At this point in the season, we all have a few discomforts that come up. Whether you race or not, the weather and longer daylight hours allow and almost demand more time outside, doing what we love.What happens when we swim, bike, run, hike, kayak, tennis, golf, soccer, row- what sport am I forgetting (you guys seriously inspire me with all that you do)... When we get out and do more/ more often/ longer or faster... we tend to start to break down a bit and compensate - why bc we love what we get to do and we don't wanna stop !!! :)
But truth be told, we all at some point 'run face first' into some fatigue and then we experience those first little pains or strains of compensation and break down.Now we could go into the why's or how's this happens BUT I want to focus on WHAT exactly you need to do when you decide to pull a workout or back off a bit due to these 'warning signs' that your body is giving you.
You are not a bystander in your healing and recovery... in fact, you must become more attentive and present to ensure you are doing everything you can to get back to what you love.
Here are 10 steps you need to do when your body is signaling some compensation and/or pain:
Most of you average between 4.5-6hrs/night of sleep. We are already walking a very fine line with your quality and quantity of sleep bc we all know, we all love to work/workout/play hard regardless of this simple but most needed aspect of our lives. With more sleep, you will allow the body to recover quicker as well as mentally you will be more present and available to work through/ deal with needed treatment ant attention to your body.
2. Email/ Communicate immediately with your coach
I seriously wish I could read minds, but unfortunately no amount of years, education, or research will give coaches this awesome super power. It is vital you immediately communicate with your coach and let them know what is going on.
Schedule this ASAP! Do not wait, this needs to be done within 48hrs of your first 'twinge'. Preferably you will see someone who not only can 'flush' the body of inflammation but has a thorough understanding of how the body compensates in your specific sport/exercise - my first choices is to schedule with an A.R.T. specialist.
Schedule this ASAP. Again, within 48hrs of your body's first warning sign. We are dynamic beings- our body's alignment is crucial for optimum performance in both sport and life.
5. Ice and/or Cryosauna
Direct icing to the area "cryo-therapy" - 5x/day up to 4min/treatment directly to the area of pain.
Cyrosauna is like an internal ice bath and maximizes the body's ability to flush inflammation and increase the recovery process.
PLEASE DO NOT add heat within the first 48hrs.
6. Compression Boots and Elevation
Both methods increase circulation and recovery.
Compression Boots/ Apparel- up to 6hr/day.
Elevation- legs bent at a 90degree angle as you lay on the ground or soft surface- you simply want your legs above your heart, but make sure you are in a comfortable position/surface.
7. Increase hydration and electrolytes
Simply increasing fluids and electrolytes will increase circulation and blood flow through the body= increases recovery rate and response.
8. Decrease processed foods
Pulling out the junk and even 'healthy bars' will reduce the stress on the digestive system and increase the nutrient absorption rate of your food.
Increasing the quality and reducing the time it takes for your body to break down your intake, leaves more time and focus for the body attend to its natural healing process.
It is your job to document and communicate with your 'team' a few key points.
a. when did you first feel the pain
b. how much sleep have you gotten in the last 2weeks/night on average
c. ladies- when was your last cycle
d. how much have you traveled within the last month- car or plane
e. how much have you been working at a desk or sitting/day on average
f. have you been sick or dealt with allergies over the last month- communicate the specifics and how many days this has gone on
10. Communicate your training schedule
Lastly, take your last 3-4weeks schedule to each appointment- they might not understand the details of every plan.
BUT this gives them an idea of what the demand, has been on your body, and it allows for a more complete picture.
Make sure you highlight what day or workout you first felt the incident and also what workouts really aggravated your issue.
I have heard it from many successful individuals: life's issues will be fixed with time and/or money.
The next time you run into a snag in your training and you have to pull the rip cord on your workouts, make sure you take these steps to maximize both.
They work, simply stopping a workout will not fix the problem- avoidance is never the best option.
Recovery takes patience and presence - the goal is to get you back out there, doing what you love!!!!