As we move into the warmer months, people start hitting the gym more, eating better and seeing their Sydney chiropractor to get themselves beach body ready. For some of us, this time of year represents a more serious step up in our training. For some of us, these warmer months represent one of the toughest athletic events in the world: the Ironman.
The Ironman is no easy feat. It’s a gruelling 3.86 km swim, 180.25 km bike and a 42.2 km run. Proper training and technique is crucial. And we can help you on your path. Call your Northern Beaches Chiropractor at the Neurobalance Chiropractic Clinic now on 02 8039 6700 to book an appointment.
Athletes in training for the Ironman train on average for 15 or more hours per week. That is practically a part-time job! With the intensity of this training load, it is easy to see how injuries may occur. Overuse-type injuries are the most common in triathletes, who may suffer from conditions such as iliotibial band syndrome, plantar fascitis, shoulder impingement syndrome, patellofemoral pain syndrome and many others.
In order to avoid injury, it is important that training is well-structured and incremental. To avoid injury this season, here are some basic tips to get you started:
Don’t over-exert yourself with training too much too soon
Training load should always be increased gradually. Doing too much too soon can cause damage to your body, as it is not prepared for the extra stress of the new training program. This can cause both chronic and acute injuries. As a general rule of thumb, training load should not be increased by more than 10% each week. This refers to repetitions, duration, intensity or load. Push yourself, but listen to your body and work with it, not against it.
A large part of endurance training is practising positive thinking and visualisation. These long events aren’t only testing physically but also mentally. It is not only your physical stamina that will get you across the line but also your mental strength and determination. Engaging in positive self-talk has been shown to increase performance. It also helps battle anxiety and remain calm. It is important to remain calm as stress uses valuable energy stores. Take deep breaths and remind yourself that you are more than capable.
Stretching is extremely important for injury prevention and should be implemented into all training programs. It will make you more efficient during your work outs and less painful afterwards. Make sure you stretch before and after all training sessions, and particularly on the big day!
Eat the right foods
Fuelling your body in the right way is essential to getting over the line. Triathletes burn a remarkable amount of energy both in training and competition and so it is important to make sure you are providing your body with the necessary energy requirements to repair and refuel. Inform yourself on the types of foods you should be eating and how much of them. As a general rule, triathletes needs more of all food groups than the general population due to the increased training load. Carbohydrates will be particularly important for energy. Also, don’t forget about water!!!
Get on top of injuries early
If something starts to get painful or niggling during training, address it straight away. Don’t wait around until it is really bad. Remember, pain is only the tip of the iceberg and there is likely already inflammation and irritation to the tissues in the body by the time you begin to experience pain. As most injuries in triathlons are overuse injuries, it is important not to just keep pushing through, as these injuries will only get worse. Applying the RICE principles can be a great way to manage pain in the acute stages immediately after training. It stands for:
- Elevation (above the level of the heart)
Pain is your body’s way of letting you know you need to do something. Listen to it and address it straight away.
Finally, have fun with your training. Whether it’s an Ironman, an Olympic distance, the sprint or just a local fun run, they are all accomplishments. Enjoy the journey of working towards new goals and the lessons you learn along the way. Training with others can help you reach your goals and get you out of bed on the mornings when you may be struggling just a little to get up and put your running shoes on. Triathlons are a very social sport so enjoy being part of the community!
If you want to know more about how you can maximise your training and results, call your Riverview Chiropractor at the Neurobalance Chiropractic Clinic now 02 8039 6700 to book an appointment.