A Broken Ankle Doesn’t Have To Prevent Triathlon Improvements
My triathlon cross training the first three weeks after surgery.
Cross training for triathlon with a broken ankle still includes plenty of options if swimming, biking and running are off limits. I discovered there were ways to not only maintain fitness, but also improve, despite my current limitations in a “not weight-bearing” state.
Training injured, in the strictest sense, is NO DIFFERENT than training while healthy. A great training program focuses on all you can do at that moment so, injured or healthy, you focus on doing everything that you can THAT DAY.
Training injured, in the strictest sense, is NO DIFFERENT than training while healthy. A great training program focuses on all you can do at that moment to get better.
When I am healthy, if my legs are super tired from running, I might take a break and ride or swim. If my shoulders are maxed out from a lot of swimming, I might run a bit more and focus strength work on lower body. The key is to focus on what you CAN IMPROVE while your body is in repair mode or fatigued. Even while in the critical stages after ORIF surgery, there were ways for me to train and allow my body to heal.
Unfortunately, I crashed my bike and broke my ankle a bit over two weeks ago. My primary objective for 2016 is to win a full Ironman; a goal I will maintain this season.
I am really fortunate to have Dr. Brent Weatherhead as my orthopedic surgeon. He is an amazing technical surgeon and did an outstanding job to get my fractured ankle anatomically perfect so now we have a realistic plan and schedule to get me back to running full gas this season.
I know a LOT of pro triathletes who have dealt with and are dealing with injury – so my story is not unique. Triathletes and runners have different experiences with a broken ankle. If you found this post searching “exercises you can do with a broken ankle” and “triathlon training after a broken ankle” you are in the same mindset I was in the first two weeks after my crash. I promise you that it gets better after the first two weeks. I am posting these recovery updates to help educate you through MY experience and inspire you with what I found helpful and motivating. It is important to stay positive and focused during your recovery so let’s start with things you can do.
‘Shoulder prehabilitation’ means strengthening the shoulder’s resistance to injury – thus PRE-rehabilitation. These shoulder strength exercises prepare the shoulder muscles that are the most vulnerable to injury from everyday swimming repetitive movement. Strengthening these muscles improves your posture and body alignment. For swimmers, and triathletes by extension, the most common injuries occur in shoulder rotators so these are the muscles we are focused on. Continue reading “Shoulder Prehabilitation Strength Exercises For Triathlon”
Indoor training sessions designed to practice race-day triathlon nutrition are a great way to help athletes prepare to execute their plan in races – but in easier, more controlled conditions. The objective of these sessions is to get training benefit from appropriate pacing and to nail your race day hydration and fueling strategy. Although indoor training is missing some of the elements (literally) encountered in outdoor training, there is a lot of valuable information to be gained indoors where the variables are easier to control.
Lab-monitored “sweat tests” are available that can help you determine how much sweat you lose at effort and what the composition of your sweat is. A lab test is the most scientific version of the generalized effort I am going to outline. Knowing the exact composition of your sweat under the lab conditions may be useful but nothing is as valuable as practicing with numerous sessions under a variety of conditions to help gain knowledge on what works best for you. These tips will be a good starting point to gather information on your own body.
A Video To Demonstrate a Pre Training Core Activation Routine
This video will show you the exercises that I use to activate and prepare my core muscles for training. Without adequate warmup and activation of the core, your biomechanics will not be optimized in training.
This routine does not take a lot of time so it is very easy for me to do it frequently. This is the first thing I do every morning. I implemented this routine when I was suffering from a hip injury and since then I have had not issues with my hip or low back. However, if I don’t do the routine I am aware that my range of motion through the hips for swimming and running is not as good.
This short, simple set of exercises is EFFECTIVE.
You can do this routine in less than five minutes on the pool deck before swimming so try it at your next training session. You may find that even these simple exercises are somewhat difficult which would indicate your neuromuscular recruitment needs work. Over time you will feel stronger and you will experience better results from training – particularly early morning training. Let me know what you think!
After the last race of the season, many athletes enjoy a training break. For anywhere from four to eight weeks, athletes might incorporate complete rest with cross training or unstructured triathlon training. It is a good idea to take a real break from the sport and allow your body to rest.
Some athletes avoid complete rest as they believe it will be very difficult to get back to their previous level of fitness, but this fear is unfounded. Taking a break will result in some detraining but aerobic fitness declines slowly. Underlying fatigue from the previous season is more likely to delay improvement than a break from training. The number one priority after every season must be rest, particularly for athletes who race Ironman and can accumulate a lot of residual fatigue, low grade injury and general overload. The minimum post season break should be four weeks and longer if there is injury to resolve. After that time it is good to get back in action.
Here are five tips to have a strong start to your training build after a break:
Competing at Ironman Arizona in my second attempt racing a full distance Ironman
My second attempt racing a full distance Ironman distance was at Ironman Arizona. I had the privilege of having my ass handed to me by Meredith Kessler after I finished in 9:14, a time that might have been respectable 5 years ago but was in another time zone behind MBK’s 8:44 (the fastest Ironman performance of 2015-so amazing!). It is good I was on the course with her that day. It is invaluable to have that performance to shine a light on where I can improve. Without comparing apples to apples, you never really know where you stack up and I was good in my second attempt but I still need to improve. Continue reading “2015 Ironman Arizona”
Visiting San Jose del Cabo for the first time at the 2015 IM 70.3 Los Cabos
I’ve never visited San Jose del Cabo so the idea of racing IM 70.3 Los Cabos event was appealing- if only to tick a travel box while doing my job as a pro athlete. Many aspects of this race were questionable in the final leadup to an Ironman event (Would I get sick from the water/food? Do I even need a race at this point? Would the airline travel challenge my immune system?) but I decided to stick to my Ironman Arizona plan as we originally laid it out and went. It seems to have been a good decision.
I was better than IM 70.3 Las Vegas, I had a great swim and I had a great time. Plus I won a bit of money, got some great exposure for Trek Mexico at the presser and I now have a whale shark BFF. All around good times and noodle salad.
Speaking at the 2015 Triathlon BC Gala before Racing IM 70.3 Silverman, Las Vegas
My last trip took me from Vancouver, BC to Las Vegas, Nevada. I hopped on friendly Westjet and my first stop was in Vancouver where I spoke at the TriBC Athlete Gala. The gala is a fundraiser to support youth development in British Columbia so it was an amazing opportunity. The event itself raised $10,000 for youth development and by speaking I was able to donate $500 to the Victoria chapter of Kidsport. I was so happy to be presented the chance to do something for the youngsters that I train with so I flew out of Vancouver on a high. It was a great night and thank you to all the folks that organized and attended. I love nights where everyone dresses up, haha! I have always been a bit of a magpie for cute outfits. Thanks to Blueseventy, USANA and Champion System for helping me to donate to the silent auction that night!