It hurts here! The whys and whats of your racing season aches and pains

By now your race season should be planned and you will be gearing up to the first event whilst easing off on the hard work you have put in your off season. The fact is, there is still some hard work to do- such as staying fit and healthy for the duration of your events timetable.

It is not unknown for an athlete to work so hard off season only to develop an injury just weeks before competition and ruin their season. We at The Flying Physios are keen to stop this from happening and so below we offer some top tips on keeping you race fit all season.

Keep strong all season long!

Runs, swims and biking, focus on key areas such as the glutes, quads, core and back. To avoid injury as the miles build up you need to STRENGTH train all of the muscles groups. Why? It promotes balance throughout the body and it keeps the muscles strong alleviating pressure on the joints.

Roll away the pain.

Foam rollers are something we at The Flying Physios have warmed to slowly. They are useful for rolling out some niggles and promoting replenishing blood flow into areas- similar to a deep tissue massage. Focus on the ITB, your calves and your lower back and roll AFTER stretching. A word of advice– use them gently. We see too many people bruise themselves- though not always visible- by hitting these things too hard. Also when using it on your calves roll from bottom to top- not top to bottom. Why? Because you can damage the valves in the blood vessels by forcing fluid the wrong way!

Keep a keen eye on your kit!

Tri-athletes have 2 key pieces of kit that must be maintained and attended to regularly- the bike and the running shoe. The bike needs fresh tyres every season and regularly check tyre pressure and brake pads and always wear your helmet. Your running shoes need to be changed every 400 miles or 3 to 4 months. Flat shoes like flat tyres on a car will hamper performance and are guaranteed to aggravate knees, hips and your back.

A rub makes everything better.

Recovery is a very important part of your season and your training. A sports massage by a trained sports massage therapist will help identify muscle imbalances, tension and aggravated muscle fibres and treat them. A good therapist will also identify problem areas you never knew existed and address them too. A sports massage can be performed as much as once a week but twice monthly or even once a month will suffice. At the very least, schedule a massage following every race. The Flying Physios run pre race clinics prior to all Hercules Events.

What’s your body telling you?

Neck stiffness following a bike ride or foot issues foot a run are symptoms you cannot not ignore. If you are working with a trainer speak to them about it. Advice will stop something small turning onto something much bigger. Again a massage can help.

Learn from someone else.

Coaching at any level is extremely beneficial. So seek someone with the experience you need and work with them for a while. Work outs can be enhanced and training kept within reasonable limits during race season- greatly reducing the chance of over doing it. Working with a coach is also a great way of staying motivated.

Eat like a champion athlete.

You are what you eat so pay attention to your diet. Failing to refuel or becoming overheated and dehydrated can cause some serious issues. Take on iron and protein which both allow your body to fully recover. Food is fuel- good fuel equals good results, bad fuel… well you get the idea.

Have (n) Ice bath

Believe it or not an ice bath should be an essential part of your recovery following every workout. Ice reduces swelling and aids muscle recovery.

Rest, rest, rest.

A rest day is so important as a part of your training schedule off season and during race season. Rest is rest- no running, cycling, swimming or strength training. A rest will not hinder your performance, it will help it.

The Flying Physios are offering all subscribers and individuals participating in Hercules Events a preferential rate on our Sports massages throughout the race season. You can book a 30 minute appointment for just £20.00. To book call 01727 758846 or email jason@theflyingphysios.com

Our first Hercules Events ‘pre race clinic’ will take place at our London Colney St Albans clinic in the week leading up to The Hercules festival of sport at Inspire Luton on Sunday May 24th.

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