Tri Coach Tuesday: Prevent Injuries and Extend Your season

by Coach Nicole Odell, NEO Endurance Sports

 

Endurance athletes often get overuse injuries. We want to do too much too soon, throw in too much speed work or just log way more miles than the muscles and joints can handle. The body will try to adapt, but if it’s too much, it will protest. The protest usually starts with soreness and tightness, and if ignored, will end in injury.

The keys to preventing injuries are maintaining strong muscles, especially surrounding the joints for stability, proper muscle firing for good mechanics/movement patterns, and flexibility to allow the joints proper mobility.

Even if you are a busy athlete juggling 8 to 10 hours of training a week, or even higher loads of 12-15 hours, does it make sense to work in 30-45 minutes of prevention or “pre-hab” as it is often called into those 10 hours? I can guarantee your fitness will not suffer and you will be better off for it.

Here are some things to make sure you have in your overall training schedule to aid in injury prevention.

 

The Warm-Up
Ease into your training and “wake-up” your muscles to get the blood flowing to them.  Dynamic warm-ups and active stretches are great, as are neuromuscular activation exercises. 5-10 minutes before your run can get those muscles ready to fire in the proper movement patterns. A warm-up routine that is also a strength session that I give to my athletes is from Jay Johnson. I did this routine before every run when I was training for the LA marathon and finished with a negative split and no injury.

 

Strength Training
Strength training is very important! This doesn’t necessarily mean get you have to get to the gym and push weights around, although there are benefits to doing that. Keeping the core and hip girdle strong are key. The scapular stabilizers are also good ones to work on.

If you have 20 minutes two or three times a week you can get in fantastic and effective core and hip stability exercises. My recommendation is to get the book You Are Your Own Gym by Mark Lauren or get the smartphone app. Start with the beginner program, especially if you haven’t done much recent strength training, and you’ll be surprised on how amazing the workouts are.

 

Another thing you can do is get a strength assessment from a sports medicine authority so they can look at those key hip, glute, and core muscles and tell you your weaknesses so you can address those. If you sit at a desk all day, you probably have a weak butt, and a strong butt goes a long way in endurance sports!

 

Post-Workout Recovery
Say you are going for a tempo run over your lunch break. Take the last 5 or 10 minutes of the run and gradually slow down your pace so you finish with very easy running and then walk for a bit. You can then finish up with some stretching (static stretching is OK here, but dynamic stretches like leg swings are great, too) before heading back to your desk. Cutting the run short by five minutes to get in a proper cool down will not affect your fitness.

 

The Recovery Day
Another aspect of recovery is the healing part away from training. Your schedule should have some easy days built in, or complete rest day. Your body needs a break from the training stress. On your easy day find a yoga class to take.  If you don’t want to go to a yoga studio, try netflix, YouTube, or yogavibes.com. At a minimum, learn some key hip & shoulder stretches and do those on your own. In fact, 10-20 minutes of yoga poses in front of the TV while you are winding down for the night can be wonderful for recovery, joint mobility, and injury prevention.

 

There are other recovery modalities that can be used and are important for injury prevention and performance (massage, chiropractic, …) but in the realm of injury prevention, I feel the above are most critical, especially for the time-limited athlete. We want to get fitter, faster, and stronger, and to do that with a reduced chance of injury, swap out a few minutes each day of training time to ensure you are getting in a good warm-up, cool down and recovery, and are incorporating strength sessions into your plan. You’ll feel better, stronger, and probably race better, too.

 

Complete article here

Tri Coach Tuesday: Three Workouts for Motivation in the Off Season

by Julie Dunkle, Coach with D3 Multisport

Most triathletes have a long season of training and racing and after the last big race, you hopefully took a nice break. I like my athletes to take 2-3 weeks of unstructured movement. No scheduled swim bike run in Training Peaks, no need to turn workouts green. Some of my athletes go crazy, they simply want to wake up and see Training Peaks workouts and others are so relieved to see nothing pop up. I find after a few weeks most are itching to get back to routine and this is where it can be a lot of fun.

