“First move well, then move often.”
Pillars Of Success
I’d like to share a few concepts of things that I’ve found generate reliable success in endurance sports. Many times we tend to skip over or try to “hack” things. I’d encourage you to think about how you can improve in these areas. I’ll only highlight one at a time, but give it some thought.
The typical day of a non-professional endurance athlete often looks like a jam-packed agenda, fitting in a hard training session before or after work, then sitting in a car or, at a desk for hours.
When we do this we “set” the body into a forward fold, shortening the hip flexors, flattening and deactivating the hamstrings and posterior chain. This daily routine affects our ability to stay injury-free and to create great dynamic force and economy while moving.
When I screen people for bike fits, I see mobility issues that we have to accommodate in the fitting. With consistent mobility work we can often reduce these accommodations and find better bio-mechanics and improved alignment.
A short mobility practice can consist of either a short video class like Yoga 15 or Yoga with Adrienne, or simply a set of poses you do during down time. It doesn’t require understanding Sanskrit, but it does require patience and willingness to invest a small amount of time.
Poses that I find really useful for endurance athletes include: child pose, thread the needle, mountain pose with hands over the head, holding a deep unweighted squat in bare feet, and pigeon pose. All these should be held and while breathing deeply, “sunk into” and shifted around in, finding the points of tension and letting them resolve themselves.
Try 15 minutes a day in the evening or at lunch for two weeks and let me know how it goes! Don’t be surprised if you start moving and sleeping better, and in general, feel a little more balanced.