It's tri training season again. And this year I need to try - that is "tri" - harder! Why?Read More
How 'bout them New Year's Goals?
It's been a busy summer transition into fall here at Artisan PT and in life in general. The seasons are changing even though here in Southern California it doesn't always feel like it. We have (hopefully!) made it to fall (finally!). The Weather Channel app is telling me just a high of 74 deg, so I'm going to risk it and say: "we made it!" Here's to wearing layers, enjoying hot beverages, having comfortable workouts, and eventually enjoying falling leaves.
It's been 6 months since the last post about one of my goals: To do a race this year. September 19th, 2015, it happened. I competed in the Nautica Malibu International Distance Triathlon. 1.5 km swim, 40km bike, and 10 km run in the books!
It's been 9 months since I started training for the race. I was even training for the race 4 months before I signed up! Someone might ask - isn't 9 months a bit excessive for training for an Olympic distance triathlon? After all, it's nowhere near the length of an Ironman! My answer would be that it depends how you think about it. Starting in January of this year, I joined a local gym, which was my first traditional gym membership in the past 5 years. I hadn't lifted weights, for at least that many years, and I hadn't been running for at least 2 years. As a physical therapist, I wanted to be healthy and decided to practice what I preach.
One of my PT mantras is that: Your body WILL change, but change takes time!
Body composition takes time to change, as does developing muscle strength and hypertrophying (i.e. increasing the size of your muscles), so does endurance, and cardiovascular adaptations. I don't want you to think that in those 2-5 years I was inactive, I wasn't. I'm a firm believer in activity and varied activity; I was simply doing other exercise. The first few years of those 5 years I climbed a lot and hiked. Then I got back into biking and would do that whenever I could with some swimming sprinkled in there. My enjoyment of swimming while in LA has taken birth. Prior to living here, I worked it into my routine simply because I new it was good for me or 10 years ago because I needed to in order to perform reasonably well in my triathlon races, not because I enjoyed it. Here, I've grown to love it, particularly during the sustained Indian Summer months that we just survived through, yet again.
Having not run in so long, I knew that my hip strength, in particular, would be limited and this would in turn affect my running and my mechanics during running. If not addressed, I would run a much higher chance of becoming injured. If I wanted a healthy race, I needed a healthy base. I think it's noteworthy that at that time I didn't even know what race I was going to do yet alone what distance, sports, or time of year I'd be competing. I simply knew that I needed to start with the basics. So I worked on leg, core, and upper body strength, I stretched, and worked on all the imbalances that I knew I have. I worked on exercises that combine single leg balance and strength.
We all have our issues and we all need to do our best to stay on top of them! I spent 3 months focusing on weight-training, stretching, and doing my "PT" exercises. Any runs I did were very short and focused on good form. Any leg pain? I would immediately stop. Any break down in form? I would stop.
I followed up that 3 month phase with cardio that built up all the way to my race. My goal was to do cardiovascular exercise - working in biking, swimming, and running - for one hour per day. As I got closer to race day, I started combining workouts (bricks) and doing 2 workout days to get the endurance for the multiple hours required for the race.
I had an almost unspoken goal of 3 hours for my race. I calculated this by simply combining my individual time from workouts for each portion of the triathlon. It was mostly "unspoken" because it was a dream time. I didn't know if I could do it all back to back that fast.
Well, I raced and I'm happy to report that I did it in 3 hours and 6 minutes. So close to my unspoken dream goal!
Most importantly, I was healthy the whole time and, in fact, my muscles and joints felt better than they had prior to my commencing training. I finished the race motivated to compete again, knowing that with the knowledge I gained from my training, I could reach my goal. Goals are important. Setting high goals are important. It helps you expand yourself and growth, whether you obtain the goal or not! Part of my purpose with the race, was not just the physical. I wanted to train my mental fortitude, too, in a way that I wasn't able to when I competed in triathlons previously in my 20's. I focused and learned from leaning into the discomfort that accompanies continued on when things get hard.
Don't wait until the pain comes, schedule a physical therapy visit with Liz at Artisan Physical Therapy to learn how to reach your goals healthily!
Let's get to the source and, TOGETHER, let's get moving!
Stayed tuned for future blogs to read about how to tweak my training from what I learned from the experience. Let me know any questions you might have.
Did you watch the first video in my 2-part series about IT (iliotibial) band tightness and have been waiting ever since for video 2? Well, wait no longer, for that moment has finally arrived! In part 1, I explained the anatomy of the IT Band and how it can become tight and problematic. It is often muscle imbalances that lead to this or sometimes just shear volume of activity and training.
In this video, I detail some of the practical, basic stretching and strengthening exercises that I recommend for people's whose IT Band and tensor fasciae latae (TFL) are tight, particularly due to the TFL/ITB serving as an "overachiever" muscle in the hip.
Enjoy the video. Contact me with any questions and/or suggestions for future video topics.
Let's get to the source, and together, get moving!
My first blog post of the year highlighted some of the goals I had for the year. How are your goals coming along? Typing this question, alone, is making me want to stop and go back to recheck on all my goals and see what progress I'm making & if I'm forgetting anything!
The goal on the forefront of my mind currently is my goal to train and participate in a race this year. I'm so pleased to report I reached a milestone! I signed up! "What race?" you ask. Well, I am opting for a triathlon - the Nautica Malibu International Distance Triathlon - to be precise. Now I'm excited and nervous. I got a lot to learn about ocean swimming and I've got some training to do to hopefully "race" it.
What do I mean by "race" it? It has to do with your fitness level. I am fit right now in terms of overall health and wellness in disease reduction activity lifestyles and with respect to my body weight and composition. I could participate in the triathlon event and complete it, possibly even this week, but it wouldn't feel good. I want not to simply finish it - although I think it is a great feat. I want to prepare, train, and give it my all - to go fast - that is, to "race" it. Let's be clear when I say race or fast, I mean my fast (not going to be winning any races here)!!
I'd love to hear about what your training for in life, how you're learning to persevere and be disciplined, and elevate what you think you're capable of. For me this all fits into the bigger picture of learning to live more WHOLE-HEARTED (my theme for the year) and even helping people living healthier, more satisfying lives with my work at Artisan Physical Therapy. Also let me know what training questions you have!
Together - Let's Get Moving!
Iliotibial band or IT band tightness effects a large segment of the population and can manifest itself in many negative ways. It can get tight in the sedentary (aka non-active) population but is a common problem with runners, bikers, and cross fit participants or those regularly lifting weights.
Liz created a 2-part video series to help you understand the issue and what to do about IT band tightness and IT band syndrome. In this first segment, Liz talks about what the IT band is and why it becomes problematic. Then discusses some general ways to manage or prevent it. The follow-up to this video will go through specific stretching and strengthening exercises that are beneficial for minimizing IT band tightness.
Do you have any new years goals? Some call them resolutions, but others of us are put off by that term. Goals, however! Those are worth having! Still others, including myself, select a theme for the year.
My theme for the year is: whole-hearted.Read More