but there are no guarantees.
“Since being back in Boulder – I got back here mid-April – I’ve started swimming again and doing a tiny bit of riding. Swimming only lots of pull and not push off walls, which is quite frustrating.
“But yeah, I think progressing now – I have a good team of physios and doctors here that are helping me. And I would like to be back on the race course in August for the Paris test event but I just need to see how my rehab goes, how much training I’m able to add. And just take it really week by week.”
Paris 2024 the big goal for Duffy
The reason Flora will not push herself too hard – the big goal for her is not this year. It’s the summer of 2024 when she hopes to defend the Olympic title she won in Tokyo in 2021.
“I don’t really want to push myself to get back because my big goal is next year, Paris 2024 at the Olympics. And so, as frustrating as this is, I have to keep that in mind. And for everyone else out there struggling through an injury, I know what it’s like. It’s so annoying and you feel like you’re making no progress.
“But yeah, I’m just trying to stay as focused as I can and do my rehab and be very patient with my training, which is really hard for me to do.”