triathlon

  1. How Compex® Can Help Your IRONMAN Training

     

    Training for an IRONMAN?

    Whether this is your first or you’ve tackled many IRONMANS, you know that you’ll need to put heavier-than-usual loads on your body to meet your training plan.

    During training, you put a ton of stress on your body. All that amount of pressure can lead to injury before, during, or after race day. What can you do? Using electric muscle stimulation (EMS) and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) may be the final puzzle piece in your triathlon training plan to help you keep healthy for your IRONMAN and beyond the finish line.

    Why EMS and TENS?

    EMS and TENS is an essential part of IRONMAN training because it helps increase strength, endurance, stamina, and recovery, all of which help maximize performance.

    Lisa Bentley, 11-time IRONMAN Champion, coach, speaker and author of An Unlikely Champion says, “I have used TENS to reduce pain around a few different injuries—inflammation of tendons, lower-back tightness, and subsequent SI joint issues. I have used EMS to stimulate the muscles which often get turned off due to injury.”

    What are EMS and TENS?

    Basically, EMS mimics the way your body works to cause your muscles to contract. Your muscles act as if you’re working out. Except, instead of voluntarily firing off (because you, say, lift something), the muscles fire when given a very particular electrical impulse from your Compex® device. The TENS can help relieve muscle pain due to injury and over-training. The TENS setting on your Compex delivers small, safe, electrical signals through conductive pads to stimulate the nerves under your skin. It relieves pain in two ways: by helping the body to release natural painkillers (called endorphins) and by blocking pain messages.

    Using Compex® During Training

    Using Compex during your training can help you gain muscle strength in hard-to-reach areas and strengthen muscles when injured. “I had patellar femoral pain, I used EMS to stimulate the medial quadriceps muscle to get stronger and activated so that it could help hold my knee cap in place and counteract my overactive ITB from pulling my kneecap to the outside,” explains Bentley. “I had used EMS when I had a stress fracture to keep the surrounding muscles activated while we rested the bone and joint as they repaired. That way, when the bone was healed, I was able to return to training faster since the normal muscular atrophy had been reduced or eliminated.”

    Compex for Recovery

    Also, Compex can also activate muscles on recovery days to enhance blow flow, which in turn helps heal your body. “Training is the process of stressing out muscles and breaking them down. Improvements come during the recovery phase where the muscle gets stronger and more resilient,” shares Bentley.

    Ironically, injuries happen when you overload muscles and tendons. Recovery from injury occurs when you gradually introduce load to the muscle or tendons. You cannot have rehabilitation without introducing a controlled load. Adding in your Compex device to your training allows for that controlled load by stimulating the muscles.

    Compex for Warming Up

    On top of strength and recovery, you can use your Compex for an effective warm up. The pre-designed programs can target the specific muscle groups you’ll be using, whether you’re in the locker room, at your desk, or sitting next to the pool. The great thing about using Compex during your IRONMAN training is that it’s portable so you can multitask and warm up as you make your way to the pool or set up your bike for a ride. And, it reaches muscle groups that are hard to reach from a regular warm-up.

    Supplemental Tool

    Compex is a tool to supplement strength and endurance programs. You can use the conditioning pre-designed programs to supplement weight training on the same day. Say you focus on training legs one morning, you can use EMS strength on the same muscles that evening, and follow up with active recovery. This helps to fire up your muscles a little quicker than training alone.

    You’re putting in a lot of hard work for your IRONMAN. You want to wake up feeling refresh and ready to train each day. In addition to your plan, make sure you get proper sleep, eat well, and use your Compex for an all-around solid training routine.

    Shop for a Compex Device

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

  2. How to Recover for Better Triathlon Training

     

    Let’s face it. Training for a triathlon is a huge time commitment. And if you want to get better, you’ve got to put in the work. But, what if we were to tell you that you don't need to add longer, harder workouts to be a stronger triathlete.

    What’s the key to better triathlon training? Recovery.

    Depending on your fitness level will determine the number of training weeks you’ll need to cross the finish line strong, and safely. But to train your best, you need to make sure you give your body optimal recovery between workouts.

    Whether your goal is to set a new PR or finish the race, here’s how to recover for better triathlon training.

    Set Your Recovery Day

    No matter what triathlon training schedule you use, you should set one day as a full recovery day. A recovery day can be partaking in a yoga class, going for a long walk, taking a hike, using your Compex® device, or even indulging in a sports massage. You’re giving your body a break from the intense training, which you need to prevent overworking your muscles. So, choose one day a week as your recovery day, and stick to it. Your body will be happy, and you’ll gain more strength during training.

