In Colorado, the Realtor often doubles as a runner, the cook as a climber. But balancing work and play can be painful. Athletes and experts give you tips on rest, recovery and the myth of the weekend warrior.
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1. From desk to dirt
Going from your office to the road can take a toll on your body. Even something as a simple as being in a recreational soccer league can put you at risk for injury, especially if you don’t exercise on your non-game days. “If there is someone getting regular exercise—even enough to keep their heart rate up for 20 minutes each day—they will recover that much better and faster on the harder workouts than someone who is sedentary,” said Lynn Voss, orthopedic surgeon at Boulder Orthopedics.
2. Your body is a Trek
Maybe it’s procrastination. Maybe, ironically, it’s laziness. But weekend warriors tend to be fairly reactionary when it comes to their bods. Experts advise athletes to treat their muscles, bones and joints like they treat their bikes or cars: You wouldn’t wait until the engine blows or the frame is busted to take it to the shop would you? Even though your muscles feel strong, maintenance is vital to preserving your pace.
3. Whoa, cowboy
Overtraining is a one-way road to Hurtsville. It’s too much too soon, and it can get you into trouble. Voss of Boulder Orthopedics recommends athletes who are in training build up 10 percent a week for three weeks, back off 20 percent for a week, build up 10 percent for three more weeks, and again back off 20 percent. “You need to rest to increase strength,” Voss said.
4. To stretch or not to stretch
There’s been something of a controversy about stretching for some time: one study will recommend stretching only after exercise and another will suggest stretching before. Voss says it’s best to start with a quick warm up—break a light sweat during a quick jog or bike ride—then stretch and go about your workout. The same goes for those doing “overhead sports,” like basketball or baseball: toss a few to get warmed up, stretch and then start putting zip on the balls.
5. Variety is the spice of sports
You are a “runner.” You love running. You refuse to swim unless there’s a flood. But experts say cross-training can be beneficial to serious athletes. Tracey Bernett, a Longmont runner who has done triathlons for 30 years, mixes in Pilates and weight training to build up her core muscles, sport-specific muscles and complimentary muscles.
6. When the going gets tough…
Bernett, the Longmont runner, suggests that athletes increase massage right before and after a big event. “If I get a massage right after a marathon, I skip an entire painful day of recovery,” she said. Sally McJoynt Pillsbury, owner of Performance Sports Massage, says a post-event massage is for flushing out toxins and aiding in lymphatic drainage—not tackling deep tissue.
7. get Rolfing
If you’ve heard one thing about Rolfing, you’ve heard about the pain. But Jonathan Martine, certified Rolfer and Rolfing instructor at the Rolf Institute in Boulder, says times have changed in the Rolfing industry. “Over the years, we’ve adjusted the way we work with the body,” Martine said. “We now work with the person rather than on them.” Rolfing tackles the fascia of the body (a form of soft tissue) and works to improve posture, balance and alignment.
8. The myth of the Weekend Warrior
Diane Dandeneau has two choices: She can work out every day, enjoy 100-mile rides on Saturdays, and then comfortably relax the rest of her weekend, or she can do nothing throughout the week and then endure a weekend ride that leaves her exhausted, sore and in pain. This is why the 47-year-old road cyclist, mountain biker and avid hiker says there is a myth about the weekend warrior: “Being fit and getting workouts in throughout the week allows me to have a blast on the weekend,” she said. “You can’t just be a weekend warrior.”
9. Massage: not just for the busted and broken
You wait until your muscles begin revolting against the stress and strain of your lifestyle…and then you call the massage therapist. McJoynt Pillsbury, a longtime Boulder sports massage therapist who has worked on both pros and weekend warriors, says seeing a therapist regularly ensures athletes are aware of the conditions of their muscles. “We can tell where they need to strength train or stretch, which can help prevent injuries,” she said.
10. The right kind of doping
Voss suggests taking a Motrin right before the big event. “You’ll be in less pain during the event and less sore after,” he said.