UCAN UK March Update by Wendy Ralfe, triathlete

March 29, 2016


This is something that I’m not very good at, having patience with myself. I am very much an instant, should have happened yesterday already, type person. So this has been a learning curve for me and quite a bit of an adjustment. But if you are in this for the long run, like I am, then it’s definitely something worth taking on board.

The human body takes 2 to 3months to make a habit, and 6 months to make it part of your life, that means new or better techniques are going to take a while to imbed – rushing things could cause injuries. Take your time; it’s better to go slow than rush things – easier said than done in my case lol.

Changing old or bad habits are going to take a while to get rid of and replace with a good habit or technique, so you may as well settle in for the long haul. Even then when you are tired, you may laps back to the old one. So it’s important to be vigilant.

I have also learnt it’s not such a good idea to change too many things at once, change one thing and give it at least two weeks to a month to settle in, then add another and give that one a month while still keeping an eye on the first thing. Slower is better, your body needs the time to adjust and build the required muscles or strength needed to adopt the change, even if like me your brain is saying this should be done already, yesterday lol.

For instance you may have injured yourself in your youth, your injury healed (or doesn’t hurt you any longer), so you think it’s gone and doesn’t affect you anymore. But in reality your body has learned to compensate for that old injury. Bear in mind that it’s learned this behaviour and been compensating for years. You start adding distance or speed (something that increases the stress on your body) and you get a niggle of sorts working its way to the surface; “something” is working too hard.

The trick is to catch this early, and figure out what the “something” is covering for. The thing that is hurting or niggling, is generally not the actual problem, it’s hurting because its working too hard to cover for the “old injury”. So the “old injury” needs to be retrained. For example your knee hurting could be due to your glutes not working properly.

The human body is an amazing thing, your brain will say get from A to B, and your body will get you there by hook or by crook, compensating and covering were ever it can to get you where you want to go. The trick is to know your body so that you can have it get you from A to B with everything working optimally, rather than by hook or by crook.

So to close, be gentle and listen to your body, its talking to you all the time. Give it time to recover, so that it can build the strength that you are asking of it.

Until next time…

If you have any comments or questions, please email them - - and I or the UCAN team will answer them.  The questions and answers will then be posted on here, to help others.

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