I shy away from traditional triathlon training during these months to keep the athlete engaged and fresh. I like to address the three following areas:

1. Strength

a. This is the time to work on imbalances, test your single-legged squat, deadlift and bosu ball work and see which leg needs work, I guarantee one leg is better than the other.  Work both legs but add 20% to the “weaker” leg.

b. Get strong.   Track your squats, deadlifts and big muscle group exercise and push the max.  You will be sore (yes, sore) but this is the time of year to do that, without a long run on the schedule or hard bike sessions you can and should be sore.

c. Let the strength dictate biking and running efforts.

d. Do a Functional Movement Screening and find your weakness, imbalances.  Pay the money to get the correctional exercises and add those to your daily routine.

 

2. Address your weakness

 

Most of us want to do more in the sports where we are strong.  While that is fun, is it what you need?  This is the time to do a swim, bike or run block.  Here are a few blocks I have given athletes:

a. Swim Block:  3 weeks with a minimum of 25K per week.  I give them workouts that range from 4-7,000 and let them choose how to get to 25k.  Some will do 10k one day and take a day off, others prefer 3,500 each day, some do 2 workouts a day.  By week 2, the fatigue sets in and generally by week 3 they start to see some real gains.    We keep Strength as #2 priority and biking and running take a back seat.

b. Bike Block:  3 weeks with a goal of  200-300 miles per week depending on the athlete, their available time and weather.   I mix in a few harder efforts, which are optional based on how they are feeling, the bigger mileage is attainable when they can knock out 1-2 long rides outside.   Again, strength is #2 priority and swim and run take a back seat.

c. Run Block:  3 weeks for this block which will vary depending on the athlete, their goals, durability, and base.  The focus is 3 weeks of running 6 days a week building mileage each week. For some,  the goal may be the 30/40/50-miles week, others it may be hitting key runs 2-3 times a week and then the rest is base running.    The running carries the biggest risk of injury so be careful.

 

3. 15 hours in 3 days.  This is a fun one!

1-hour swim, 3-hour bike, 1-hour run – 3 days consecutively.    Determining if this is aerobic or has specific pace, HR, power efforts will depend on the athlete and current fitness.

 

There are many, many ways to gain fitness, have fun and be ready for race season.  These are just a few I like.   My #1 goal for the off-season is DON’T GET INJURED and #2 DON’T gain more than 5% of your bodyweight.  A few pounds are okay and likely a good idea if you race lean, but not any more. than that.

Original article here

 

Monday Masters: Podcast – Eney Jones on the Yoga of Swimming & Mastery in Sport

Highly decorated swimming coach Eney Jones

The latest podcast from Yogi Triathlete featuring swimming coach Eney Jones.

“The whole point is to be relaxed and centered during the storm”
-Eney Jones

Forward breath, two beat cross-over, Chinese take-out and driving with a snorkel. What the heck are we talking about?

Swimming, of course. Actually, we’re talking about downright intelligence of technique and execution that is steeped in science and equals less resistance and more flow in movement through the water.

Eney Jones is our guest today and she is straight out of the box. In other words, she is intelligent. She has an ability to take data and information and create new concepts that yield results. She has produced innovative tools and techniques that have greatly improved the performance of many well-known athletes. Eney is always stretching possibility and she does this by remaining in a state of curiosity. She has what yogis describe as a “beginners mind”. Refusing to rely on her decades of expertise, she is open to learning and by not resting on her laurels, she has become one of the most sought after swim coaches in the world.

The daughter of an Olympic swimmer and world record holder, Eney was putting down 10,000 yards a day in the pool at the age of thirteen. She was literally born to swim and through a lifetime of being submerged, she is now living her purpose more than ever as she guides athletes, every day, to finding their most efficient stroke and movement through water.

Eney combines the principles of yoga and athletics to pull out the highest potential in each athlete and she believes, above all else, that we must enjoy what we do with our heart. Combining love and strength in our sport equals our greatest performance. By not giving the negative any energy she draws upon the unique strengths of each athlete to create their optimal body/mind connection in sport and life.

LISTEN TO THE PODCAST

Related Eney Jones article: Scrutiny in the Flume