Thursday, December 4, 2014

Managing Injury Near a Race

Mostly the best way to manage an injury is to prevent one from ever happening. In many cases this is simply not possible. Injury will happen when you are not aware that there was even a risk. On the other hand with a chronic injury that is aggravated by training there are other considerations. At the extreme an injury will prevent an athlete from exercising or performing in a race event. Most moderated injury causes discomfort but may not make a race impossible. In this case the injury is minor, however the injury could also be aggravated or become  a chronic problem during an extended athletic performance.

Managing Injury Will Help Avoid This On Race Day

The most common triathlon injuries are related to overuse. Overuse is a condition that results from training the muscles to a point where they are unable to repair properly prior to subsequent training. As a result of the weakness additional strain is placed on ligaments, tendons, and joints. Eventually these body parts fail and pain, inflammation, and trauma occurs. Training through these types of injuries can lead to permanent damage or increasing pain that causes the athlete to take significant time away from intense training. Injuries afflict all three of the triathlon disciplines and each instance will require careful consideration and the input of health and fitness professionals.

Triathletes Bodies Endure Unique Demands
Basically it comes down to the fact that if you have even the precursors for an injury you should not race. In other cases the injury will be far enough away from an event that you will have to consider managing the affected area for recovery while still training. This will require modification to training plans, additional emphasis on recovery, and using body supports such as wraps, braces, or tapes. More serious pain will affect the body outside of training, pains that can be managed will often come up during the training. If the injury resulted from a training error there is a good chance you won't make the same mistake again, injuries that arise without direct cause or during normal movements are more concerning and suggestive of overuse. Ultimately it's much easier to prevent injuries than to treat them. Doing your best to prevent getting hurt will pay dividends come race day. Prevention includes all of the normal practices of flexibility and strength training and also less obvious practices such as taking extra rest days or cutting workouts short depending on how the body feels. Finally it is important to consult physical therapists regarding all training plan modifications and injury prevention practice.