Prevent Triathlon Injuries
Prevent Triathlon Injuries: By Brandt Quick
As the seasons and careers of a triathlete continue, the prevention of injury and physical longevity should be a great concern. The intelligent triathlete’s awareness of these important safeguards grows after each race and training sessions. Paying attention to one’s lifespan becomes critical.
Athletes are supposed to train and compete in races to promote the quality of life, not to prohibit it. Intelligent planning and adhering to a thought out plan will minimize wear and tear upon the body during rigorous
training sessions and prevent triathlon injuries.
As triathletes we engaged in three specific sports: swimming, biking and lastly running. These three events transpire back-to-back as one transitions from one to the other. The most demanding, perhaps, is the run and of course, it being last, the body has entered into a higher phase of exhaustion. Wear and tear is a byproduct from these stresses which can result in triathlon injuries.
Counteract Linear Stresses
- Strength training - Engage in a triathlon weight training program when preparing for a race and also in the off season. Weight training will increase bone density and thereby make them stronger. This gives the triathlete a stronger skeletal foundation to handle and absorb the linear stress placed upon the body. Triathlon weight training will also make one faster and much stronger.
As a triathlete myself, I have experimented with engaging in heavy strength training on the legs. This is not the best idea when in season. One should go with lighter weight loads such as stability ball leg curls, bodyweight squats, lunges, and straight legged barbells. Dumbbell deadlifts can also be incorporated to increase leg strength. During this time one can be a little more aggressive with strength loads on the upper body. However, during the off-season you can train with greater loads on the legs to increase strength.
- Lower body lateral work - Shuffling by using bodyweight only while in season is an excellent exercise. For example you can shuffle for approximately 20 yards moving to the left and moving to the right.
In the off season, of course, lateral work can be trained with greater intensity. Exercises such as plyometric jumps utilizing either both feet or 1 foot are great techniques. These exercises are great for strengthening our core, hips, ankles, knees, and feet. Plyometric jumps also improve balance. Our stabilizing muscles around the hips, the abductors and adductors, are strengthened preparing us for the swim, bike and running events.
- Core training - Many ask what is my core? The center of our bodies encompasses a muscular girdle core. This includes rectus abdominis, external obliques, the serratus, and many muscles of the back. These muscles and many more encompasses our core.
There are some fitness professionals that state that the core goes from sternum area down to the top of the kneecaps. I believe this to be true, and the entirety of the core need to be exercised to increase balance and strength.
The following illustrate some effective exercises while training the core:
- train upper abdominals (crunches, sit ups, toe touches)
- train lower abdominals (leg lifts, hanging leg raise, flutter kicks)
- train lower back (supermans, hyperextensions, reverse hyperextensions)
- train the rotational aspect of core (bar twist, Russian twist, rotary torso machine) -planks in all directions for the same time frame: front plank, both sides plank, back plank)
- Flexibility work - Training in yoga is one of the greatest programs to increase flexibility. One could either watch a DVD on yoga or enroll in a public class.
1-2 hours per week, at minimal, doing yoga will reduce inflammation from heavy training during prolonged periods of time and it will also guarantee tissues to be sprightly. Another rule of thumb, after your training sessions stretch the entire body and replace your nutrients no longer than 30 min. after exercise. To get deeper stretches your body needs to be warmed up. Be cautious that you do not overstretch. Deep breathing is very important while stretching. You should inhale deep and exhale through the nose. This will allow your body to lengthen a little more, and will oxygenate your body more, which is great for all around health and longevity.
- Nutrition -
will not only expand the longevity of a triathlete, but it is also a key component for overall well-being. This is great for both your body and your mind and they will thank you for it.
Make sure that your diet is clean and lean. Continue to educate yourself about making informed decisions when it comes to your diet. You can see a health professional or nutritionist that can give you some informative expertise.
- Recovery - It is crucial to recover the body that has been torn down during these intense training sessions. Get massages, see a chiropractor, take time off, engage in yoga, and do hot and cold water therapy in the tub. These are all excellent recovery tools.
As triathletes, we put a lot of time and effort into our training sessions. This must be done, because to be competitive in the triathlon world the body must be in tiptop condition. Train smart and guard your body so that it can be built well and preserved to last and fulfill your physical potential.
Paying attention to the details and following a well-planned training program ensures that you can prevent triathlon injuries. The hard part of becoming a complete triathlete is the training aspect, for that prepares you for the race. As I always say “race hard, train smarter.”
What are your thoughts on triathlons?
A triathlon is one of the most difficult races to train for and compete in. Your expertise and input is very important!
Do you have a great story or any thoughts about this? Share it here!
Brandt Quick is CEO/President of BQuick Athletic Development, BQuick Nutrition and BQuick Tri-Dat. He can be reached at 1-855-TRY-BQUICK (879-2784), and website at www.bquickfitness.com, www.bquicknutrition.com or www.tri-dat.com