Welcome to Spring Training! Last Friday night, my evening started out with the Hall of Fame cyclist Lon Haldeman asking me and 42 other cyclists, “So how many of you have been riding 600 miles a week this winter?” Not a hand went up. He then followed up with, “Well, you’re about to this week, so listen up.” We were all there for our annual Spring training at desert camp. We were there to get in roughly 600 miles over 6 days at altitude in windy, sunny, gorgeous southern Arizona. Given our New England crazy winter, I only had 40 outdoor miles in my legs, but plenty of serious indoor trainer rides. My aerobic engine arrived in Arizona strong, and thanks to my twice weekly training sessions with strength coach Jim Coscina and Pilates with Kristin LeClair, my body was injury-proofed and ready for each day’s demands.
Check out the video below to relive one of my 80 mile Arizona training rides!
Is your body ready for the demands you’re about to place on it this spring?
While many of my clients are performance athletes that have been toiling away all winter in pain caves, a lot of you are participation athletes or those that simply love to run, bike, swim, or keep moving and staying strong for life. Chances are, you’re the normal people who love to be outdoors when the weather is nice, maybe take some ski and beach vacations in the winter, and generally want to stay fit and healthy. Coming out of winter, you’re revived by Spring and want to get out there and get stuff done! I love the enthusiasm and the energy, what I do not love are the avoidable injuries that so often come with too much too soon.
Every Spring, there are some common injuries that pop up on unsuspecting, well meaning folks. Here are some examples:
- Elbow tendonitis from excessive weeding (4 hours with one arm)
- Torn shoulder labrum/ elbow tendonitis from dogs pulling on leashes
- Runner’s knee (too much mileage too soon ‘cause “They Just Felt Great!”)
- Biker’s knee from weak hips, glutes, knees
- Sore neck/traps from riding in aero position for triathletes
- Tender lower back from helping kids in their 20s move into a 5th floor apartment!
These are all easily avoidable with preventative care which could include things like a proper warm up, strength training to support the activity, or simply slowly building up your endurance and respecting the 10% rule. Generally speaking, we do not increase intensity OR duration by more than 10% per week; pushing any harder than that comes with a risk of injury. There are exceptions to the rule, but the basic tenet stands. If you feel awesome and have a 5-mile run planned for Sunday, but go out and run 10, don’t be surprised if you have stabbing pains on Monday. By the same token, if you couldn’t help yourself at Home Depot and brought home 40 plants to place in your garden and had a marathon of unloading, digging, planting, watering, and clean up, on Monday you could have what is or feels like tendonitis in your elbows, pain in your neck and lower back, and overall aches in your bones. Let’s be smart people. Take breaks and do things in chunks. If you’re on your knees, use a knee pad. If you’re bending over, support your lower back and neck. Swap sides when shoveling, weed-pulling, or planting. Let your kids or someone you hire haul all the dirt and those rocks. Becoming a back donor isn’t worth it.
This season, get ahead of the competition by being smart, and remember in the back of your mind, build upon success and stay healthy and strong, and this Summer you will be ready to take on your “A” race whether that’s an ironman, a marathon, a swim, a bike ride, or simply every day life. If it helps (some clients tell me it does), imagine I’m there with you and think about what I’d say if I were watching. ? And if you need any help figuring out what those limits should be this Spring, then please give me a call or email me here and let’s discuss it. Enjoy the warmer temps!
Upcoming Events – Don’t Miss Out!
Saturday, April 13th
Coach Clare at Pacific Cycling & Triathlon, High Ridge Rd, Stamford
Lecture Topic: The 70.3 – Things You Need To Know & Be Able To Do ( 1 hour Ask A Coach Series following) 12:30-2:30 PM
Friday, April 19th
The next 6 Week Swim Clinic starts at the JCC Stamford on Newfield Ave! We filled the last session, so don’t wait to register. Race season is coming. Get in your gains now! Fridays at 6 AM
Preview rides of CT 70.3 Course – If interested in attending, then contact Coach Clare as these will be private rides for clients of Clare Zecher Coaching