Triathletes can gain a competitive edge from many sources that go beyond conventional swim, bike, and run training.
Incorporating heart-rate monitors, chiropractic treatments, and visualization into your Ironman Triathlon preparation can help prevent injuries and improve Ironman performance.
Trying different approaches and training methods are all part of growth and improvement.
If you do the same thing over and over again and are your are not happy with the results of your efforts, perhaps it is time to try something new.
I read once that the definition of insanity is…….
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
I’m sure I was a bit insane in the first 10 years of my Ironman career because I would train the same way all the time and would run into the same problems on Ironman race-day.
I mistakenly thought that if I trained harder every year it would be reflected in my race results. However that was not the case.
Swimming is a perfect example. In the early years the Ironman swim was always a scary experience and a struggle for me.
So trained harder, swam further, and joined Master’s swim classes but nothing changed on race-day. It was still a struggle. All I was really doing in those days was reinforcing bad habits every time I swam.
It wasn’t until I came across Total Immersion and re-built my stroke from the ground up when I began to have a much better swim experience and result. Once I took a leap of faith and tried something different everything changed for the better.
What I am trying to say is, don’t be afraid to think out of the box and break some of those old habits if you are not happy with the way things are going. Nothing will every change if you keep doing the same thing year after year.
All people are not created equal when it comes to athletic ability and you just never know what small change will enhance the ability you do have and ultimately make a huge difference when it comes to realizing your Ironman goals.
Regardless if your main objective is to be a top age-grouper and win a spot in the Hawaii Ironman World Championships or reaching the Ironman anyway you can, making a few additions to your training program could make all the difference.
There are training methods and routines that some people use and some don’t, because not everyone is aware of the benefits that can be derived from routines that have nothing to do with swimming, biking, or running.
Often your body needs a break from the physical stress and demands you are putting on it with the constant physical and mental stress that is all part of getting ready to take on the Ironman.
Yet at the same time rest should not be considered a waste of time, but rather a part of your over-all preparation.
When you take time out for a yoga session or treat yourself to a sports massage it really amounts to a form of active rest that can create a rejuvenating balance in your mind and body that will help you not only recover and rest, but will also help prepare you for the training to come.
THE COMPETITIVE EDGE
Your “edge” can come from any number of places. There are many tricks, tips, and techniques that you have yet to hear about or fully understand that can change the way you look at resting, training, racing, and recovery.
It can take years, or in my case, it took several decades to begin to understand and take advantage of whatever options there are out there to make your endurance career more rewarding.
Hopefully I can pass on a few of the things I have learned over many years of hit and miss training and racing over my 35+ years as an endurance athlete.
WHAT ABOUT CHIROPRACTIC TREATMENTS?
There are chiropractic treatments available today that many athletes from a variety of sports take advantage of.
They have found that chiropractic treatments not only improves their performance, but also speeds recovery from training and helps prevent injury.
A chiropractor could be the answer to that stiff neck you have from all those laps in the pool. Or perhaps your neck and back bother you from spending so many hours on your bike in the profile position.
A visit to a chiropractor might be just what you need.
The physical demands of intense Ironman training can easily throw your body out of alignment. You may not even realize it until you visit a chiropractor and actually feelthe difference the next time you train.
I must admit that I was a bit skeptical at first but my neck had become so sore from swim training that I had to do something. Someone suggested I go see their Chiropractor because he did a lot of work with athletes.
It was an eye-opener when I was in his waiting room and saw pictures on his wall of Olympic caliber bob-sledders, swimmers, and even ballet dancers that he had treated.
After just two 10-minute treatments by neck pain virtually disappeared. I was so impressed and thrilled with the results that for 4 months preceding Ironman Canada one year I saw him twice a week and had one of my best results ever.
If you decide to give chiropractic treatments a try, be sure to find a chiropractor who works mostly with athletes.
DOES MASSAGE THERAPY HELP?
Massage therapy sessions have their place, but do they provide an athletic advantage and are they for everyone? Some people are huge fans of massage therapy.
Personally I always found it beyond my financial means in the years when I was in the midst of the most intense years of my Ironman career.
It seems like most of my money was going toward traveling to the next Ironman, paying the entry fees, or buying the next best thing in equipment.
Of course this does not mean that massage therapy will not work for you and make your training and racing more fun and rewarding.
Massage therapy…it’s something I would certainly look into if it is within your financial means.
At the very least it will relax tired muscles, speed recovery from intense training, and be a reward for all your hard work.
This may be one of the most over-looked methods of improving athletic performance available today and many athletes have not taken the time to find out more about using a heart-rate monitor in their training and racing.
Using a heart-rate monitor is a perfect example of combining sport and health to ultimately improve athletic performance on so many levels.
The main function of a heart-rate monitor is to improve a person’s health by closely monitoring the amount of physical stress they are putting on their cardiovascular system.
Basically, a heart-rate monitor program that is followed to the letter will be instrumental in not letting you over-tax your body.
A monitor will ensure that your physical conditioning improves over time. It’s slow build-up that prevents injuries and often equates to spectacular competitive results for many athletes.
If you want to get the most out of all your training and racing efforts find out all you can about heart monitor training. You can start by visiting our heart-monitor training page.
VISUALIZATION FOR TRIATHLETES
Olympic athletes use visualization, but how does it benefit a triathlete? Is visualization only for specific events?
Actually, visualization can benefit pretty much any athlete of any level of ability.
Perhaps you are not aware of the power of visualization, but I can guarantee that it can be a powerful training and racing tool once you understand how to us it.
All you had to do was watch the Vancouver Olympic Games and you would have witnessed many, many examples of visualization used by some of the world’s best athletes in a variety of sports disciplines.
They used it in ski-jumping, ski-aerials, down-hill skiing, Bobsled, Skeleton, and many other events to prepare themselves mentally for the coming challenge.
Sport and health involves the health of the mind as well as the health of the body. Improving your powers of mental attention can pay huge dividends on race-day.
Find out all you can about visualization and incorporate it into your training and racing. Start by visiting visualization for triathletes right here on Ironstruck.
It’s very difficult to become an Ironman triathlete all on your own.
It’s important to have a support team behind you as you embark on your Ironman journey. Family, friends, co-workers, fellow triathletes, and the race-day volunteers will ultimately all pay a part in your success and will be your greatest asset.
It’s vital to maintain balance between your training and racing and your social and family life. This will do wonders for keeping those most important to you on your side and an important part of your Ironman support team.
I would gladly be part of your support team and feel to contact me through our contact page and I will more than happy to help all I can with any questions or concerns you have during your triathlon journey.