Are you tired of talking about the weather? Tired or running on the treadmill because it’s too cold and icy to run on the roads? Has this unrelenting Toronto got the best of your motivation to exercise, pursue your goals? I can tell you, you are surely not alone. If you are carrying around a few extra pounds, feel like your fitness has diminished like a dirty pile of snow in the mall parking lot, fear not, there is hope to get you back on track to be your best this spring and summer.
As an Injury Specialist who works with active and motivated individuals like you, I am beginning to see some injuries come to the clinic from “overuse” in recent training or from “underuse” from the winter. Caution is the key when getting back to the level training and competition you are used to. Here are 5 tips that can be used to avoid unnecessary injuries that could delay you enjoying the warm sunny days ahead:
1) Ease Back Into It
Allow 48 hours between the same activity- For example. Run every other day and do resistance training on the other days. You want to avoid the “too much, too soon” trap. We are used to being a certain level of fitness, during this long weekend you may have lost a ‘’step” and need to ease back into our routines.
2) Have a Goal – Make a Plan
Design a work out routine for the week. This is similar to the first point. It is prudent to be specific with the time, intensity and duration of the workouts we choose. If it includes cross training activities and weight training workouts then they should be written down to have a specific goal. This will help with any motivation issues that may still be hanging around from you coming out of hibernation. Your sense of accomplishment from completing those workouts will allow you to create momentum for the weeks to come.
3) Use a Training Log
The best-designed training programs can be useless if we don’t keep record of the workouts. By writing down your workouts, you can keep track of the workloads, distances, and number or workouts completed in a week, month and eventually a year. When I was training for my sport of canoeing, it was valuable to add some comments of the quality of the workout, how I felt in terms of energy, hours of sleep that night etc. The more information you add to your journal, the more you will know yourself as an athlete. The best workouts you have are attached to your mindset you have going into in and during the workout. If you are competing this year in competition, knowing what your best mindset is to achieve your best performance on the day can be achieved and not just hoped for on the day. After all, that is always the goal, to be able to perform our best on competition day!
4) Listen to Your Body
Aches and pains are a normal side effect from training, but we want to avoid an ache or pain to progress to an injury that may sideline us from sticking to our carefully designed plan! A pain that last for more than a week without relief is general rule of thumb that it should be looked at. The therapists here at the Urban Athlete are all on “your team” and will work with you to get a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to get you training pain free once again and on the road to completing your goal.
5) Consistent Sustained Training Will Get You the Best Results
You have most likely heard the expression- “Plan your work, Work your plan”. A little effort in the design of your workout schedule with your trainer, work out partner or yourself will prove to be your best strategy to meet your exercise goals this year. Completing your workouts as they are designed, no more, no less, with your best effort will lead to you increasing your loads, speeds and distances. You will feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment as your training log gets filled with your efforts.
Good luck this spring. We are on your team and your partners in your sporting and activity goals!
Dr. Gavin Maxwell – chiropractor
1996 Olympic Athlete,
World championship coach in dragonboat racing.