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No Rest, No Gain
  The Elevate Me Team 04:34 PM

We at Elevate Me are very happy we can partner and support athletes. What’s great about the partnership is that we get just as much, if not more, out of the relationship as they do. Below is some sage advice from one of our Ambassadors. Stay tuned for more from these inspiring young people.

Three Tips to Staying Injury Free in Endurance Sports (from someone who has been there)

Sports and physical activity are wonderful components of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are times when our competitive nature, our drive to succeed, or perhaps our denial of how long it has actually been since we last worked-out, can end up making our sports more harmful than healthful. I am not a health professional. I haven’t even officially finished my Kinesiology degree yet, but I do know a lot about over-use injuries! I started doing Kids of Steel triathlon at the age of 6, but spent the majority of my time swimming competitively while growing up. When I was 17, I started to take triathlon much more seriously, and moved from Calgary to Victoria to join the national triathlon center. Up until I was almost 20, I thought myself to be indestructible. Man, was I ever wrong! It turns out that kids and teens are made to be super-resilient. Adults are not. Since then, I’ve learnt that it requires work to stay indestructible, and I can boil down what I’ve learned to three key prevention tips.

Tip Number 1: Squatalotta! i.e. Do Strength Work (properly and  regularly):

The key to avoiding injuries is to balance out all of the imbalances that you have developed in your sport. In triathlon we become very front chain dominant (think of a cyclist’s quads, and the swimmer hunch), so we prevent injuries by targeting the muscles of our back chain and lateral hip strength. This means your Rhomboids, Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, and core, core,,core! We also include shoulder, hip flexor and upper thoracic mobility into our routines. Luckily, strength gains also translate to increased performance, so there is extra motivation to make a place for it in your training routines. Check out Australian National Triathlon Team physiotherapist, Alex Price’s, top 5 triathlon specific exercises if you need some ideas!

Tip Number 2: Optimize Recovery: 

Becoming injured indicates that the body is unable to handle the stressors being placed upon it.  Fitness gains, on the other hand, occur through the process of adapting to the destructive effects of training through adequate recovery. ‘No Rest No Gain’ is just as true as ‘No Pain No Gain’! Unfortunately, the body doesn’t differentiate between stressors very well, which is why training while going through a break-up, or during exam period could be too much for the body to handle. On the other hand a much higher training load in a stress free environment could be handled very well! Therefore, more is not necessarily better when it comes to training. Recovery is key. Make sure that a training load is appropriate to your lifestyle. Prioritize sleep! Aim for no less than 8 hours a night (I realize that children can put a damper on this plan. In this case: 15 minute naps save lives). Drink water. Eat a nutrient dense diet (I think about what has nutrients: local fruits and vegetables, hormone-free meats, eggs, dairy and fermented foods ie. yogurt). Have a carbohydrate and protein snack immediately after working-out. Your muscles take in the carbs much more readily after exercise, so the energy provided will be used to replenish your glycogen stores for your next workout. Refilling your muscle glycogen stores when they have the highest affinity to uptake carbohydrate will keep you from feeling starving the rest of the day. The protein will help kick start muscle rebuilding and the training-adaptation process. Luckily, Elevate Me has got you covered ;)

Tip Number 3: Roll:

Regular Massage, Chiropractic Care, Acupuncture, Intramuscular stimulation, and Active Release therapy are all VERY useful tools for keeping your body happy and healthy. Unfortunately, these therapies can become very costly and time consuming. Luckily, a roller and a lacrosse ball can do the trick. Science doesn’t agree upon why rolling works (apparently it is not the same as myofascial release), but athletes know that it keeps them healthy, so they do it regardless. You know that piriformus pain, the pain in your  butt and down your legs that you get from biking on the trainer? Find the trigger point with your lacrosse ball, and sit there until the pain resides. Injury resolved! TriggerPoint highlights the top 6 areas to try rolling here. Fit in time for a rolling session after every run workout, or before every gym session, and stay healthy this season!

Bonus Tip number 4: Use your Brain!

You don’t know how many people I have heard boasting about how they are still planning on racing their half marathon on the weekend despite spraining their ankle to the point of barely being able to walk, or while having double stress fractures in their shins, or Swine Flu… Sports sociologists describe this as the ‘Sport Ethic’. The cultural ideal of persevering through extreme adversity! It is often easier for us to “suck it up”, than to admit that “quitting” is probably the smartest thing to do. The truth is, being smart is not quitting! Rather, it is the courage and self-confidence required to allow for optimal performance in the future. It is avoiding all the compensation injuries and months of RICEing (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation) that will ensue from hobbling along a race course on a busted ankle! Recognize your limits; when you should push through and when you should back off.

That folks is how you win and stay healthy in the long run. All the best with your healthy 2014!

Kyla Coates   Twitter:  @K_Coates or website: http://kylaandalex.mli.st

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