With any sport there is an inherent risk of injury. Although triathlon minimizes the risk of injury by incorporating cross training through the three different sports, there is still a risk.
The #1 reason we get injured is through STRESS. To much stress on a body part (muscle, tendon, ligament, joint, etc..) that can’t handle it causes a breakdown.
There are three basic tools we can do or use to prevent injuries, specifically when it comes to mitigating stress.
The first is BODY WORK. This includes activities such as strength training, stretching, foam rolling, and massage. If some form of body work is practiced daily this aids in our recovery by allowing our muscles and the stabilizing ligaments and tendons to repair itself. Thus allowing us to tackle our next swim, bike, or run session restored and fresh. This can be something as simple 15 minutes of core work, or 10 minutes of stretching.
The second is FUELING and HYDRATION. Focusing on a well-planned diet that is rich in plant and fruit based nutrient-dense whole foods provides the body with the proper nutrients it needs to repair itself from the stresses of training. Chronic fatigue and injuries is not simply a result of increased training as much as it is a result of an imbalance between macronutrient use and intake. Also,remaining adequately hydrated keeps our cells functioning properly and minimizes energy fluctuations.
The third is SLEEP. Quality sleep supports a body’s restorative state more so than anything else. When we spend 7 hours in a deep sleep our bodies release growth hormone which restores our muscles from the previous day’s stress. Deep sleep also aids in repairing our immune system. It is during sleep and to a lesser extent rest that our bodies adapt to our training load and repairs itself.
By making these three basic tools an important part of your life you will likely enjoy training more, be more productive in your training sessions, and surely decrease your risk of a stress related injury.