Over the past few weeks, I’ve been training hard for the Ironman race, which includes long rides, runs, and swims. This intense training has taken roughly 12 hours a week. My legs and the rest of my body have taken a major beating and the physical stress is finally starting to catch up to me.
On Sunday, I decided to take part in a century, which is a 100-mile ride, to see where I am in my Ironman training. The race is only seven weeks away. At this point, it’s essential that my legs and endurance is up-to-speed to the point where I would be able to complete in the race as if it was tomorrow.
During my 100-mile bike ride, I noticed, while going uphill around mile 40, that my left knee started giving me trouble. It’s been tight the past couple weeks, but this pain was different; the pain was sharp in a few areas around my knee. Since Atlanta is known for its hills, eventually it caught up with me and my knees, so at mile 60, I decided to call it a day.
When I returned home, I wondered what I could do differently to rectify this issue. This didn’t feel like a meniscus tear or a serious issue, rather, it felt like something caused by overuse. Injuries caused by overuse are the most common injuries. However, the majority of people don’t deal with this issue soon enough, which can result in tears or other serious issues.
The last thing I wanted was to tear or sprain something, so I pulled out my equipment and got to work to fix the problem.
Many of you have different joint issues while working out, so these steps should act as a guide for you to recover faster.
Step 1 – Epsom Salt – I have been doing this trick for years. I immediately hopped into the Epsom salt bath using roughly three pounds of salt. Usually, I only use 1.5 pounds. Since there is more swelling, I decided to increase the quantity for stronger effects. Epsom salt is made of magnums and is absorbed through the skin, so this trick is a great one for someone with any injuries below the neck. If I have Arnica oil lying around, I will throw some of that into the tub as well to help with subsiding the pain. Arnica is a natural pain reliever derived from a plant. If you need more information into my recovery bath check out the article here: http://draustincohen.com/my-cheap-and-easy-recovery-bath-for-my-muscles/
Step 2 – Take Fish Oil – Once I hopped out of the bath, I used my style of ‘anti-inflammatories’ and loaded up on some omega 3 fatty acids. Other countries use this before taking prescription drugs and tend to have healthier athletes. So, why not follow their success? I know a lot of people take Aleve or other drugs to mask their pain, but this does nothing to correct the problem. It leads you to believe you are fixed, but in reality you continue to contribute to the underlying problem.
Step 3 – Ice the Knee Joint – My favorite way to ice down is to grab a ziplock bag and fill it with ice. Then, take a small wet towel and wrap it around the ziplock bag. Place it on your joint for 12 minutes. I like to take the Voodoo floss and wrap it around the ice. This compresses it making the joint much stronger.
Step 4 – Voodoo Floss – This is a trick, which many of you may be unfamiliar with, but one that is very important and helped me and others recover faster. Go to http://www.roguefitness.com/voodoo-floss-bands and place your order now. This stuff is a game changer in the recovery world. Foam rollers, yoga-up balls, and floss tape are always in the recovery bag and should be used on a regular basis.
1) Wrap it around right below the knee and then perform 10 squats with good form.
2) Wrap the second one just above the knee cap and do another 10 squats with the exact form.
Below is a short video, which will explain an easier way to do this.
As a side note, I will be getting my knee and spine adjusted this week to fix the mechanics, and receive two deep tissue massages to focus on the hamstrings, quads, calves, and anterior tibialis.