    Foam Roll Post-Training

    Also known as self-myofascial release (SMR), foam rolling is designed to work out the knots (also called trigger points) in your muscles. Myofascial adhesions can develop through stress, training, overuse, underuse, movement imbalances, and injuries. Mainly, the knots are points of constant tension and addressing them can have a positive effect on your workouts. Ignoring them can lead to muscle fatigue and may cause injury.

    While foam rolling can be uncomfortable, you control the pressure, and over time, you’ll be able to release the pain and relax the muscle. Tension can be released from the affected area, increasing blood flow and nutrients to the muscle tissue, and improving range of motion (ROM) for a more effective triathlon training program.

    Ice Your Muscles

    Got a sore muscle or slight inflammation? Ice therapy (cold therapy) can help a minor muscle-related injury because it can help reduce swelling and improve blood flow to the affected tissue. According to one Harvard Health study, applying ice to the sore area for 10 to 15 minutes is one of the cheapest, simplest, and a most effective way to manage swelling.

    Shop our HyperIce®or ColPac® collections for ice recovery.

    Use Your Compex® Device

    Electric muscle stimulation trains your muscles in a way that traditional workouts alone cannot. While you can use your Compex® device before or during your workouts, the recovery mode helps activate the muscle to contract based on the amount of resistance applied through the device. You can also use the TENS program, which helps to alleviate pain by either inducing an endorphin release (Low-Frequency TENS programs) or to block the pain signals to the brain through the Gate Theory (High-Frequency TENS programs). Regardless if you use EMS or TENS, your Compex device can help flush lactic acid, replenish muscles with nutrient, and get your body ready for the next workout.

    Learn more on EMS and TENS.

    Whether you’re looking to compete in a sprint triathlon or an IRONMAN, one of the most effective ways to train is to focus on your recovery, so your body is healthy, strong, and ready to compete.

    The contents of this blog were independently prepared, and are for informational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily indicative of the views of any other party. Individual results may vary depending on a variety of patient-specific attributes and related factors.

    HyperIce® is a registered trademark of HyperIce, Inc.

    Shop for your Compex® device.

  3. Compex Mobile Muscle Stim Trailer Coming to Boulder, CO

    compex mobile muscle stim trailer
    If you're competing to attending the Ironman® Boulder this weekend, now's your chance to check out Compex muscle stimulators. Our mobile muscle stim trailer will be at the event to help you supercharge your workout and speed your recovery- two things every triathlete needs.

    Watch President of DJO Global Consumer Business Toby Bost as he gives you a preview of the Compex mobile muscle stim trailer and what electric muscle stimulation is all about. Want to check out Compex for yourself? Follow us on Twitter at @CompexCoach to see where our trailer will be next.

  4. Why Triathlon Participation is on the Rise

     

    Triathlete

    Triathlon, the multi-sport event made up of running, swimming and biking, has seen an increase in participation over the last several years.

     

    Since the first U.S. triathlon took place in San Diego, California in 1974,  athletes have been taking up the challenge and most recently, race organizers have seen a surge in participation.

     

    According to USA Triathlon, their memberships were increasing at a steady 4% between 2009 and 2011. Then in 2012, that rate of annual and one day memberships increased by 5.6% for a record high of over 510,859 total memberships.

     

    At Compex, we too have been working with more and more triathletes, helping them to recover faster and to reach their personal race goals using electric muscle stimulators.

     

    But why the increased interest in triathlons?

     

    While it’s difficult to pinpoint, one overarching reason could be that anyone can do it.

     

    Whether you complete a sprint triathlon (500m swim / 20k bike ride/ 5k run)  or an Ironman race (4k swim / 180k bike ride /full marathon run), there is an immense feeling of achievement after completing a triathlon.

     

    Not only are more adults participating in triathlons, but young people are trying it out as well. According to a report compiled by the Outdoor Foundation, in 2013 the median age of a triathlete was around 30 years old; however, colleges across the country are starting their own triathlon clubs. The clubs compete at  individual conferences against other schools in the fall in order to qualify for the national championship later in the spring. There has also been a tremendous increase in non-traditional or off-road triathlons. These races often switch up events -- for example, adding paddling in place of swimming or mountain biking in place of road cycling -- appealing not only to athletes but outdoor enthusiasts. Since 2009, participation in non-traditional triathlons has increased 199%.

     

    Maybe the most simplistic reason for the increase in triathlon participation is that there has also been increased interest in healthy living and personal fitness. Racing in a triathlon seems less daunting when you are already an avid runner, a frequent gym goer, or just an all around active person. Triathlons give the fitness focused person a chance to up their game, to challenge themselves and reach new goals. After all, training and competing in a triathlon is definitely a full body workout.

     

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