A timely reminder of some of the Dos and Don't s in Triathlon training.
I have been getting weekly massages and the masseur has been reminding me to stretch every week as all my muscles are really tight . It is a slow and long road of trying to unravel some of the important but often forgotten habits needed to remain fit , injury free and performing at my optimum level.
Like rest we tend to not rate eating well , stretching and resting with the same importance as training. I continue to play catch up but I am trying my best to change a few bad habits .
In a past post I did find a short piece about Meredith Kessler and how she took 7 years to change and adapt her training habits into the champion she is now.
And recently on firstoffthebike Blog there was a good piece on the Dos and Don't of training .I break lots of the rules but I think if I can get a few of these habits right I will improve.
Make It Work for YouTake a cue from Meredith Kessler and turn her experience into your competitive edge.
Create a long-term vision: A long-term plan opens the door of progression, which leads to constant evolution and improvement.
Be patient: It is easy to build a long-term vision, but much tougher to execute it daily and always maintain the vision throughout multiple seasons. Stick with it, and you’ll be rewarded.
Build a plan custom-tailored to you: It is Meredith’s willingness and ability to think outside the box and develop an approach that suits her that has delivered results. Do all the stated truths in triathlon training really apply to you? Are they truths, or simply unchallenged norms?
Think beyond endurance: Swimming, biking and running is the most specific training you can do. But to truly evolve your performance, you also need to focus on the supporting elements of nutrition, recovery, functional strength, psychology, skills and equipment.
Be consistent: Performance evolution is a result of many days, weeks, months and years of consistent training load. In fact, the reason we focus so much on specificity in training, as well as recovery, is to achieve training consistency.
Stay balanced: Without a tremendous amount of resilience and emotional balance, Meredith could not have succeeded. The triathlon lifestyle doesn’t promote life balance, but if you make it a priority and dedicated focus, you can achieve it.
Work hard: This sport isn’t easy. Meredith could not have evolved to her level without massive amounts of grit, determination, sacrifice and hard work. There is no easy way, but there sure is a smart way.
Read more at http://triathlete-europe.competitor.com/2012/11/23/the-journey-of-meredith-kessler#OruOuhUM02z6AhbR.99
Dos and Don'ts of Triathlon from First off the bike
by Jen Brown on the, firstoffthebike.com’s website.
Enough of the mistakes. Here are some simple things you can start doing today that will improve your body’s ability to recover from, and adapt to, your training so you can get faster sooner:
- Be insane – Insanity is doing the same thing all the time while expecting a different result (at least according to Einstein). If you aren’t happy with your results and want to improve them, do something different – anything! We all know that you need to change what you’re doing if you want to change the results you’re getting but few actually do it.
- Forget about your front! Finish a training session and what do you stretch (if anything)? Chances are you do a quick calf stretch on the front step or throw your leg up on the fence or the couch for a quick hamstring stretch before going on with your day. But what about the front of your body? Your quads, abdomen and chest are probably a bit neglected. But they can also the most problematic areas for triathletes given the amount of time you spend sitting each day (whether at a desk, in your car or on your bike). These areas get tight and put pressure on your hips and shoulders, leading to knee pain when riding your bike or shoulder pain while swimming. So make a point of stretching something on the front of your body – like your chest or hip flexors – every time you stretch your calves or hamstrings.
- Assume that because you swim, bike and run, you don’t need to do anything else – Triathlon, like most sports, consists of repeated movement patterns. Your work probably does too. These movements you repeat day in and day out create muscle imbalances which can ultimately contribute to a niggle in your shoulder or knee and ultimately an injury that stops you from training. Minimise your risk of injury by doing something that challenges your body in a different way. Go for a trail run, a mountain bike ride or head into the gym and work on your back, glutes and hamstrings. It will help to keep your muscle imbalances in check and reduce your chances of getting injured. Just remember to do everything with proper technique and form, and don’t be afraid to seek assistance from a professional if you’re unsure.
- Stay up late – I’m a night owl so this is something I really struggle with. But have you ever noticed how tired you feel when you go to bed late but still get eight-plus hours of sleep? The more sleep you get before midnight the better; it’s higher quality so you’ll get more ‘bang for your buck’. And while we’re on the topic: falling asleep on the couch doesn’t count! In fact, it’s probably the worst thing you can do because any ‘sleep’ you get – and I use that term loosely – is poor quality and it’ll leave you feeling even more tired tomorrow.
- Fall into the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ trap (a.k.a. baby got back) – Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it’s not important. Having strong glutes is one thing. Having strong glutes which function properly is another thing entirely. You can do all the squats you want but if you haven’t trained your glutes and core to stabilise you while you’re using one leg – such as when you’re running or riding – you’re not only wasting your time but setting yourself up for an injury. Learn how to make them strong but also (more importantly) to make them work properly (there is a difference!).
- Wear shoes around the house – Go barefoot (or if it’s cold, wear socks). Shoes shorten your calf muscles, affect your achilles and change your gait. Feet that don’t function properly can give you knee pain when riding or hip pain from running. So go barefoot – in a safe and warm manner – and remind your feet how they’re supposed to work.
- Sleep seven-to-nine-hours each day – Your body recovers from everything you put it through and grows stronger when you sleep. Not getting enough sleep also floods your body with stress hormones, which slow your recovery and can make it harder for you to lose weight. So turn the computer and/or TV off early tonight – even if it’s just 15 minutes earlier for a bit of extra sleep.
- Drink lots of H2O (even when you aren’t training) – When your body is hydrated, it’s like a green tree branch; it can bend and flex when a load is applied to it and is harder to break. If a tree branch dries out, it can’t absorb the same loads and breaks more easily. Your body is the same. Dehydration affects your performance and increases your likelihood of injury. So drink 300ml of water for every 10-kilogramss of bodyweight. E.g., 2.1 litres of fluid each day if you weigh 70-kilograms as a minimum and more if you’ve exercised today.
- Train in all 5 gears – Most cars have five gears (disregarding reverse – we don’t want you going there!), ranging from slow (first) through to overdrive (fifth). And, if you drive properly, you use all five. Your body is the same. It has five gears – or six depending on what training philosophy you adopt – ranging from easy to flat chat, five-second sprint pace. And you should use all of them. Most people tend to train at the same intensity – in the same one-to-two gears – all the time. So shake up your training and boost your performance by challenging yourself to spend time training in all five ‘gears’.
- Treat your body right – Trigger points are sore or tight spots which indicate places in your body where tension or stress is being stored. They limit your range of motion and can cause you discomfort, pain and ultimately injury. Spend five-to-10 minutes every day using a foam roller to release them.
- Get a golf ball or a hard spiky ball and roll it along the base of your foot – Your foot has 26 bones and 33 joints, making it one of the most complicated and important parts of your body. What happens at your foot will affect every other part of your body – from your knee to your shoulder –so making sure that your feet function properly is essential especially for runners. So roll baby roll!
- Care for your core: a strong core – being all the muscles in your abdomen, lower back and hips all the way to your knees – is essential for everyday life and your sport. It helps to alleviate back pain, reduces your risk of injury and allows your body to use all the power your arms and legs generate to propel you forward faster. Have a look at this post for some tips on how to do it properly.After deciding to leave the law, Jen began working as a Personal Trainer and specialises in helping triathletes and runners build strong, resilient and injury-free bodies. She is also a Development Level (Level One) Triathlon Coach and established Sparta PT to help triathletes and runners of all levels realise their potential.