Race Prep 101 - Avoiding Injury
As of writing this, the Rottnest Channel Swim is in 12 (!!!) days. The HBF Run For a Reason is in 13 weeks. And there are countless other races on the horizon for 2019 wherever you are - fun runs, swims, triathlons, Ironman's, games, comps and the like.
We personally have a lot of experience dealing with the preparation for these events, from the view of personally competing in them, as well as treating athletes of all disciplines, at all stages in their training.
Because of this we've come up with a pretty straightforward prep list of 3 important things to consider, that translates across sports and events, to ensure you have the best race you can AND that you stay injury free (fingers crossed!).
Without further ado, let's get into them...
1) Start an actual training program
Whether you're training with a team or coach, or just following a program that a trainer (or google) has given to you, following a structured program will help in many ways. Firstly, it will ensure that you don't overdo your training in the early days (if you have a tendency to start out gung-ho and end up with injuries). It will also help to ensure you increase load at a calculated rate, and most likely include cross-training that you might not have thought to include. Lastly, it will ensure that you taper off in the days leading up to the race so that you don't go in fatigued.
2) Give your sleep & recovery the respect they deserve
If you suddenly start driving your car on 3 hour return trips every second day, when it's used to driving 15 minutes to and from work, it's going to need a bit more fuel in the tank and maintenance than normal. The same goes for your body. If you're increasing your training, you should be making sure you're getting at LEAST 8 hours of sleep. Likewise, you should be eating enough to cover the increased load, and good quality protein, fats & carbs at that. Lastly, your foam roller or stretching routine should become your best friend, to give your muscles the TLC they need - one step better is to also include a maintenance massage or physio session too.
3) Be proactive about any 'niggles'
Listen. To. Your. Body. Even when it's just whispering at you, because that whisper can quickly turn into a scream of injury. Dramatic? Maybe, but how many times have you been running and towards the end you get a bit of an odd feeling in your knee. Then it happens again at the end of your next run. And again. It doesn't seem to be getting worse...but it's there. Rather than waiting for any aches, pains, or niggles to get so bad that you can't do your sport (a situation we see time and time again), be proactive and see your physio/chiro/osteo/health professional of choice, as soon as the niggle starts. That way, you can get on top of it straight away, correct any inconsistencies in your form, and help it before it becomes a full blown problem.
So there are our top 3 tips. I know there are so many more we could add, from training amount, to specific recovery methods, but we believe in keeping it as simple and straightforward as possible.
What are you training for?
Do you have any aches or pains that need checking out? - Book in online here, or call us on (08) 9448 2994.