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training for triathlons

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    Posted: Jul 08 2008 at 3:36pm

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Posted - 12/26/2007 :  08:30:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Our user asked: "I recently completed my first marathon but did suffer some knee injuries. As a result, I decided to switch to triathlons in hopes of decreasing the chances of re-injurying my knees. Do you have any suggestions on what type of cross training or exercises I can do to build up the muscles around my knees so that I can reduce any knee injuries in the future? Thank you"

Ask a PT Response: "In regards to knee pain/troubles, running or any impact sport can be straining to the knees. When comparing training for a marathon versus training for a triathlon, there is the major difference of adding swimming and bicycling to your training regime. By nature of the activity, swimming and bicycling can be less impact and strain on the knees. However, these activities do greatly require leg strength and flexibility. So it is very important to be training within a routine that balances out strength of all leg musculature as well as flexibility.

For strength training the legs, lunges and squats are excellent exercises. They work the major muscle groups of the legs, as well as challenge your balance and coordination - both of which are also important in overall training. The key is to be performing these exercises correctly with proper form, as to not injure yourself. Exercises are not meant to be painful, so pain is usually an indicator that you are doing something wrong. So stop an re-asses your exercise form. You will also want to perform heel raises, toe raises, hip adduction and hip abduction and hip extension exercises (these can be found on machines at the gym).

Stretching is also very important. Key areas to stretch include: Hamstrings, Quadriceps, IT Band, Piriformis, Glutes, Gastroc/Soleus (calf muscles), and Hip flexors. You can see instructional videos on all of these stretches on the CyberPT website. From the home page, go to "Exercise Videos". Look in the Lower leg/Ankle/Foot and Hip/Groin/Knee categories. Just click on the exercise and a video and audio instructional will walk you through the exercise. I hope this has helped, and thank you for using CyberPT! Happy Training!"

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