Triathlon season is almost upon up us! Avoid an injury at this stage by avoiding these common pitfalls:
1. Too much, too soon
At this time of year, triathletes are increasing the length and intensity of their sessions in preparation for race season. Injuries happen when the load put on our bodies is too much for our tissues to withstand. Before increasing your training load, ask yourself; Is you body ready for this increase? Have you built up steadily over the last few months? If so, increase you mileage or your intensity of sessions in one discipline at a time. 10% a week is a good guide, and this means a 10% increase in either intensity or mileage, not both!
I would argue that the rest day is the most important training day!
Triathlon requires high volumes of training. Not only does the triathlete have to find time to train for three very different disciplines, they also need to incorporate endurance, power and skill training into each discipline. Most triathletes are working full time, have family and social commitments. It’s hard to fit it all in!
Many triathletes push themselves until their bodies break down and they get an injury. If you are tired, take a rest day or chose a lighter session for that day. If you are physically or mentally tired, you will not get the benefit from a tough session, and you increase your risk of injury.
If you are training hard, you need to consider how you are fuelling your body. It is important you are well nourished. Otherwise you could find yourself picking up every cold and sore throat going! Choose healthy options, slow release carbohydrates, adequate protein and unsaturated fats. Healthy snacks between meals are important to avoid highs and lows in blood sugar levels during the day. After a training session, you should eat a snack which contains some carbohydrate and protein. Try to eat a proper meal within an hour after training. And don’t forget to stay hydrated!
4. Invest in a bike fit!
You spent an open fortune on a bike but shy away from investing in a bike fitting?! It is so important that the bike fits you.
5. Flexibility and strength
It’s hard to fit it all in, but in my opinion, flexibility and strength are the most important factors in injury prevention. Flexibility is easy! Three times a week (more if you can), grab a mat in front of the TV, and stretch/foam roll all of your major muscles.
Strengthening is in my opinion a little more difficult. It is important to identify where your weaknesses lie. You may need to consult a Physiotherapist to help identify what areas you need to work on. This will allow you to focus on the important areas, which is more effective for injury prevention and also more time efficient!
Good luck! And if you need any assistance or advise, please do not hesitate to contact us at East Coast Physio.