To some triathletes, injuries have become like little gremlins that are there every where you turn, every time you train and seem to take pleasure in sabotaging your race and training plans.
They seem to strike whenever they feel like it, without warning, and take ages to shift.
But there’s one big mistake triathletes make and avoiding it can mean shaking the injury gremlins once and for all.
What’s the mistake?
It’s a topsy-turvy world
Most triathletes don’t do anything to try to avoid injury until they’ve had one. They might spend a token 5 minutes with a foam roller or stretching because they feel like they should, but it’s nowhere near enough to be useful.
Then they get pain.
Once that happens, the conventional plan kicks into action.
It usually goes along the lines of:
Step 1: Do nothing, believing that the pain will go away on its own (after all, it appeared from nowhere and it’s not stopping you training)
Step 2: Once it’s stopping you from training, go to see a therapist who can diagnose and treat the problem
Step 3: Do the exercises the therapist gave you
Step 4: Once the symptom has gone, get back to training asap
Step 5: Gradually stop doing the exercises because your pain has gone
Step 6: Repeat steps 1-5 until the treatment no longer works, then manage the pain as best you can (usually for a few years), compromising your training to suit and leaving committing to racing until the last minute so you know whether or not you’ll make the start line.
Step 7: Justify your aches and pains as “getting old”, start avoiding certain activities because of your ongoing (albeit intermittent) symptoms and eventually stop doing triathlon training altogether.
There’s a possible Step 8, which is to recognise that mobility plays a huge role in your pain levels, but it’s usually only at the point of intermittent, ongoing symptoms that folks do anything about it.
The problem with this plan is that by the time people have recognised the role that mobility plays in their injuries, they have so much muscle tightness to unwind that it can seem like too much of a job to get started.
But I have great news…
It’s never too late!
The most important thing to focus on is trying to build a solid injury prevention foundation, and that can be started at any point.
Yes, if you already have aches and pains, you may have a little more unravelling to do than someone who hasn’t but those aches and pains certainly won’t go away if you don’t at least try.
My process for building an solid injury prevention foundation is simple:
Step 1: Accept that good movement is the foundation of effective training and great performance
Step 2: Make mobility training as important as (if not slightly more so) your regular training – after all, if you can’t move without pain, you can’t train anyway
Step 3: Make mobility training part of your DAILY routine (even when you’re not training)
Step 4: Be specific to YOUR needs. Your muscle tightness is unique to you and if you don’t deal with the CAUSES of your issues, then you’ll create a very frustrating cycle of symptom chasing, with no real progress.
That’s the basis for preventing injuries – even if you’ve never tried before.
The absolute best place to start is knowing what’s causing your own issues and you can do that in just a few minutes with my FREE Injury Predictor Assessment. Don’t be distracted by symptoms – that’s just those gremlins talking!