Tag: 10k

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #7 The Journey

The Journey
Athletes come into the season excited, ready to train, wanting to give it their all. It is usually the coach that is telling them to hold back. Success does not come overnight, it is a process and the athlete that recognizes this as a journey to their goals and takes on their training with patience recognizes several things along the way. There are highs and lows. Athletes that take on these challenges are the ones that find the reward at the end of the season. Too often athletes want to go, go, go and they are missing the fun and the journey along the way, before they know it they have run themselves into the ground and are done before their season even starts.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Why Am I So Prone to Ankle Injury?

A common injury to both athletes and non-athletes is an ankle sprain. This is usually caused by landed on an uneven surface which causes the ankle to twist, stretching or tearing the ligaments that hold the foot in place. The most common form of an ankle sprain is when the foot turns in, damaging the lateral (or side) ligaments. Medial ligament sprains are rare and usually occur with a fracture to the tibia caused by the foot turning out.

There are 3 grades of severity for ankle sprains:
Grade 1

  • Some stretching or minor tearing of the ankle ligaments most likely lateral
  • Mild pain
  • Mild swelling around the bone on the outside of the ankle
  • Some joint stiffness or difficulty walking or running

Grade 2

  • Moderate tearing of the ligament fibers
  • Moderate to severe pain and difficulty walking
  • Swelling and stiffness in ankle joint
  • Minor bruising

Grade 3

  • Total rupture of ligament
  • Complete instability of joint
  • Severe pain
  • Severe swelling
  • Extensive bruising

The recovery from a sprained ankle can be quick or can last months depending on the grade of sprain and your active involvement in rehabbing the injured area. Your best bet for assisting with a quick recovery time is to initially use R.I.C.E.

Rest the injury to reduce the risk of further injuring the ankle. Some therapists advocate partial weight-bearing as soon as tolerated to help rehabilitation time.

Ice will reduce the swelling and increase circulation to the injured area. Place ice on the ankle first thing following the injury for 15 min. Repeat this every 2 hours.

Compression will also assist with reducing swelling and bleeding.

Elevation uses gravity to help reduce bleeding and inflammation by allowing the blood to flaw away from the injured site.

The next step in recovery is to do rehab on your ankle working on stretching and strengthening those injured muscles, tendons and ligaments. The most important part of rehabilitation of an ankle injury is range of motion. Great exercises include making circles with your feet or spelling your ABC’s in capital letters with your feet. Make sure you have something close to you for balance and keep your core engaged. The calf muscle usually tightens following an ankle injury for protection so gentle stretching will aid in a faster recovery time. Make sure you stretch both the Gastrocnemius (large calf muscle) and the Soleus (smaller calf muscle that attaches below the knee).

Stretch should be felt throughout the whole calf muscle.

Stretch should be felt in the lower part of the leg closer to your heel.

Stability and core exercises are also an important aspect to the rehabilitation and strengthening of an ankle injury. Such devices as the Bosu and wobble boards place the ankle in a “controlled chaos” which trains the body how to react to situations that may damage the ankle. These tools will strengthen the muscles, tendons and ligaments surrounding the ankle and should be incorporated into any exercise routine for someone who has suffered this kind of injury.

What ever grade ankle sprain you have; Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation are the first tools to a rapid recovery. After that a good rehab program involving range of motion and strengthening, perhaps utilizing a Bosu/wabble board, should be your second step. Ankle sprains can be a continuous problem and should be addressed sooner rather than later. If you would like more information on ankle rehab or strengthening please contact Thomas Eagen.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #6 Listening to Your Body

Listening to Your Body
This is for in training and in racing. Recognizing signals that something is “off” and dealing with it.

Your training program is a guideline, but if something feels “tweaky” knowing that your body needs a break at that time rather than trying to push through the workout to “do more” can lead to injury later. As for racing, listen to your body cues and respond to them appropriately instead of waiting until it is too late (ie: fueling properly, pacing well, and staying on your game plan for the day).

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #5 Considering Factors and Elements

Considering Factors and Elements
From experience, I can tell you that no race is the same, even if it is the same race from the previous year. In the sport of Triathlon, there are so many variables on the course that play a roll on race day. Bouys drift, swim distances are mis-marked, winds blow in all directions at different times and shifting intensities, road surfaces change with weather, etc. The good athlete considers these elements before beating themselves up over not getting a PR or not showing time improvements. In fact, the good athlete keeps their head in the game at these times, while the less experienced athlete throws in the towel before the race is even complete. Mentally prepare yourself for all conditions so there are no surprises on race day!

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #4 Racing in Prep for “A” Races

Racing in Prep for “A” Races
Too many times athletes are caught up in PR’ing at every race and not considering the factors, the elements, and most importantly not recognizing that this is not their “A” race. Yes, you can PR in a non-“A” race, but the main goal is to get out there, learn more about yourself and your race tactics to prepare for the big season “A” race.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #3 Comparisons

Comparisons
It’s all about competition right? So many athletes think that one “less than perfect” practice means they are not progressing. Once again comparing yourself to others on the track, at a bike ride, etc. really should not mean anything to you, or your coach. If you are following your game plan then you should reach your “A” race prepared and ready. If you are chasing down someone in training to get the “win “ for the day, then you are venturing from your plan and possibly causing interruption to the weeks workouts ahead. Compare yourself to YOU, by following your training journal and listening to your coach.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #2 Following Their Plan

Following their plan
Coaching a team is fun, but an athlete comparing themselves on a daily basis to their team mates is super detrimental, more mentally than anything. A coach prescribes a program for YOU as the athlete, if another athlete is doing more volume in their training, then that is what their coach feels they need. Don’t measure your training program against another athlete’s without fully understanding the coaches goals for them. More is not always better and the coach is considering several other factors when designing each athlete’s schedule. So it is best to follow your plan, your heart rate and your workout goals. Stay focused and don’t be concerned about what others are doing.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

Tips to Become a Successful Multisport Athlete: #1 Consistency

There have been a handful of commonalities I have seen in athletes throughout 9 years of coaching that have lead to some reaching success or their goals sooner than others. Not one tip makes an athlete better than another, it is just a common base of similarities that has been recognized amongst athletes.

