While you’re prepping up for this season, make sure you stay healthy with some of these tips to prevent injury as you start ramping up your training.
I’m chomping at the bit to get on my bike again. Outside. Not on the trainer. After such a harsh, cold, wet, nasty winter, the weather is finally warming up enough to get outside and get serious about triathlon training.
Honestly, this is a post that I’m writing for myself more than anything in a valiant effort to stay off the disabled list.
Forget last season.
I’m sure you can remember how great you felt at the end of last season, but if you haven’t been training since then, don’t start off training where you left off in October. Just because your brain remembers and thinks you can and should be doing more, it’s probably a safe bet that your body is not quite there yet. Start slow and don’t do a bike/run brick as soon as there’s a warm, sunny day outside.
Front end load your swimming and biking workouts.
Along with starting off slowly to build your base again, use the swimming and biking first because they are lower impact. It’s a great way to get things going again with cardio conditioning before you blast off with high intensity run sessions.
Use your strength training to get a jump start.
Hopefully you’ve been keeping up with some strength training during the off season – always a good idea. And it’s the perfect way to strengthen and build a good strong base, which can help ward off the sharp jab of injuries. Click here for some great triathlon strength training workouts.
Trainer’s tip: use plyometrics to build strength and practice shock absorption. Plyos should not be high impact if done properly. Always land lightly and stop the set before it gets too hard to go easy.
Stretch and Roll.
I know for myself that, with my new-found vigor, it’s very easy to skip proper warmups, cool downs, and very hard to take the extra time for stretching. But look at it this way: you wouldn’t take your hot rod out of winter storage and drag race it the first day out. You’d charge the battery, change the oil, give it a tune up and warm it up gently.
Listen to your body.
Get Zen with yourself (in the way that you value intuition), and learn to accept the feedback your body is giving you– even if it’s something you don’t want to hear. Think about how it’s better to miss a day or two of training by taking a rest day than to ignore a nagging pain and get sidelined for several weeks. In my opinion, it’s better to be safe than sorry…although my tendency is still to push too hard too fast!
When it comes to preventing injury in your triathlon training, moderation and awareness are your keys. Train smarter, not harder. Balance is best, so make sure you put some effort into your injury prevention plan and you’ll stay feeling good all spring and the entire season.