Deal With Lower Leg Pain
Lower leg injuries top the list of training injuries for triathletes. Shin splints are the most common injury experienced by triathletes of all levels, from beginner to seasoned veteran. Shin splints occur with too much training, so check your mileage logs. Odds are you’ve increased your mileage too quickly. Achilles tendonitis is another common triathlete training injury related to cycling. Too much training, hill training, improper fit of cycling shoes or improper position of the cleat or simply using new cleats lead to Achilles tendonitis. Lower leg injuries, whether cycling injuries or running injuries, respond well to the RICE method of treatment–Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. They almost always heal themselves if you avoid training on them at the onset of pain.
Shoulder Problems Are Common
Although it’s low impact, swimming still leads to injury for some triathletes. Swimmer’s shoulder is a swimming injury caused by inflammation in the rotator cuff. Its cause is usually poor technique along with excessive training. In order to treat swimmers shoulder, you must first rest, and then correct any issues with your swimming form.
Knee Issues Are a Pain
Runner’s knee is an injury that is common to both runners and cyclists. It makes sense, then, that this injury is fairy common among triathletes. Runner’s knee is actually the breakdown of cartilage in the knee, which causes the kneecap to grind on the femur, causing pain. Runner’s knee is an excessive training injury, so to treat it, stop the offending activity. Gradually work your way back up in mileage once you are pain-free.
Pulls and Tears Can Happen
Triathletes are no strangers to muscle pulls and tears. These injuries are not extremely common, but they are very serious. Pulls and tears will put you out of commission for a season or more if you do experience them, and require extensive treatment. Physical therapy is almost always necessary when you pull or tear any muscle, and sometimes the condition requires surgery.
How to Avoid Injuries
The easiest way to avoid most of the triathlon injuries listed above is to not train too much. This means increasing mileage by no more than10 percent a week, and not increasing at all every third or fourth week. Take plenty of rest days; these days are just as important as your actual training. Your body uses these days to rebuild and grow muscle, so rest and relax at least once or twice a week. Weight training helps counter muscle imbalances that lead to injuries. Lift weights two to three times a week to reduce your risk of injury. Follow the age-old rules: always stretch and drink plenty of fluids.