Tamara found out about my personal training sessions in Amsterdam at a talk I gave at our mutual triathlon club’s training camp in the spring. I explained to the group how I can help them to move better that can in turn improve their efficiency over their swim, bike and run. Tamara had been experiencing problems with her running that were holding her back. Especially during the last year she had struggled with shin splints. With an Olympic Triathlon coming up in the summer, she got in touch with me to see if I could help her.
When we first met Tamara told me about her sore shins and that she also had chronic shoulder pain. With swimming being her favourite triathlon discipline it was very important to her to be able to continue swimming for many years to come. For her shins she explained she had already tried many things such as a running video analysis, shoes to correct her gate, physical therapy (including dry needling), diet, different warm ups and cool downs, etc. and nothing had given her lasting results. After explaining that I don’t treat pain but help her to improve the way she moves, we got started.
During the first screening we saw that there was a lot of potential to improve the movement in her pelvis (mostly on the left side), her back and her shoulders (especially on the right side). I started off giving her exercises that she did herself and when I saw her for her second session she told me that she was already having less pain in her shins. Over time this got less and less. We continued to improve the movement in her back, shoulders and knees. As we got her body moving better we started to introduce stabilising and strengthening exercises around the areas where we had improved movement.
During this process we did have times when she felt discomfort in other muscles and I explained that this can happen as her body gets used to the changes that are going on.
Tamara came to me about her shins but as the weeks went on she got so many more benefits from working with me. She found it easier to kick when swimming, she had less shoulder pain and she felt she was swimming straighter (that is important in open water swimming). Her shoulders in general felt straighter – it was easier for her to keep a good posture and she got comments on how her running style was looking more efficient.
And the best thing of all? That Olympic triathlon she had planned was completed with absolutely no shin pain whatsoever.
Author: Lorna Wilson
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