Culver City | Westwood
Culver City | Westwood
LA Sports Massage’s 6 Ways to Prevent Injury
Part 1 – Stay With Your Training Plan
By Dennis Lisaius
Director and Senior Therapist – LA Sports Massage
In a recent article, we briefly discussed 6 easy ways to minimize your opportunity to become injured during training. Today we’ll talk more in depth about the first point: staying on-plan when you train.
Before you begin the journey that takes you to a marathon finish line, or gets you to a healthy weight, or just gets you on your feet and moving every day, you need to understand what separates man and machine. A car can travel any distance you decided to take it – one mile or a thousand. Just keep fuel in it – it goes! But we, people, aren’t designed that way. Our body adapts to whatever we demand of it. If you’re a runner that hasn’t run in years your body adapts by becoming de-conditioned. When you want to run again you must re-condition your body by imposing demands on it. It takes a systematic plan to slowly increase the demands on your body, day by day, week by week, until your body has adapted to those demands. There is a scientific principle used to describe the training process: SAID – Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands. More about SAID in future articles.
The majority of people to initiate training after being sedentary become injured within their first six weeks. That number is 50 to 90%*. The sad fact is that many people then just give up training forever, thinking that an active or athletic life is beyond reach for them. That is simply not so.
What’s the reason for so many injuries and what can we do about it? Most people train without a specific plan, or guidance from a trainer. The majority of people that work out at a gym train by mimicking other gym goers without any idea if the person they copy has skills or knowledge. But with the addition of a sensible training plan and coaching, we can progress uninjured through levels of fitness to reach our goals.
There are several paths to finding and using a training plan.
The second part of the equation is to actually follow your training plan. There is a tendency for many people to over-train or to under-train. Both can be equally disastrous when it comes to injuries. I can speak from personal experience here. Some years ago I was training to run the LA Marathon. In my enthusiasm I ran extra miles during the week. About 8 weeks into the season I severely tore a calf muscle, simply because I had not followed the training plan my running club had provided.
For many seasoned athletes the information in this article may seem old and obvious. But the truth is at LA Sports Massage we see many of those same seasoned athletes seeking help for injuries that happen due to poor training practices – by going off plan.
Be sure to train with a plan and stick with it! Good luck as you build your fitness and skill in your chosen sport.
Our next post deals with an often neglected part of training: Recovery – your body requires time to repair itself.
LA Sports Massage is a leading provider of high quality sports massage for athletes and active people of every level.
* Jones BH, Cowan DN, Knapik J. Exercise, training, and injuries. Sports Medicine 1994; 18(3): 202-14.