How to stay race fit ALL season…

 

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 following 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 – Luton on Sunday 24th May.

 

Get the most out of your off season

 

Hi everyone and  welcome to the first of what we hope are many informative approaches to keeping you fit on and off the track, road, bike, in or out of the water and most importantly enjoying your Hercules events. This is brought to you courtesy of our partners, The Flying Physios.

Our first subject is getting the most out of your off season training that will reflect well during race season. What we are providing here are suggestions that have the potential to pay big dividends come race time. It’s time to get …. THE RESULTS YOU WANT!

 

  1. Focus, Focus, Focus.

When you are trying to be the best at one or a number of sporting disciplines it pays to be focussed on your goal, short term and long term. You obviously have your race season goals based around results and times. However you can’t achieve such goals without focussed training between races but more importantly during off season. Off season training is the foundation upon which your upcoming season’s success is built. This is the time to gradually and safely push that body to gain healthy physical responses that eventually turn into better results and more achievable times.

So what’s your training goal?

An example might be improving your watts output over a given distance by 5% or achieving a run that gradually becomes 10 seconds faster over a specific distance whilst running at a capacity that is equal to your zone 2 heart rate*. In whichever way you choose to train it’s all about the gain; gaining a better time or gaining more output to propel you around that course whilst achieving your goals safely. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is your stamina.

* This heart rate is generated when you work at over half capacity. The rate that will allow you to run continually whilst holding a conversation that is made up of full sentences, not 3 word sentences.

 

  1. Identify your weakest point and work on it!

This is a given folks but when you are achieving great results in one area it’s easy to ignore weaker elements in another and as a result create a greater divide between the two. To rectify this make time for an extra session to address these weaknesses. Off season is technique time. Need help? Seek out a professional to help you achieve your goal. This is incredibly important if you need to improve your swimming stroke, running form or pedalling technique. Ideally your trainer will prescribe drills for you to follow, all of which will translate into better technique and better times during race season.

 

  1. Strengthen and protect

For all the cardiovascular that you will be doing don’t forget your strength training too. It’s a must for staying active- and by active we mean injury free. Aim for 2-3 strength sessions a week. During off season your training volume may well be lower as cycling may have taken a back burner. Utilise this available time! Seek out a Personal Trainer or look for organised classes specific to your needs. And mix it up too. Your body thrives on change and challenges. Guard against injury and re injury by considering sports massage as an essential part of your training too. They can help identify and irradiate niggles you wouldn’t know existed until race season but most importantly they speed up recovery and that means you can train more but most importantly, safely.

Remember 2015’s season is made in the off season and there is still time to make it your best so far so go out and try something new.

The Flying Physios (TFP) are here to help with your off season training. They are offering all competitors and subscribers to Hercules Events a 30 minute TFP sports massage for £22 at their London Colney clinic. The clinic is open 7 days a week- yes even Sundays! Click here or call them on 01727 758846. If you prefer they can come to you, they are The Flying Physios after all.

Happy and healthy training and racing from Hercules and TFP.

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