Having taken part in a number of sprint and Olympic distance triathlons over the last couple of years Gemma has decided it is time to push herself mentally and physically to the next level and achieve Ironman status, Gemma has signed up for this year’s Staffordshire 70.3 event which is taking place on the 9th June 2019.
The half Ironman consists of a 1.2 mile open water swim, 56 mile bike course and then ends with a half marathon and it’s all got to be completed within an eight and a half hour time frame, otherwise you get a DNF (did not finish) and no one wants one of those!
Stepping up to a middle distance triathlon takes a lot more training and therefore more stress is being asserted on to the body. To ensure I’m strong and technically ready my body went from what felt like zero to 100 within my first 10 week training plan and I instantly suffered injuries as a consequence.
Starting a plan with injuries is extremely deflating- it feels like such a big setback and almost heart-breaking, however Harris and Ross have been a big part of my journey to get to where I am at now.
I’m a strong swimmer, but have always swam breathing to one side and began to feel the strain in my neck and shoulder after a summer of open water swimming. Getting back in the pool seemed to bring to life the fact I’d been over compensating on one side of my neck due to bad form. I went straight to Sophie at Harris & Ross who released all the stress on the one side of my neck and shoulder and as part of my ongoing training, regular massage is now part of the plan. I have also taught myself to swim bi-laterally in order to off load strain on one side which along with the massage has made me faster and stronger in my swim.
It seems like injuries all come like buses and not only did I have this neck and shoulder pain, my lower back went due to my mileage increase in running. The pain was excruciating and put me out for a good few weeks. Again, I was straight in to the rehab centre for muscle stimulation to relieve the pain and took up daily yoga to build strength in my lower back muscles. My back pain has been a much longer journey and I am finally coming out of it after 15 weeks. The regular massage has been crucial in my ability to push through my training plan and continue to work towards my goal.
With the event looming my training is in full flow and injuries have subsided although not forgotten. I now appreciate that regular sports massage when training for endurance events in my case has become my 4th discipline after swim, bike and run.
I’m now hoping to achieve a high position in my age group and would not be in a position to do so without the help from Sophie at Harris and Ross in Wilmslow.
Well done to Gemma on winning and a £100 Harris & Ross treatment voucher is winging its way to you!
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