Photo by Kenny Withrow (5280 Elite)
Injuries are almost an inevitable part of one's journey through life, and this is even more true for competitive athletes. As a professional triathlete, I've dealt with several injuries, each of which forced me to take time away from competition. But every injury, while frustrating,
has been an opportunity to learn more about myself and to adapt to and overcome the challenges that come with each new strain, sprain, or accident.
I began working with ALTA Physical Therapy in early 2015, and since then, PT has become an integral part of my training. I stay on top of any small tweaks or imbalances before they become big problems.
What have I learned?
Seek professional help early following an injury and then listen to the experts!
In 2012, I suffered a stress fracture in my left foot during a half-ironman distance event. It was another two months before the injury was properly diagnosed. The healing process was drawn out as a result of my impatience (I'll admit it!) and inexperience with stress fractures. I tried coming back far too soon and was too aggressive in my return to running. If only I had known about the Anti-gravity treadmill in 2012! Being injured was a humbling experience in my first season as a professional and gave me a new appreciation for being healthy.
My second stress fracture happened in 2014, and it was bittersweet. I was ecstatic about my first win as a professional, b
ut I hobbled around post-race, knowing something was not right with my big toe. I was smarter this time around. I got medical help and a correct diagnosis right away. I wore a boot faithfully for six weeks and focused on swimming and biking.
ind your weakest link!
Finding the weakest link with SFMA
ress fractures are typically over-use injuries. They generally happen because we increase distance or speed too quickly or have so
me imbalances that we can't see or feel until it's too late.
After the second stress fracture, I b
egan to realize that muscular imbalances were
impacting my training and recovery. Most
muscle imbalances arose because I was unaware of faulty movement patterns that had already become bad habits. While our bodies can put up with some minor imbalance, after the 43,000 steps that make up a
marathon, a little imbalan
ce makes a
ugh PT at ALTA, I became aware of preventative measures I should have doing all those years when I w
as injury free. ALTA therapists have lots of tools that have helped me prevent injuries, recover fr
om accidents, and race in peak form.
- I also underwent video analysis on the treadmill to make sure my body was moving correctly while running. Being able to see my running style and adjust it based on Scott's feedback proved to be invaluable.
- If only I had known about the Alter G (anti-gravity treadmill) when I had stress fractures. The Alter G allows you to run unweighted pain free. Not only do you run with good form and no pain, you are back running sooner.
The support of
has been great and their tremendously, knowledgeable staff has played a huge role in my recovery. I am so very thankful for the incredible care everyone at ALTA has provided. I hope to see you all out on the trails or at the races again soon!