SPORT AND HEALTH
Sport and health are inter-twined and often an athletes competitive edge can come from many sources of health inspiration.
There are any number of ways an athletes can find an edge that can make the difference when it comes to realizing an Ironman dream of reaching the finish line or perhaps performing at a higher level as a pro or age-grouper triathlete.
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.
There are many sport and health choices that have nothing to do with physically working on your swimming, biking, and running can still have a huge impact on your triathlon career.
Often your body needs a break from the physical stress and demands you are putting on it.
Yet at the same time it should not be considered a waste of time, but rather a part of your over-all triathlon preparation when you take time out for a yoga session or treat yourself to a sports massage.
Also, it only makes sense that if you can find easier ways to realize your goals that are less physically stressful to your body, then it only makes sense to take full advantage of them.
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 that many athletes claim will greatly enhance their performance. At the same time there are just as many athletes who have never looked into chiropractic treatments as being helpful as far as reaching their triathlon goals.
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.
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.
This may be one of the most over-looked methods of improving athletic performance available today. So 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 visit my run training page.
WHO CAN USE VISUALIZATION?
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.
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.