1. Having your walking and running style assessed
Running in a triathlon is unique girls! When we start our run in a triathlon we are already fatigued! That's why pure runners will never quite understand why triathletes are more hard core! No matter your level of experience, getting your walking and running gait assessed has its benefits including:
-Lead to a more efficient and economical running style
-Identify 'weak' areas within your body and help prevent injuries
-Make you more aware of your running style, especially under fatigue
-Women have unique features whilst walking and running. It's important that these are considered when re-training your running style
2. Blister prevention
“How do I prevent blisters?” is probably the most common question I get asked from women. Let’s face it - we have all experienced blisters at some point. They're often caused by those terrible “injury causing” high heels, but they are just as prevalent in the running population. The one answer to stopping blisters is that there is no one solution for everyone. Each blister is different, so getting them assessed on what firstly causes them and secondly, how to prevent them, is very important. Some things you can do to reduce your chances of getting blisters include:
- Ensuring you choose the right shoe that fits your foot...not the shoe that looks the prettiest!
- Changing your shoes regularly (every 6 months)
- Investing in a good pair of socks, especially for those long runs. Good news here - usually the pretty coloured socks are the best performance socks!
- Most importantly: Don't listen to what fancy pad or special powder worked for your friend. Even though it has helped them – it may cause blisters for you! Everyone foot is different!
3. Choosing the right shoes
Sorry girls. The shoe with the prettiest colour combination doesn't mean that's the shoe for you! Getting the right shoe is one of the most important choices you will make when starting triathlons. Your individual foot type, injury history, experience, running style and budget are just some of the factors to consider when choosing the right running shoe. But how do you know which is the right shoe for you? Booking an appointment with a podiatrist will help solve this for you.
4. Too much too soon
One thing I have discovered over the years or practising and training, is that girls will generally push themselves harder than guys. Girls are without doubt, mentally stronger than blokes. Who run the world?...Girls! The down side to this however, is that it can quickly lead to doing too much too soon and causing an injury or illness. Knowing how much to train, how often to train and what surfaces to do different training sessions on can pay off big time down the track. Listen to your body.
5. Injury Prevention
When riding and running, our feet and ankles can take a pounding! Some of the most important gains in training can be made through doing exercises to help prevent injuries from occurring and accelerating recovery. As boring as it can be, taking a little extra time out of your day can pay dividends come race day. We strongly recommend purchasing compression tights, a foam roller and a spikey ball to help with muscle tightness and recovery after tough sessions. It's important to use these tools especially on the arches of your feet, Calf muscles, Achilles and the inside and front of your Ankle Joints to help prevent injuries.
Ryan Twist is a Sports Podiatrist practising out of Bayswater Foot and Ankle Clinic in Melbourne's outer east. He founded the clinic 5 years ago after returning home from working at Sports Podiatry Clinic in Canberra, where he gained valuable experience working with athletes at the Australian Institute of Sport. He has a passion for triathlons having competed in 7 Ironman’s and 10 Half Ironman’s - and qualifying for the World Ironman Championships in Hawaii. Some may say he is crazy, but let's not tell him that!
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