Stretching for Triathlon

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Stretching for Triathlon

Introduction:

  • Stretching is very important as it increases your suppleness and helps you recover more quickly.

Suppleness:

  • By stretching regularly, you stretch your muscles and tendons so they become more supple.
  • Suppleness increases your efficiency during the effort. Like a well-oiled bicycle, supple muscles and tendons offer less resistance during the effort.
  • Suppleness increases the amplitude of movements, which is especially important when swimming and running.

Recovery:

  • After long or hard training sessions, many muscle cells remain contracted, which considerably slows down your recovery. Stretching forces these cells to relax and so promotes quicker recovery.
  • Stretching also helps to eliminate toxins from muscle cells.

When should stretching be performed?

  • It is essential to stretch your muscles after each training session. The most effective time is immediately after training while the muscles are still warm.
  • You should also perform stretching in the middle of a training session if you feel a significant drop in the efficiency of your muscles.
  • Stretching is also very effective if you feel you are beginning to suffer from cramp.
  • It is also advisable to perform some stretching exercises during your warm-up. The best time is at the end of the warm-up while your muscles are warm.
  • You can also perform a stretching session outside a training session, such as in the evening before going to bed or during a rest day.

How should stretching be performed?

  • The muscles which most require stretching are the triceps, pectoral, dorsal, lumbar, quadriceps, hamstring and calf muscles. Other muscles may also be stretched.
  • Stretching must not hurt.
  • You should gradually increase the pull on the muscles and then maintain that pull for a few seconds (20 to 60 seconds).
  • For maximum efficacy, each exercise should be repeated two or three times with a short pause (10 to 30 seconds) between successive repetitions.

Conclusion:

  • Stretching helps you to progress more quickly and must therefore be performed assiduously.
 

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