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2014-08-11 9:04 AM

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Subject: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


2014-08-13 1:21 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


Hmm, I think I remember reading about an informal study done , probably a survey? and there was no real difference in injuries between coached and uncoached athletes.

However a coach can provide objective feedback which in my personal opinion, can help you recognize an injury or pending injury earlier in its development and/or help point you or connect you to helpful resources.

I'll actually be presenting about this at the upcoming USAT conference so this is a good reminder to lookf or specific resources about coaches & injuries.
2014-08-13 6:01 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


Loss of muscle is a valid concern, and strength training (appropriately) is a good supplement to help combat that. Unfortunately, so many triathletes only want to know if ST will make you FASTER, not stronger or more efficient that they quickly dismiss it. If you have imbalances, those need to be correct, imbalances lead to compensations, lead to inefficiencies and injuries.

Hard to point down if a coach is the responsible party for athletes, could be many other things such as the issue stated above, form, not recovering properly, choice of shoes, etc.
2014-08-13 7:39 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
That's a little bit like asking' "Are coaches good?" If you get someone really knowledgeable and experienced, (s)he should be able to help you with anything tri related.
2014-08-13 7:45 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


If I was injury prone (which I am) and I had to do things on a limited budget (don't we all), I would probably invest the money with a good physio rather than a coach.

How to progressively build mileage and speed can be found through reliable sources.
A person assessing what is "broken" and how to fix it at the early stages is worth it's weight in gold.

2014-08-13 7:51 AM
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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by marcag

Originally posted by happyscientist

I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


If I was injury prone (which I am) and I had to do things on a limited budget (don't we all), I would probably invest the money with a good physio rather than a coach.

How to progressively build mileage and speed can be found through reliable sources.
A person assessing what is "broken" and how to fix it at the early stages is worth it's weight in gold.




A good physio? I am not familiar with that term. Is that a physical therapist?

My mileage is no where near where it was two years ago. Something has gone wrong, but I can't figure out what it is. That is why I suspect that I need to strength train or add something to my training.

Edited by happyscientist 2014-08-13 7:53 AM


2014-08-13 8:06 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?

Another option to consider if you are concerned that your injuries are related to muscle loss and imbalances is a personal trainer or strength coach with a specialization in corrective exercise.  At a minimum, look for someone with corrective exercise specific credentials such as NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, Gray Institute, or The BioMechanics Method.  These are just the ones off the top of my head, but there are others.

As with any trainer, don't be afraid to ask for past or current clients with issues similar to yours for references.  Certifications and credentials alone do not guarantee their skill level.

 

2014-08-13 8:08 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by marcag

Originally posted by happyscientist

I ran for a couple years without any problems, but lately, I have had a lot of problems with overuse injuries. Last week, my IT band started bothering me even though I didn't do anything out of the ordinary. It is getting very frustrating. I would like to increase my running mileage, but things like this keep happening. I suspect that as I get older, I am starting to lose a bit of muscle or things are getting imbalanced or something along those lines. May be it is loss of flexibility. I am thinking about getting a coach through the winter. Is the type of things they can help with?

My specific goals are: 1) reduce my 1500 m swim to under 30 min
2) Complete a HIM (and preferably not be DFL)
3) Increase mileage without injury.


If I was injury prone (which I am) and I had to do things on a limited budget (don't we all), I would probably invest the money with a good physio rather than a coach.

How to progressively build mileage and speed can be found through reliable sources.
A person assessing what is "broken" and how to fix it at the early stages is worth it's weight in gold.




A good physio? I am not familiar with that term. Is that a physical therapist?

My mileage is no where near where it was two years ago. Something has gone wrong, but I can't figure out what it is. That is why I suspect that I need to strength train or add something to my training.


Yes, sorry, maybe that's a French-Canadian abbreviation. It's physical therapist.
I think different occupations can achieve the same thing.

My physio also does ART, needles...the whole set of tools.
My previous physio, who moved away, was really good at assessing strength imbalances and focusing on those.
I am growing more and more in belief of how critical strength training and flexibility are critical as we age. The trick is finding someone competent to assess and prescribe the right plan.
Trial and error sucks.

I am limping through this season but plan to follow my own advice in the fall.
2014-08-13 10:11 AM
in reply to: marcag

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Had the same issue///


Started stretching like a mad man... that seemed to be the trick for me..
2014-08-13 11:43 AM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.
2014-08-13 12:00 PM
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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?

Jr. did a 6 week, twice per week, functional strength program over the winter to specifically address imbalances that were observed/tested during an extensive evaluation.  We used Athletic Republic (not a promo for them, just an example of the type of facility that can address issues like this) and it made a big difference in the amount of "niggles" and pains he got this season.  So my answer would be yes, it can help....but think about the type of "coaching".



