It's been a little over a month now since starting the Pyramid Training System at The Base by RVH, and even in that short period of time, it has been eye-opening. With the help of their trainers, I've already drawn connections between certain muscle imbalances and excessive soreness or pain in other areas. Everything in the body is linked and it's amazing how something that would seem entirely unrelated can actually end up being the root cause of chronic soreness/discomfort/pain somewhere else.
After the first few posts of updates on training at the Base, I quickly realized that I didn't actually have much of value to say... But with my latest session, we uncovered some imbalances that finally gave me something worthwhile to preach:
YOU NEED TO DO SOME CROSSTRAINING.
By cross training, I don't mean, going for a jog, or doing yoga, or (insert your other sport or exercise here), but instead I mean working on a targeted training program that works on correcting muscle imbalances that are caused by repetitive movements. (ie: spending 5-10 hours a week on a bike)
First thing I learned in my session this week revealed my left leg was far from balanced with my right. In geeky performance talk, this means I'm not putting out the optimum power that I could be on the bike. But, more importantly, I've also developed a muscle pattern that could threaten my long-term ability to ride the bike as much and as hard as I'd like, and that's far more important to me than short-term power gains.
And just to confirm what I was being told, it was easy to draw a connection between that and the knee issues that plagued me at the 2015 Cape Epic. After the first day, my right knee had developed an endless dull pain. By the end of Stage 2, I ended up needing to get my knee taped prior to each stage just to make it through. Likely a result of compensation towards my right leg.
Second thing I learned was that something (most likely tight hip flexors) is keeping my hips very immobile, leading to all kinds of lower back tightness and even pain when I start upping the volume and intensity of rides. That was discovered near the end of the session on Monday, so figuring out exactly what is causing that will be the goal going forward.
Obviously if you were to ask me "Where should I go to get some guidance on what do?" I'm going to say River Valley Health (I've been going there for over 5 years after all!), but even if you don't go to RVH, go SOMEWHERE. A focussed program to work on issues caused by one-dimensional sports will do you wonders and you won't regret it!
Seriously, do it! It can be boring. It can feel like a waste of time. It may even cut into your ride time during a particularly hectic week. But I guarantee, you won't regret it!
As always, thanks for following along!