One of the most frustrating things we face in our training is INJURIES! They are often hard to predict, tricky to treat and slow to heal! But... there are some things you can be doing to reduce your risk of injuries and keep yourself on the path towards your goals.
1: Manage your training load
Generally speaking, training load refers to your overall volume of training/exercise on a weekly or monthly basis. But there is more involved here, and more that you can do to make sure you're managing it properly:
- Manage your training intensity (do not give 100% all of the time)
Look at RPE (rate of perceived exertion) and make sure your intensity is manageable.
- 10% rule: Do not increase your intensity.volume by more than 10% each week (eg: if you run 5km in week 1, do not run more than 5.5km in week 2)
- Deload weeks: these are programmed weeks where your training volume is purposefully reduced. Talk to a coach to get help here!
2: Warm up and Cool Down
You should ALWAYS include a warm up and a cool down in every session you do! Here's some simple tips for making your warm ups and cool downs effective:
- Warm ups: Foam rolling or theragun, mobility work, muscle activation work, dynamic stretching
-Cool Downs: gentle movement (eg walk), static stretching, foam rolling
3: Proper Nutrition
Some of the main causes of injury relating to nutrition are under-fuelling your body (ie. not eating enough) and under-fuelling your recovery (ie. not eating the right foods). Here's how to make sure you avoid falling into this trap:
- Fuel your sessions: Carbohydrates are your body's preferred energy source, so make sure you are consuming adequate amounts of carbs, especially leading up to your training sessions (more info on nutrient timing coming soon!)
- Fuel your recovery: Exercise depleted the carbohydrate stores (called glycogen) in your body so ensure you replenish these post workout with a Carbohydrate and protein rich meal (protein for muscle recovery)
- Hydration: Ensure adequate water consumption during and after your workouts to avoid dehydration.
There is a lot involved in proper recovery from your sessions. While things like ice baths, and saunas can be effective, it's important to note that these generally only improve recovery by around 5%. For the most effective recovery try these things:
- Good Diet: If you feel like your diet is lacking, talk to a qualified nutritionist (me)
- Quality Sleep: The human body needs on average, 8 hours of sleep each night! Make sure you're getting quality sleep to help your body recover.
-Recovery/Rest Days: Your rest days should include active recovery (eg walking, yoga), massage, stretching or foam rolling. I usually recommend 1-2 rest days each week!
I'd highly recommend you try implementing a few of these things into your routines to reduce your risk of injury and continue to have safe, effective and fun training sessions!