When it comes to putting in a good performance on race day, it’s very rare that it’s fitness that lets advanced triathletes down.
One of the biggest factors that influences your performance is recovery. Here are 2 ways that poor recovery stops you from performing well:
Reason #1: Poor physical recovery – rest is not enough
Muscle tissue has a natural spiral shape and the more you train, the more muscular tightness you create, which shortens muscle tissue by increasing the tightness through the spiral in much the same way as wringing a cloth out.
The tight spiral reduces the amount of blood reaching the muscle tissue, decreasing the amount of oxygen that can be delivered and how much lactic acid can be removed.
This will reduce your aerobic capacity, make you fatigue quicker and it’ll increase recovery time between sessions.
Simply resting and one-directional stretching is not enough. Neither of these options do anything to unwind the spiral in the tissue, to restore good function.
Reason #2: Poor physical recovery – more of the same won’t help
Most triathletes, if they do any sort of cool down at all, will spend a couple of minutes doing more of the same movement at a lower intensity to bring their heart rates down.
This does nothing to unwind the spiral in the muscle tissue and is therefore a wasted opportunity.
Muscle tension alters joint positions in many ways, including posture (which creates inefficient technique), range of motion (which reduces power output) and perhaps most importantly, reduces the shock absorption capabilities of a joint by reducing the distance between the bones.
These smaller gaps between bones can also compress nerves. Persistent compression of a nerve can cause referred pain, and an underlying agitation of the body that can impact your ability to relax, and even sleep.
To start improving your recovery immediately, I’d like to invite you to get my FREE Warm Up Wiggle video. This simple and fun routine can be used as both a warm-up and cool-down to improve your next performance.