Open Season

Alden_Tris's picture
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 09:00

Tri season is finally here in NJ. I've been eagerly awaiting the opening race of the season and watching results from warmer areas trickle in over thelast several weeks. Last Sunday finally marked the beginning of racing here in NJ with JerseyMan. The lead in to the race had it's ups and downs both mentally and physically. Although I had a solid run build and had been doing strength work throughout the winter months, some unexpected trips in the car made for an extremely tight hamstring and compromised the early season progress. 

Dr. Todd came back into action just in time. I was having trouble bending down without pain in my lower back and upper thigh. My hamstring was so tight that you could actually feel the muscle as just a taut chord. It was not comfortable. I was losing power and it took a little while to get started on runs. Dr. Todd and I worked on it over the course of 3 weeks pretty religiously. We managed to get ahead with a couple double visits in a week. The ART and focused work on the hamstring and down into the compromised calf muscle was brilliant and in short time I was feeling stronger and better. By race day, the tightness that had plagued my workouts was gone. I could come off the bike without any worry of settling in and without any sign of a limp. This was huge. 

Fast forward to race day and I came off the bike in 5/6 place with another strong athlete. Had I not been able to quickly settle into a run, I could have kissed the race goodbye at that point. Instead, we had a constant back and forth duel for the first 4.5 miles before I managed to pass and put away the other runner. In the end, I came about 0.5mi short of catching 4th place but finished with a strong showing of 5th. 

Using techniques and exercises that Dr. Todd has suggested based on my own functional movement screening, I was able to recover quickly from the effort and move forward with the training. Cycling power is at a new all time high and the run pace is beginning to creep to an even lower level. The season looks promising and the hammy is happy. 

ART

Opening Up

Alden_Tris's picture
Saturday, December 19, 2015 - 14:15

My last few visits to Dr. Todd have been focused on developing posture, engaging lazy muscles, and trying to open up my shoulders. We've made a couple changes to my daily routine including using a stand-up desk at work. This has been such a huge change. I don't slouch at my desk and I'm not tired during the day. Standing opens up my hips which keeps my hip flexors from getting tight throughout the day and it also keeps my shoulders from creeping up throughout the day. 

I've felt the benefits in running and swimming. My shoulders stay lower and properly engaged during running as opposed to rising up towards my ears. This leaves the core engaged and my body more relaxed to focus on running. During swimming, the open shoulders allow me to rotate and extend more freely and pull water with less effort. Although I thought I had pretty good posture during non-training hours, there was quite a lot of junk to break up in my shoulders. After a bit of graston (check out the handiwork in the picture), my shoulders roll back and my chest is wider. 

Posture is so important at all times. There are small fixes that can make such a big difference. Many times, simply standing and focusing on stretching out instead of scrunching up will be noticeable improvements. Coupled with a little mental discipline, I'm looking forward to continuing to engage muscles properly and seeing the long term benefit translate to training. 

The Roller Is Not Just for Post-Workout Recovery

Alden_Tris's picture
Wednesday, December 2, 2015 - 20:45

Rollers can be great to help work out kinks during training. An achy muscle, tight back, or sore ligament can definitely be addressed through some targeted rolling. But, that's not it. I've come to find that the roller can actually help pre-workout as well. Rather than spending time on a slow warm-up, I've started to roll out my legs before rides and runs and it's been a huge help. I can start my workouts with clear legs and a focus in the body to be more effecient and effective. 

Several years ago, I wrecked on my bike and banged up my shoulder. It still causes me some problems. Dr. Todd listened to this, watched my movement, and gave some pointers on using the roller to stretch out the shoulder area and break up the scar tissue. This is particularly important based on the swimming stress put on the shoulder as well as the core development we're focusing on during the off-season. By pairing the roller both before and after workouts, I'm looser, a bit more flexible, and more effectively ready to go for workouts. It's been great to utilize a training tool in a more productive manner and add to recovery. 

Subscribe to RSS - #trainsmarter