Edited by Left Brain 2014-08-13 12:18 PM


2014-08-13 12:41 PM
in reply to: jennifer_runs

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by jennifer_runs

If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.


2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training.

So a good coach can help, but communication is important.
2014-08-13 12:46 PM
in reply to: Left Brain

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by Left Brain

Jr. did a 6 week, twice per week, functional strength program over the winter to specifically address imbalances that were observed/tested during an extensive evaluation.  We used Athletic Republic (not a promo for them, just an example of the type of facility that can address issues like this) and it made a big difference in the amount of "niggles" and pains he got this season.  So my answer would be yes, it can help....but think about the type of "coaching".




What method did they use on Jr.?

Gym I work at uses the FMS, and after this summer will can go in-depth a little more and use the SFMA, which not just tells use imbalances, asymmetries, etc, but where exactly they weak links are, what cause them, and the proper progressions to build the individual.
2014-08-13 12:47 PM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by jennifer_runs

If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.


2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training.

So a good coach can help, but communication is important.


So, if I came to you with my list of goals and explained my background but that I have had a problem with overuse injuries (IT band, shin splints) for the last two years, would that be something that you could work with or is that the type of thing you would refer me to someone else for? I am trying to get a feel for whether a coach would be a worthwhile investment.
2014-08-13 1:01 PM
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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?

Originally posted by bcagle25
Originally posted by Left Brain

Jr. did a 6 week, twice per week, functional strength program over the winter to specifically address imbalances that were observed/tested during an extensive evaluation.  We used Athletic Republic (not a promo for them, just an example of the type of facility that can address issues like this) and it made a big difference in the amount of "niggles" and pains he got this season.  So my answer would be yes, it can help....but think about the type of "coaching".

What method did they use on Jr.? Gym I work at uses the FMS, and after this summer will can go in-depth a little more and use the SFMA, which not just tells use imbalances, asymmetries, etc, but where exactly they weak links are, what cause them, and the proper progressions to build the individual.

I don't really know the name of the method, Ben......most of their training protocols are proprietary, but your description of "SFMA" sounds very similar.  He will do an 8 week program this winter in conjunction with the same amount of overspeed treadmill workouts.  It's amazing how much stronger he came out of those sessions last Spring.

Basically, once XC season ends in early November he will rest for a couple of weeks and then start the training I just described, along with a substantial swim build of roughly 50,000 yards per week..  The strength/overspeed prgram will run until nearly the beginnning of Feb....then it's another week of rest and then the beginning of a run build into track season.  I consider everything he does from 11/1 through 2/1 (3 months) to be strength trianing....even his swim workouts incorporate quite a bit of swimming with tethered weights, a parachute, paddles, etc.



Edited by Left Brain 2014-08-13 1:07 PM
2014-08-13 2:09 PM
in reply to: happyscientist

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by jennifer_runs

If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.


2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training.

So a good coach can help, but communication is important.


So, if I came to you with my list of goals and explained my background but that I have had a problem with overuse injuries (IT band, shin splints) for the last two years, would that be something that you could work with or is that the type of thing you would refer me to someone else for? I am trying to get a feel for whether a coach would be a worthwhile investment.


Any good coach should be able to work with this, but there are no guarantees-- best to get a recommendation and/or set up an initial consultation with someone so that you and he/she are on the same page with expectations and goals.

Also, communication DURING the process is what is really key-- that is, if something starts to bother you, let the coach know and he/she will modify the plan.

My experience wasn't as extreme as what Suzanne describes, but I worked with a running coach for about 2 years. Things were going really well, until I started to hit a plateau and had some trouble. We modified the workouts and I started to do some pretty tough ones, which were challenging but very helpful. But small pains started to come back at old injury sites. I wasn't always completely forthcoming when things were bothering me (at the time an Achilles injury flare-up), and wanted to do the hard workouts, thinking I just needed to "suck it up". I ended up injured.

If you keep getting injured because of overuse, a coach should definitely be able to help you moderate your intensity and volume increase to prevent recurrence. But there are no guarantees. Other people are recommending physical therapy and/or functional strength assessment, which CAN be really good given the right person-- but can also end up being a waste of time and money.


2014-08-13 10:46 PM
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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by jennifer_runs

If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.


2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training.

So a good coach can help, but communication is important.


So, if I came to you with my list of goals and explained my background but that I have had a problem with overuse injuries (IT band, shin splints) for the last two years, would that be something that you could work with or is that the type of thing you would refer me to someone else for? I am trying to get a feel for whether a coach would be a worthwhile investment.


A Coach's scope of practice is recognition of signs & prevention, not diagnosis or treatment. Coaches don't treat injuries. ANy good coach should be referring you to injury specialists and getting a report form them on what you can & can't do and then incorporate that into your training. But if you are not actively having issues, I'd ask what you did to address them, and look carefully at your training history, see if you know what triggered them or anything that contributed to them and then take that into account when setting up training stress and volume.

