Another Great Tool – Integrative Manual Therapy

In several previous blogs, I’ve raved about the services I’ve received at Alta Physical Therapies (ART, TDN, Bike Fit, SFMA) and I’m excited to say, I’ve learned of a new one. Integrative Manual Therapy or IMT for short, uses non-invasive, light touch techniques that allows your body to tap into its own self-healing capacity.  Trust me, keep reading…

At first it doesn’t feel like much, but Mary used myofascial mapping to determine whether the shoulder discomfort that I was feeling (I’m guessing from all the travel) was caused by joint, muscle, tendon, fascia, or vessel restriction.

Then she used gentle hand pressure on specific tissues that allowed them to relax, and move in a more normal way. Let me use the analogy that she told me that really made it easy to understand.

Think of all your tendons, fascia, muscles, and vessels are like a twisted phone cord. If you grab it and pull hard, you can stretch it out to straight, but when you let go, it still pops back to its original twistedness. But if you unplug the phone cord, let it correct itself, it will no longer go back to that twisted state. So if the physical therapist can help ‘unplug’ and ‘reset’ your tendons, fascia, muscles, and vessels, then they can function properly. That way when you get massage or chiro or other physical therapy it will “set” into the body properly (you won’t bounce back to the way it was prior).

I wouldn’t have necessarily believed it, but then I tried it and it worked! I went in for a session on Tuesday, followed by two chiro sessions and one massage later that week and BAM! All of my shoulder discomfort was completely gone and I was back to good posture (or at least as good as it was prior to all the traveling).

I’m now curious to go back and try a few more treatments to see how it all comes together. Because as Mary pointed out, all of the body is connected. Its all one big system, so if you do something in one area it may have affects in a completely different one.

While I was at Alta getting IMT, I also scheduled another session of TDN. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If you are an endurance athlete, you NEED to be doing this! I recover faster, feel stronger and fresher, and have seen drastic results from this technique. I’m not kidding! Try it for yourself.



Training Camp in Portugal

In preparation for the XTERRA West Championship on Sunday April 10th and the XTERRA South Central Champs on the 17th, my Timex teammate Toby Radcliffe and I hopped on a plane to Lagos, Portugal for some warm weather training. Toby was preparing for Ironman South Africa on the 9th of April, so it worked well for both of us to get used to sweating a bit. For 10 days we hammered out solid swim, bike, and run sessions each tailored to our specific upcoming event(s).

Portugal was an interesting place. Its a pretty small country and it felt as if there really wasn’t much going on there. We have plenty of quiet country roads to ride on and the running trails along the cliffsides weren’t very crowded. One of the things that contributed to all this was the fact that it was off season for the tourists. Lagos is a hotspot for British tourists in the summer time.

If you have ever done a training camp, you know there are 3 things that consume your day – Training (duh), Sleeping (double duh), and a MASSIVE amount of Eating. We nailed the first one. Got plenty of the second. And for the third… well, if you add it all up, we EACH consumed over 50,000 calories during our 10 stint. That’s over 100,000 calories between the two of us! Wowsers! I don’t think Jenny Craig would approve. But when it was all said and done, I weighed exactly the same as I did going into the camp.

Because neither Toby or I spoke Portuguese there really wasn’t much to watch on TV. So we fired up the laptop and watch a ton of Cougar Town and Glee. I have to say, I had seen little to none of either prior to that trip, but I am now a big fan of both!

So if you are ever looking for a far away place, somewhat isolated, and not much going on, I recommend trying Portugal for your next training camp. And make sure to try the little custard cakes. They are delicious! I think I ate a few dozen of them while we were there.