Stay Injury Free This Season

The swim start at Ironman World Championship 2013

These days, sport seasons are long and triathlon season is no exception.  In order to reach your “A” race in top shape you’ve got to stay injury free.  That means nothing major or minor to slow you down, no time off for the flu and no over-exhaustion.  What can we do to keep ourselves healthy and injury free all season long?  Besides having a realistic training plan that is customized for your needs and ability, here are some other things you can do this year to avoid getting sidelined.

Maintain a healthy diet.  Too many athletes ignore this part of their training and it will hurt in the long run.  Train like an athlete and eat like an athlete.  Remember that the quality of your fuel will play a large part in the quality of your performance and recovery.

Check out this video of super foods for boosting your immune system.

Get fit.  Make sure that your bike is fit properly for you.  Many injuries I see are the result of a poorly fit bike.  Ask around for a great bike fitter.  And, use the right running shoes for your running style, the shape and movement of your foot.  Many problems like plantar fasciitis can be avoided with the right shoes.  Buy your running shoes from a specialty store that can advise you on the perfect shoe for you.

Listen to your body.  Sometimes tightness, aches or pains at the beginning of a workout is normal but when the pain worsens, or doesn’t seem to go away after a short warm-up there may be a serious problem.  Pay attention!  Don’t ignore these signal and get checked out right away.  The sooner I can get to work on an injury, the faster my patient will recover.

Do your homework.  In my practice, athletes always go home with some work like stretching, stability exercises or foam rolling.  Do it.  The key to longevity for an athlete is knowing their body and being able to do self maintenance when necessary.  By doing regular self body work you get to know what’s tight or weak and you develop confidence in your own ability to keep yourself tuned up.

Get regular checkups.  A serious sports-oriented physician will have a reliable biomechanical screening process to catch problems before they become injuries.  No guesswork and no waiting until an injury arises.  We use Functional Movement Systems and it works.

Respect rest.  Rest is recovery and you can’t avoid it.  I tell my athletes that they will rest at some point whether it is voluntary (planned) or forced (injury).  Choose wisely.

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