Triathlons continue to gain in popularity because of their versatility. The combination of swimming, biking and running offers tremendous aerobic benefits and works every major muscle group. Gaining these benefits takes dedication, so, not surprisingly, triathletes are a dedicated bunch.
Dedication has its drawbacks and swim spas provide benefits to athletes optimizing their performance.
With that dedication comes injury risk. The temptation to over train is real, especially as athletes move up the competitive ladder. While pushing your body makes you stronger, when hard workouts are followed one after the other with inadequate rest, injury, burnout and poor performance are sure to follow. Avoiding these setbacks requires a plan for active rest. Rather than recovering in front of the television, athletes can engage in activities that promote healing, flexibility and increased strength and endurance for the next big effort.
Swim spas provide the ideal active rest activity.
They assist in lengthening muscles, which reduces injury risk and enhances performance. A hot soak increases blood flow to muscles and joints, aiding in faster recovery and the healing of minor injuries while increasing endurance. Swim spas also boost energy, promote relaxation and increase feelings of well-being. They provide these benefits because they are a form of active rest.
Why active rest is so important
Strength and endurance training are effective because of the pattern of workouts followed by recovery. Workouts themselves tear down muscles, leaving the athlete weaker than at the start. The body reacts to this tearing down by rebuilding muscles a little stronger than they were before the workout. This process of adaptation, repeated over a duration of many weeks and months, gets athletes in condition for big events like triathlons. The same adaptation principal applies to the cardiovascular system.
Fitness gains are made during recovery. As a result, anything athletes do to make recovery more effective helps them maximize the physical benefits. This maximization also results in athletes being stronger for the next workout, allowing them to push harder and gain even more benefit from their training.
Active rest techniques using a swim spa
Most athletes hate taking a day off from training. Though taking a complete rest once in a while helps, athletes usually prefer to engage in some light activity on their rest days. Light activity promotes recovery while also keeping athletes in rhythm. Most athletes find that a light activity day leaves them feeling more energetic and limber than days of complete rest.
Active recovery workouts slightly raise the heart rate and allow the athlete to break a sweat. In a swim spa, athletes can engage in aqua jogging, easy swimming and walking with water resistance. These activities get the blood flowing to fatigued muscles, increase flexibility and make athletes feel rested and ready for the next hard workout.
After the workout, athletes can enjoy a soak in their swim spa, which allows them to relax away soreness and fatigue.
Swim spas aid sleep
Sleep is an important component of any triathlon training regime. The body functions best when athletes get regular sleep on a consistent schedule. Sleep is the time when muscles grow. It’s also when the immune system rebuilds itself and the brain has a chance to recover from the stresses of the day, leading to sharper focus and increased concentration. All of these factors are critical to triathlon training success. In fact, a 2013 article in the Strength and Conditioning Journal identified sleep as a key contributor to optimal athletic performance.
Swim spas increase both quality and quantity of sleep. They help athletes fall asleep faster and sleep more deeply. Soaking in a warm swim spa reduces stress and alleviates pain, preparing athletes for a good night’s sleep. It also increases core body temperature. This aids sleep because after exiting the swim spa, body temperature dips, which induces sleep.
Triathlons are a great way to achieve total body fitness.
Swimming, biking and running are three of the best aerobic and muscle building exercises, and triathlons combine them all. Many athletes underestimate the importance of active rest. Active rest increases blood flow, activating the body’s natural recovery and healing mechanisms. When athletes practice active rest, they train more effectively and suffer fewer injuries. A swim spa makes active rest far more effective. Combining light activity with the healing power of water keeps triathletes on the road to optimal fitness.
Luxury swim spas such as the Michael Phelps Signature Series and the H2X by Master Spas are the best in class when it comes to physical training and active rest. Paradise Spas and Outdoor Living carries premium brand hot tubs and swim spas that will meet your aquatic needs. Rest and relaxation, working out and entertaining, whatever you desire and need can be met.
As a leading swim spa and hot tub dealer in the Austin area, we are happy to answer your questions and find exactly what you are looking for. Visit our swim spa retail superstore or give us a call to learn more!