My path to triathlon was an unusual one. This will be only my 4th season racing in triathlons, but I have been a high performance athlete my whole life, from competitive figure skating (age 4-19) to collegiate rowing (age 19-23). I like to think that my a-typical background has provided me with many strengths that set me apart from your average triathlete. However, it has also left me with unique weaknesses and imbalances, which have unfortunately led to a number of injuries (and a lot of learning about my body, physiology, and proprioception) in the last two years.
This past fall and winter, I spent 4 months in a walking boot with a stress fracture in my talus. At the outset, I was able to swim (and living close to Lake Michigan was a saving grace, as I could swim to my heart’s content without worrying about flipturns!). But when the fracture was taking longer than normal to heal, my doctors, coach, and I decided that full rest was the best choice (of course full rest actually meant about 2 hours of core and non-weight bearing strength work per day). But even then, without knowing it, I lost significant mobility and strength throughout my right side, from my shoulder/lat, through my core and hip, down to my foot. When I returned to walking in January, my body was totally out of wack!
Over the past few months, I have been working tirelessly with Dylan Drynan and Sharon Wong at Active Body Chiropractic as well as Sharone Aharone at Well-Fit to regain strength and mobility in every part of my body as I build back into training. The goal of my work with them is to rebalance my body and build a strong foundation that will prevent any injuries like this from happening ever again. In addition to massage/ART and strength training, my third, not-so-secret weapon to return to health has been the TrueForm resistance training system.
My boyfriend, Adam, connected with Dan Schreiber of TrueForm in January. Adam and I were both intrigued by the training system and are always eager to support local businesses. We offered to try the TrueForm system and provide feedback to help Dan better understand how TrueForm might be able to help triathletes and endurance runners.
When I brought my TrueForm home, I won’t lie – I was a skeptic. The system looked like a lot of pieces to assemble and was very foreign to any strength/training tool I had worked with. Could it really help me? Boy, was I in for a surprise(s).
First surprise: once I actually started assembling the training system, I found that it was a piece of cake, taking less than a couple minutes (I now get it on in about 30 seconds!). I put it on and started jogging, commenting to Adam “I don’t think it’s doing anything, I don’t feel anything different!” But I had promised Dan I would give it a try, so I jogged with it and did some drills for five, maybe 10 minutes. I couldn’t jog much longer at that point, as my right hip/glute didn’t engage properly at that point so my foot would start hurting.
Second surprise: When I took my TrueForm off, I went to take a step and found that foot felt 10 pounds heavier! I was shocked! My legs had been working harder than I thought without my even knowing it. I later learned from Dan that this is part of the magic of TrueForm – you can run without interference, your body gains quality functional strength in a gentle way. I used my TrueForm again the next day before my scheduled jog. That day, I was able to jog 30 minutes without my foot hurting and feeling the closest to “normal” as I had felt since the previous summer, before my injury.
Could the TrueForm have kicked in/made a difference in that short of a time period? I can’t say for sure, but I do know that ever since I began using TrueForm, my strength sessions have been more productive and my running/training has been steadily improving. I now use my TrueForm system before almost all my training runs to activate those muscles that I’m still trying to wake up from my time in the boot. It’s incredible how much better my runs are going and how my hips’ alignment, mobility, and strength have improved over the last two months with a combination of massage/ART, strength work, gradually increased training, and TrueForm. I highly recommend the system to anyone looking to add some resistance training to their routine (whether in running, bootcamp, or even your Zumba class!) or to build functional strength and improve running form to take their performance to the next level.
Interested in giving TrueForm a try? TrueForm offers a 30-day, money back guarantee, and you can get 10% off using the code: Alexander01. HAPPY TRAINING!