Macca has very rarely been injured. Here’s why.
I was recently talking with a good friend who is training for his first Ironman. His stories of long rides and brick sessions spilled from him with such bravado that I barely had time to take in everything he had planned.
He was lit with positive energy. But my experience with triathletes and their desire to talk up what they are doing forced me to probe a little more.
“How is the body holding up?” I asked when he gave me a moment to speak.
“Oh you know, just the usual niggles and fatigue, but nothing that’s stopping me from hitting my workouts,” he replied. “I would be happy with a bit more sleep, but sleep is overrated,” he said with a laugh. “My legs have been heavy and tired these past few weeks, but my volume is right up at the moment so it is to be expected.”
I took the opportunity to advise him to listen to his body. Recovery is a component that is so easily dismissed that it has almost become taboo to talk about it.
“My program gives me Monday mornings off, so I’m getting the rest I need,” he answered.
My phone rang three weeks later and on the other end was my very different-sounding friend. He had picked up a cold, and that sore leg of his had just been diagnosed as a stress fracture. The enthusiasm and positive energy was gone from his voice.
“I just don’t know how it happened,” he said. “I followed my program perfectly.”
And with that statement, he had both the question and his answer. In fact, most injuries triathletes get can be avoided.
In 20 years of triathlon racing I have never had an injury that could have been avoided. I often get asked how I have remained relatively injury-free.
I have followed three basic rules that have kept me in the game, season after season. Consider them when planning your season and building your program. As my mate found out, injuries and sickness can destroy a dream. Take control of your journey and own your training decisions.