Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This a special time to celebrate the act of gratitude for all we have, seen and unseen.
First of all I would like to say that I did not get enough responses to the question about the best between meal snacks to award a winner. I did get a couple of suggestions regarding what to use during workouts to keep hydrated and good energy. Grape Juice, and coconut water were two suggestions.
Injuries and Prevention
I would like to cover a subject that is as the forefront of most master athletes and even younger athletes as well. The key is prevention, prevention, prevention.
I will talk about my methods of prevention. In another post I will talk about what to do if I am injured and the process of recovery.
Probably the most important part of training is increasing my volume and intensity very slowly. Every-time I get hurt it usually stems from this facet of my training. I realize I am a very motivated person. I tend to go overboard. My ego tells me I can do it. My body responds differently. I have goals that help drive me. The key is to not let the ego and the goals drive me too much that I go overboard.
I keep track of my workouts. This is essential. I always have a record and know where I am. I know how much I run, cycle, what my last interval set looked like. I keep track sometimes using heart rate as a measure. Sometimes it is the relative effort. On a scale of 0-10 I rate my effort. When I do weights, I keep track of the weight, sets, reps, time, etc,
With this baseline I can be careful to increase very gradually. The second component is taking into account my present overall feeling at the moment of effort. How do I feel today, right now. Everyone has a normal built-in biological cushion when our brains tell us to back off before we hurt ourselves. My job as an athlete is to make that cushion as small as possible. I strive for that physically, mentally, and emotionally. That is part of my training too. I know in my gut when I have it and when I don’t. It takes time to learn this so be patient. I use my ithlete measurement in the morning as additional feedback to gauge how hard I can go today.
Overall body strength is important. I lift weights that help my entire body, not just what I need for skating, etc. This helps my overall bone structure, ligaments and tendons. This is probably my next best prevention. This what I do on a macro scale.
On a micro scale, or what do I do in a particular workout? First, I warm up thoroughly before any hard effort. I like to run or bike for about 10 minutes even before I stretch. My muscles, tendons and ligaments are like rubber bands. If I stretch cold rubber it will tear and break. So I get up to an operating temperature first. Then I do some dynamic (moving) stretching for a few minutes to get full range of motion only. Then I do some static stretching. For these stretches I only hold for about 10 seconds. Again only for full range of motion. Then onto the workout. Most people do not work hard enough to get benefit from the intense work, and do their easy work too hard to make it recovery work. My work is very intense, or recovery. Anything else for me is counterproductive.
After the hard work, I must cool down. I usually build up a great deal of lactic acid during my intense training. I need to flush now. On the bike for a minimum of 20 and usually 30 minutes. Heart rate is low (110), for me this is a recovery or flush work. Then I do my static stretching routine. These stretches are held for 30 seconds to increase flexibility as much as possible. I have found this is a great injury preventer. If I have to shorten my time of training I will never skimp on the warmup process or cool-down. These are essential elements that cannot be compromised or I will pay the price later.
So in between my intense work I do recovery work. This for me is stationary bike at low (110) heart rate for an hour and static stretching after. Sometimes recovery work can be a massage, a walk, easy jogging, yoga, easy swimming, sauna, cold tub, etc. Find what works for you.
I also roll my legs with “The Stick” every night after training and before bed for recovery. This is a device that substitutes for a massage. This helps recovery overnight for the next day. I also try to get a massage every week as well.
I would like to hear from you about your ideas and routines for injury prevention. Let share our ideas!!! Tell me what works for you!