Sunday, June 12, 2011

Stay Safe, Baby!!

Once you get into the swing of training, it is easy to pick up some bad, and even dangerous habits.  Read on for some of the easiest ways to keep your training safe.

Swim- Once a few years ago I was visiting my parents who live on a man made lake.  We were at the beach and I decided it would be fun to swim home instead of walk.  I swam straight to the middle of the lake where, lo and behold, I had a bit of a panic attack.  Now, I have been swimming competitively for over 20 years and can swim for what seems like forever with no effort.   However, there is something about being in the middle of the lake all alone that is frightening, especially when you acknowledge your surroundings.  I made it to their house but will NEVER do that again.  No matter how great of a swimmer you are, you should never swim in open water by yourself.  

Bike-  Even the little girl above knows that you should always wear a helmet.  In addition you should always wear brightly colored clothing and obey traffic laws.  We all know someone who has been hit by a car and slightly or seriously injured.  As a result, when riding in congested areas (like downtown Chicago) ride defensively and assume that none of the drivers see you.   Biking can be dangerous and when I see cyclists blatantly blowing off rules of the road, I fear for what they have coming.   When riding on the glorious country roads bike with traffic and be weary when going over hills- some cars are used to having the road to themselves out there .

Run-  One of the most important things with running is to listen to your body.  Running is tough on the old bod, and if you are feeling pain that is severe or unusual, it is probably best to slow down or stop altogether.  To prevent unnecessary injuries, have someone who can give you tips look at your run form and let you know where you can improve.  As the temps heat up this summer, run early morning or in the evening.  Be smart about running in secluded areas or when it is starting to get dark, be aware of your surroundings, turn down the music, and fellow Chicagoans, look out for Flash Mobs (not of the dancing variety!!)

To a fast and SAFE summer!
-Coach A

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