Riding in the van with a group of five women at the Experience Triathlon camp in Arizona, our driver Sarah, a massage therapist by trade, was listening to each and every gal in the vehicle detail their recent injury histories. “Every woman in this car has f***** up feet,” she finally laughed.
It’s not uncommon to have f***** up feet. Or a f*****up hamstring. A f***** up calf. Or two. Achilles problems. The list goes on. Endurance sports cause overuse injuries. So what else is new?
In fact, it’s pretty rare to go out and run or ride when nothing hurts.
Which means you get pretty grateful when you’re overall healthy and able to go for a five miler when…nothing hurts.
Having been through some painful Achilles tightness the last couple years, I am one grateful mutha to go out for runs and not be hobbled or worried that things are about to get worse.
But let’s be clear: there are no secret formulas to injury prevention. However, the one medicine I prescribe for everyone is strength training. Strong, stable muscles tend to prevent injuries. The act of doing strength work also (often) promotes increased range of motion. That’s like stretching, only better. Which is why yoga is damn good therapy and injury prevention. It combines strength and stretching. Duh. Go do it. I need to get back to that. No pun intended.
To make sure nothing hurts while you’re running and riding or swimming, you might have to hurt a little doing strength training to build the foundation necessary to keep doing the things you love without dealing debilitating pain.
Going into spring and summer, it’s easy to schedule out your strength training. It’s much more fun to go running or riding and swimming. But a little gym time can keep you stable and strong. Even injury-free.
And that’s worth it because there’s nothing worse than being in peak training season and being sidelined by an avoidable injury. That’s the yin and yang of fitness and endurance sports. You need to go inside out to enjoy the days when nothing hurts.
TRAIN HARD. COMPETE WELL.