Consistency.
Making your training a priority regularly, starting early with base building and continually making your training a habit has lead to many athletes reaching their successes. Several athletes use the procrastination technique due to online programs such as 12 weeks to your first half ironman and such, and as this does get many to the starting line it is eliminating the importance of base training and there is very little room for error with such a short time frame (ie: illness, injury, etc.). When an athlete has been training consistently, lost time tends to have little to no effect on their performance due to the solid base they have established with their base training methodology.

If you are interested in beginning training, or you are ready to take your training to the next level, contact Teresa Nelson to begin.

To Go Bare, or Not to Go Bare? That is the Question!

Many magazines and gyms have heard the hype about running barefoot. It’s becoming a craze with running enthusiasts everywhere. There is even a brand of shoes on the market that are supposed to mimic wearing nothing called Vibram FiveFingers. The company states that “it puts you in touch with the earth beneath your feet and liberates you to move in a more natural, healthy way.” So the question is; what is the best way to run for your feet; no shoes, natural shoes, or running shoes?

Many exercise physiologists believe that wearing shoes, like other braces and supporters, weaken the muscles, ligaments, tendons and natural arches that support the structure of the foot. They think that the added cushion and supportive shoe inserts create poor biomechanics which can lead to increased risk of foot, knee and leg injuries.

On the other hand, some experts believe that certain proper fitting shoes can actually correct a lot of biomechanical problems, helping to alleviate the risk of injury. They state that if correcting foot pain was as simple as going bare foot, why isn’t everyone doing it, and why is the pain still present. Jumping into wearing no shoes can shock the feet, and without an adaptation phase can create more severe foot problems.

Until there is definitive research about whether one is better than the other all we can do is make an informed decision on what mode of running would benefit us most. So here are the pros and cons of barefoot running.

Pros:
* May develop a more natural gait, strengthen the muscle, tendons and ligaments of the foot
* Helps the calves & Achilles tendon lengthen and stretch, reducing likelihood of lower leg injuries
* May learn to land on forefoot rather than heel. Heel striking while running came around because of the excessive padding in the heels of shoes. Research is now showing that heel striking is less efficient, because you are basically putting on the brakes every step. Landing on the forefoot allows the arches of the foot to act as a natural shock absorber.
* Can improve balance and proprioception by working smaller stabilizing muscles

Cons:
* If you are not experiencing any problems, should you not run in shoes?
* They offer a layer of protection against foreign objects and the elements like snow and rain.
* Overworking the small muscles, causing Achilles tendonitis and calf strains.
* Without the stiff-soled shoe, our soft tender plantar surface may be more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
* Blisters will be your friends for the first couple of weeks without shoes.

If your feet have had aches that wont go away, try bare foot running. Just be aware that there are some consequences of running with protection; but your feet may thank you for the freedom to move more naturally, or they may say get me back in my protective environment. Only you can decide what is right for your own feet. If running bare foot is just too much, try one of the new shoes on the market like the Vibram FiveFingers and see if it is that perfect combination of support and freedom you feet need. Like any exercise, don’t jump in full bore, try it out a little at a time and listen to your body! Have fun and get running.

Pilates + Running = Speed + Distance

Training for a marathon this summer? Maybe a 5K race? Whether you’re a marathoner, short distance or casual runner there is no doubt running is great cardiovascular work. But your body can take a beating and this can lead to muscle imbalances in the body that can sideline runners. Pilates can help balance things out and get you running faster and further.

WHY PILATES?
As a runner, you have great leg strength. However, you may notice that your hamstrings (back of legs) are weak. Your quadriceps (front thigh), inner thighs and hip flexors may feel tight. These imbalances in the muscles of the legs and hips can potentially cause pain and injury for runners, especially the knee, hip, ankle and foot.

PILATES EXERCISES WILL:
• Strengthen hamstrings, inner thighs, and gluteals, taking pressure off the front and side of the leg
• Elongate and align the spine for better stability
• Improve technique, flexibility and balance so you move efficiently
• Recover faster from injuries
• Increase range of motion in hips and shoulders
• Enhance concentration through focused breathing

The best way to know what your body specifically needs is to meet with a Pilates Instructor who will learn your weaknesses and tight areas, and develop a program based on those needs of stretching and strengthening.

But, in the meantime, here are some at-home exercises you could start today:

  1. The Hundred
  2. The Abdominal Series of five
  3. Single leg stretch
    Double leg stretch
    Single straight leg stretch
    Double straight leg stretch
    Criss-cross

  4. The Swimming

A balanced body will keep you out on the road, track or treadmill all season long; not to mention shave seconds off your times!