Are you working hard at hardly working?

As triathletes we are used to working hard and overcoming problems. It’s usually an object of pride. If our FTP needs work, we work hard to get it up. If we need to get our pace down on the run or swim, not a problem, we work hard and try to make it happen.

When it comes to the weight room, we either skip that workout all together but if we do go, we want to win at that too. The issue is we start to incorporate muscles to help us keep up with what we think we should be able to do and in our defense, our bodies try to do it without our even knowing most of the time.

When our bodies try to help us by over compensating, this is how injuries start to creep in. This is what I have been learning over the past year.

I have had to recently get PRP in both my Achilles tendons. This stems from having calcification in both my Achilles tendons. The reason I have the calcification is because I have bone spurs on the back of my heel which rubs against my Achilles. The reason I have that… tight calves.

I’m sorry if that seemed confusing, but the point is just like the song says: “the thigh bone really IS connected to the shin bone.” When we get caught trying to do the best we can sometimes we can accidentally or on purpose avoid the process that needs to take place to make us better.  

Here is another example. My Achilles hurt for several years off and on. I would spend time getting them worked on so they would not hurt as bad. I eventually figured out that the calves being tight were what put added strain on the Achilles tendons. What I was not aware of was why my CALVES were tight! I was not using my glutes to run. I had become a calf runner. I was compensating with other muscles, over working them like my back, hip flexors, etc. All these issues were making my calves do more work than they are made to do.

I am lucky enough this past year to meet Gina, she owns Achieve Athletics, and Garrett who owns Champion Sports Advantage. As I rehab my PRP we are using this as an opportunity to work on areas that I need to get to fire. It isn’t even so much of a strength issue. I simply haven’t been activating the right muscles in the right sequence.

Below are some videos at how terrible I am doing this work with proper form. The task was to be able to activate my glute only to raise my foot towards the ceiling. I could do all I could do to just activate my glute! In a world where a lot of endurance athletes run to things like “Crossfit” because they want to work hard to get fit hoping they will get faster from the fitness, trying to talk them into this is a hard sale! This is why I have hired Garrett to work with all my athletes this year. Everyone can benefit from this.

Thankfully Garrett was able to demonstrate the proper form.

If you are interested in learning what you need to work on to get faster and avoid injury, contact us today. We will try to get you sorted out. 

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