Nation's Tri blog

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Apparently I need some core work!

As someone who has been active since I was a wee one, with the start of swim lessons, soccer and teeball, it’s been fairly easy for me to stay in shape. I work out about 5 days a week, depending on my schedule or mood. Two huge components I am missing in my training are strength and core work.  Luckily I haven’t had too many injuries in my lifetime, but most recently I’ve been dealing with a glute issue that has me opting for more rest and less activity. This I don’t like! It always seems when you’re injured all you want to do is get out and exercise. When you’re not injured, you’re always ok with a few days off. Well now that I’m injured and not working out as much as I’d like to, I’ve decided I better start to get my act together and focus on my core and strength training to be injury free.

To kick off my new focus, I signed up with a personal trainer at VIDA Fitness two days a week. I also decided to get a Functional Fitness test at The Jackson Clinics (TJC). TJC is a physical therapy practice in multiple locations throughout Northern Virginia and they specialize in outpatient orthopedics and sports rehabilitation. I worked with Ben at the WorldGate location. Let me explain what the Functional Fitness test is and does, as stated by TJC’s website: Your body is like a machine – and the exam is a way to assess the function of your “machine” and compare it to “normal”. It shows you the areas where you are out of balance and advises ways to bring you into balance, so that you can avoid injury. Perfect – Just what I needed to figure out what I need to do to get off the injured list!

We worked with a program called FitTEST Solutions ™. I filled in my basic info – age, gender, activities, body weight, body fat, height, health history, etc. We then went through a bunch of strength tests, moved to flexibility tests, and finally to endurance testing.  Going into the fitness test, I was aware of muscles that were weaker than others, but this test showed me the muscles that I should focus on to get stronger and more balanced. It also made me aware of the weaknesses that were causing my glute injury and how all the different pieces of the puzzle come together to make my body work! When you finish your exam, you walk away with a summary of all your tests and the different strength training and core moves to complete. I love walking away with something – it gives me a focus, a mission and things to actually do instead of just sit and think about.

Since my exam with Ben, I have purchased a pair of inserts for my running shoes from Pacers Running Stores, and have updated minor things in my running technique based off of my different weak muscles and imbalances. Last night, after about a week and a half of getting comfortable with the inserts and new techniques, I had my first injury-free run. This motivates and excites me to get back into training for my upcoming races. Thanks TJC! I was very happy with my experience, and I would definitely recommend checking them out. Not only do they complete Fitness Exams, but also Bike Fittings (perfect for triathletes and cyclists), Physical Therapy treatments, and Aquatic Therapy.

Kristen Avioli

A former Division One collegiate swimmer and record holder, Kristen completed her first triathlon in 2008 and fell in love with the sport immediately. Never a runner or cyclist and only running short distances to entertain her sister Natalie during marathons, she decided to get crankin’ on the tri train. Since 2008, she has completed 12 triathlons, including a half iron man, 8 half marathons, and two marathon, and now loves to run! She is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach, Swim Coach, and Adjunct Faculty Member at George Washington University.