I know, but hey, only THREE days late isn't too bad for me. *G* Anyway, I'm almost completely packed, have utter and complete Taper Brain, and am just plain READY TO FREAKIN' RACE ALREADY. In the meantime, here are my top tricks for staying injury-free after being inundated with them last season. It's nothing new or http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifamazing that you haven't heard about, just some good ol' standbys that are classics for a reason.
1.) Monthly Massage
Luckily, my local massage therapist sells them in 5-packs at a reduced price, making it at least somewhat financially viable. This has probably been the most important thing for me. If you're local, I go to Tim at Balanced Bodywork and Massage. He's the best!
2.) Monthly Chiropractor Visit Not quite as vital, but I've still found that going BEFORE my left shoulder locks up makes a huge difference.
3.) My Foam Roller We all love to hate them, but my foam roller (a hysterically cheesy purple "Jane Fonda" one that was on sale at Target), is killer for keeping my IT band happy and massaging chewed-up quads.
4.) The Stick I've found that this is great for my calf knots/Achilles as it's awkward to hold up my body weight with my arms to roll them with the foam roller.
5.) Running by HR My coach has tethered this former 1 mile/5K churn-and-burner to her Garmin for the run, even for races. It keeps me from running too hard when I'm not supposed to, and forces me to HTFU when I get tired during a hard workout/race.
6.) Slow, careful buildup This is another no-brainer, but my coach REALLY eased me back into running. My first week of training were 2 2-mile run-walks and 1 4-mile run-walk. I'm not kidding. We've VERRRRRRY slowly built up mileage and intensity from there. Smart move since my ITB issues started from ramping up my marathon training to quickly last year.
You'll notice that the main thing that's missing is flexibility exercises and stretching. That's no one's fault but my own and something I hope to get better about before IM training starts next year.
So, hope this helps.