Hello! My name is Nick Ontkean. I am a Certified Athletic Therapist and work with Momentum Health at the Calgary Police Headquarters.
I am an avid triathlete and compete several times a year locally and regionally. This year I will race the Long Course World Championships in Penticton, BC on August 27. Throughout my season I would like to share some wisdom when it comes to staying injury free and fit!
Let’s start with earlier in June.
This month I raced a 20.8km portion of the Banff to Jasper relay and the following weekend competed in the Wasa Lake Triathlon just north of Cranbrook, BC. Both events went well. Some people may say racing two events back to back is asking for injury, but if you are diligent with your training and recovery, you can accomplish a lot.
I was quite tired after the 20.8km run and was experiencing some lower leg pain on my left calf the day after the race. As I had another event in 6 days, this would not do. So I set to work to optimize recovery. Foam rolling of the over worked muscle combined with some hip exercises to add stability and making sure to warm up and cool down during workouts that week had my leg feeling good to go the day before. I managed to run a 39 minute 10k off of the bike to secure the win in my age category and 7th overall.
Post race care can keep the training going. Make sure to listen to your body and differentiate between training soreness and something possibly more sinister. Along with a good maintenance program, one of the best ways to stay injury free is to train frequently and not add sporadic jumps in volume or intensity. Frequent training keeps the body ready for work and keeping the volume/intensity appropriate ensures the body can hold up.
I have the benefit of having gone to school for these issues, so I know where to (painfully) poke and roll on my body to achieve a desired effect. If you find yourself with a recurrent issue or things creeping up before or after events, consider seeing a physiotherapist, athletic therapist, chiropractor or massage therapist at one of the Momentum Health clinics around the city.
Next up is the Great White North triathlon July 2. This will be a half iron distance event and I will be sure to have some new tips for you after it is completed. Until then, safe training!
Nick Ontkean - Athletic Therapist and Kinesiologist BSc.Kin, CAT(C)