It takes great dedication, perseverance and motivation to be an endurance athlete. Time after time you put yourself through rigorous and intense workouts, strict eating regimens and a tailored lifestyle in order to be successful in your chosen sport, whether it’s running marathons, completing triathlons or biking hundreds of miles at a time.
In order to stay in top shape as an endurance athlete, you must take part in a variety of training and recovery methods, including both cardio and strength training workouts. In addition, seeing a physical therapist can be beneficial as a therapy provider can help you improve your range of motion and flexibility. It can also teach you correct form and posture in various movements to limit your risk of injury, avoiding a possible setback to your training schedule.
Regimented training can lead to a variety of injuries for endurance athletes, and some of the most common include:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Patella femoral syndrome
- Achilles tendonitis
- Iliotibial band syndrome
- Shin splints
These are often caused by too much activity too quickly or not enough rest in between sessions. Additionally, improper form can lead to muscle imbalances, which will affect performance. Luckily, partaking in strength lifting workouts to keep your body strong and working with a physical therapist will help prevent or correct these issues.
Seeing a physical therapist
When you first begin seeing a physical therapist, an assessment of your body to determine the best course of treatment will be performed. You will be asked about what endurance sports you participate in. For example, if you’re a runner, the therapist will want to examine your gait, where you place your weight when you step and your body position when you run. If you are a cyclist, the therapist may ask questions about your bike and seat levels, what sort of terrain you ride on and your form while seated and standing.
The therapist will also ask about your training schedule, what sort of workouts you do, how often you exercise and if you’ve had any prior injuries. Additionally, he or she will test your strength, range of motion and flexibility to determine your baseline, and then will begin to formulate a plan of action.
Muscle imbalances can be corrected through a series of exercises to strengthen the weaker muscles and build stronger stabilizing muscles. Injuries can be treated with a progressive plan, possibly incorporating massage, simple exercises, stretching, icing and heat therapy.
This article is brought to you by PREFERRED Therapy Providers Inc. PREFERRED is the nation’s leading payor management services network. Our expertise is working with physical, occupational and speech therapy practices – from single clinics to multiple clinic locations.