Should you train when sick? Many athletes have a problem stopping or tapering training to allow the body to recover from a cold. It’s difficult to hold back training especially when the virus hits during event specific training. So what is the rule? There is no exact rule but there are a few guidelines you should follow so that your return to good health and training is quick.
What exactly does sodium do in the body? Should I supplement with sodium when I exercise? I've heard of hyponatremia, but why is it so dangerous? This article will provide you with a better understanding of sodium as a critical electrolyte required for proper body function. Athletes have higher sodium needs compared to the general population because sodium loss escalates when one sweats. Sodium also is required for optimal hydration before, during, and after exercise; however, the specific amount is highly individual and must be practiced in training to determine appropriate supplementation. Through proper practice and planning, athletes can maintain balanced hydration and avoid many of the pitfalls of improper sodium supplementation, particularly the life-threatening condition of hyponatremia.
Swimming is probably the most common reason many procrastinate participating in triathlon or hesitate moving to longer distances. Unless you grew up swimming competitively or playing water sports, swimming can be a lot like learning a new language; if you don’t practice often you won’t become fluent. Unlike riding and running, more power does not translate to better or faster swimming. And, since we are land mammals, swimming may cause added levels of anxiety further diminishing your desire to improve this discipline. For these reasons, progressing beyond the mental challenges associated with swimming is sometimes more difficult than the physical challenges. Mental strength training your swim can help reduce reservations, build confidence, and improve your ability to progress faster. Here are few suggestions to help strengthen your mind and build confidence with your swimming.
Shin splints are one of two (possibly more) injuries that require triathletes and runners to stop running altogether to properly heal; Plantar Fasciitis being the other. There are various unofficial definitions making the healing approach confusing. When I had shin splints, the doctor told me they are hairline fractures. Another story I heard was it was the tearing of the muscle away from the bone (sounded extreme). Regardless of the definition, your interest in tis article is either to avoid or heal it.
Shin splints cause dull, aching pain in the front of the lower leg. Some people feel it only during exercise; others, when they've stopped exercising. Sometimes, the pain is constant. Depending on the exact cause, the pain may be located along either side of the shinbone or in the muscles. The area may be painful to the touch. Swollen muscles can sometimes irritate the nerves in the feet, causing them to feel weak or numb. To diagnose shin splints, visit your doctor to get a thorough physical exam. You may also need X-rays or bone scans to look for fractures.
Plantar Fasciitis is an acute form of inflammation of the band of tissue running across the bottom of your foot. Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury that can persist for years unless treatment is properly addressed. Every time you flex your foot, the tendons, ligaments, and tissue move and when inflamed, every movement hurts. Once the tissue is injured, it becomes very difficult to recover because it’s in constant use. It is almost impossible to keep from re-straining the area. Even when the pain is gone, you still are not fully healed. It is an injury requiring athletes to completely stop running for a period of 4-6 weeks or more in order to recover. The most common mistake athletes make in treating Plantar Fasciitis is returning to training as soon as the pain is gone. We continually reinjure the area through our daily activities and prolong recovery further by layering on training.
Constant reinjury needs to be avoided at all costs. Obviously, it delays the healing process, but what's worse is that every reinjury and additional healing cycle increases the amount of scar tissue that builds up in your foot. Scar tissue is hard, inflexible, and tough to remove. The more scar tissue that develops, the more you lose range of motion and the more likely you are to develop chronic pain or arthritis. Scar tissue may prohibit you from performing as well as you once did and/or make reinjury easier. If you have inflammation in your heel or plantar, it's very important to begin healing immediately (which translates to no running) and continue the healing process completely (beyond pain elimination). You must also avoid the build up of scar tissue. The quicker and stronger you heal your plantar, the less chance there is for reinjury. Untreated plantar fasciitis leads to the development of bone spurs; something you want to avoid.
The most popular questions coaches receive from athletes, whether casual athlete or competitive, are nutrition related inquiries. It’s usually because athletes are either looking to loose weight or improve performance. Common mistakes include eating at the wrong times, choosing the wrong balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat, drinking too little fluids, and consuming inadequate amounts of supplements. Training aside, nutrition is the key to performing better. “I need help with my nutrition.” Sound familiar? There are several key factors to consider that will help guide you in the right direction.