A few weeks ago, we talked about how to assess certain aches and pains you might feel during training and how to know if you should push through it or take your foot off the gas for a day or two. In this blog, we bring you more advice from Pat Stanziano on how to help your body recovery and stay in tip top shape for the duration of the summer!
Responses have been modified to accommodate article length.
FLEXAFIT: What steps can skaters take to keep their bodies healthy and promote recovery?
PAT: A comprehensive warm up and cool down are important parts of a properly designed training program. A good warm up should break up your elements into component movements. Start by doing these movements under control–especially at end ranges (as far as you can go). Eventually, you can combine the components, build up speed and power, and then perform the element.
My suggestion for recovery would be to actively bring your heart rate down and go through the same component movements under control, almost like a system check to assess that everything after your session feels the same as it did prior to your session.
FLEXAFIT: How often should athletes see a physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, etc? Is additional care an essential part of staying strong and healthy?
PAT: These practitioners are an essential part of your team, but much too often, they are relied upon for quick fixes of typical (and normal) aches that cause athletes to panic. Dependency– both physical and psychological–on these practitioners has been linked to future chronic pain sufferers.
The primary role of the sport therapist should be to ensure that the athlete is staying as close to the training plan laid out by coaches (technical, strength and conditioning, etc) as possible. Additionally, sport therapists need to normalize typical responses to intense exercise (like aches and pains) and ensure the athlete that what they are doing on their own (strength and conditioning, proper nutrition, adequate sleep/rest, stress management, etc) is the most essential part of being strong and healthy. Talk about empowerment!