I would also make sure you had a good fit on the bike (I have an excellent local fitter) , and do a running form assessment to see if there is anything corrective there which may prevent future injuries. If you had shoudler neck or back issues I'd also make sure to do a swim form assessment.

I do that with all my athletes anyway (form assessments)

Does that help?
2014-08-14 1:48 AM
in reply to: bcagle25

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by bcagle25
could be many other things such as the issue stated above, form, not recovering properly, choice of shoes, etc.


+2 on this quote above...

Knowing your body, your fitness, your (lack of) concentration in every session, your mental strength, these are things your coaches cannot tell you. Coach can create your training session, but you are the one to know is it manageable.
2014-08-14 7:04 AM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?
Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by happyscientist

Originally posted by AdventureBear

Originally posted by jennifer_runs

If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries.

So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.


2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training.

So a good coach can help, but communication is important.


So, if I came to you with my list of goals and explained my background but that I have had a problem with overuse injuries (IT band, shin splints) for the last two years, would that be something that you could work with or is that the type of thing you would refer me to someone else for? I am trying to get a feel for whether a coach would be a worthwhile investment.


A Coach's scope of practice is recognition of signs & prevention, not diagnosis or treatment. Coaches don't treat injuries. ANy good coach should be referring you to injury specialists and getting a report form them on what you can & can't do and then incorporate that into your training. But if you are not actively having issues, I'd ask what you did to address them, and look carefully at your training history, see if you know what triggered them or anything that contributed to them and then take that into account when setting up training stress and volume.

I would also make sure you had a good fit on the bike (I have an excellent local fitter) , and do a running form assessment to see if there is anything corrective there which may prevent future injuries. If you had shoudler neck or back issues I'd also make sure to do a swim form assessment.

I do that with all my athletes anyway (form assessments)

Does that help?


That does help, thanks.
2014-08-14 8:28 AM
in reply to: AdventureBear

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Subject: RE: Are coaches good for preventing injuries?

Originally posted by AdventureBear
Originally posted by happyscientist
Originally posted by AdventureBear
Originally posted by jennifer_runs If you find a good coach who can work with you and your strengths and weaknesses, it can be really good for your training, progress, and injury prevention. But good coaching requires good two-way communication. Sometimes you can be eager to please a coach and it can actually be worse for injuries. So yeah, this question is like asking, "Will a coach be good for my training?" or "Will this plan help me prevent injury?" There's no way to answer these questions in an absolute sense.
2 way communication is key! I had an athlete I'd been coaching for 6 months tell me that he saw a doctor who thought he had a stress fracture to explain his chronic foot pain for 4 months...which I never knew about! he kept runnign to keep up with the training plan I provided which was based on an athlete progressing well. He never told me he was having foot pain which would have resulted in me stopping or curtailing his running, and recommending a sports doc visit with results prior to ramping up any training. So a good coach can help, but communication is important.
So, if I came to you with my list of goals and explained my background but that I have had a problem with overuse injuries (IT band, shin splints) for the last two years, would that be something that you could work with or is that the type of thing you would refer me to someone else for? I am trying to get a feel for whether a coach would be a worthwhile investment.
A Coach's scope of practice is recognition of signs & prevention, not diagnosis or treatment. Coaches don't treat injuries. ANy good coach should be referring you to injury specialists and getting a report form them on what you can & can't do and then incorporate that into your training. But if you are not actively having issues, I'd ask what you did to address them, and look carefully at your training history, see if you know what triggered them or anything that contributed to them and then take that into account when setting up training stress and volume. I would also make sure you had a good fit on the bike (I have an excellent local fitter) , and do a running form assessment to see if there is anything corrective there which may prevent future injuries. If you had shoudler neck or back issues I'd also make sure to do a swim form assessment. I do that with all my athletes anyway (form assessments) Does that help?

Suzanne makes a good point with the bold.  I think it can be confusing for people, because they may think that a coach is going to have all the answers.  Instead, there is a fairly specific scope of practice for coaches, personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, registered dietitians, physical therapists, physicians, swimming technique coaches, bike fitters, etc.  In some cases you may find someone who has qualifications in more than one area, such as Suzanne being both a coach and physician or myself as a coach and personal trainer, but even in those cases, it's necessary to understand what service that person is providing.  For example, even though Suzanne is a physician, when you hire her as a coach, you're a coached client, not a patient, so she cannot diagnose and treat medical issues under a coaching agreement.  You would need to go into her ER for that.  

The best coaches tend to have a team of people that includes specialists like I listed above that they refer their athletes to as needed.  This is OT, but it should probably be added to the list of questions asked of a potential coach - Do they have a team of outside experts they can tap into?

 

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