Remember to warm-up when it’s cold!

You may laugh at my structured warm-up routines before we run but with temperatures plummeting a proper warm-up becomes even more important. If we take the Achilles tendon as an example. The Achilles tendon is a structure that is commonly injured in sports involving running and jumping. Paratendenitis is a specific condition affecting the Achilles tendon that results in inflammation of the paratenon which is the tissue that immediately surrounds the tendon. There is an increased risk of Achilles paratendinitis during cold weather outdoor training due to the effect of temperature on the microstructure of the paratenon. If you are interested in why this is I have put the geeky science stuff at the end of the blog.

It may be tempting to skip your warm-up because of the cold conditions and instead just ‘get going to stay warm’. You might be putting yourself at risk of developing an injury. You could warm-up indoors by getting on your turbo-trainer or rollers before heading outdoors or dig out your old skipping rope and jump rope to warm-up. Don’t forget your running drills to target different areas more specifically in preparation for running. Most can be performed on the spot inside if need be.

You will see to the right of this blog that I have added the events that we plan to compete in as a club. Not everyone will compete in every race obviously but these are the races that a number of you have signed up for already. In addition we may be joining the London League. This would be a great way to support other local clubs and compete as a team. We’re not concerned about winning, more about participation, so don’t be afraid to join in. Not all the races for next year’s London League have been announced. These are the dates and races from this year:

05 Apr – Thames Turbo Sprint Triathlon
18 Apr – Dragon Slayer Duathlon
24 Apr – Ful-On Duathlon
09 May – Morden 6n6 Aquathlon
23 May – Crystal Palace Sprint Triathlon
18 Jul – Hillingdon Sprint Triathlon
14 Aug – Clash of the Tritons Aquathlon
31 Oct Jekyll & Hyde Park Duathlon

2011 dates and races are to be confirmed. The main thing we need to consider as a club is that we can get at least four and preferably five or more club members competing in each event. We must also have at least one female and one veteran (+40 years). A veteran female athlete can cover both requirements. Have a think about it and let us know if you are keen by leaving a comment below or by using Facebook.

Filepe Elias, originally from Itapetininga in Brazil, approached me with a great idea. He would like to run a two week training camp in his home town in 160km southwest of Sao Paulo. To make it worth while the training camp would be about two weeks long. Filepe’s home town has great lakes for swimming and rolling hills for cycling and running. There would also be an emphasis on nutrition with locally sourced products and we would participate in local races in the weekend. Planning is in it’s very early stages but if you are interested leave a comment at the end of this blog. It sounds like fun to me!

This week’s swim session is technique focussed. We will be using both fins and pull buoys so please make sure you bring yours! If you have paddles you can bring those too and we can use them in the session if you wish. The weather is likely to remain cold so feel free to wear your wetsuit or at least consider two swim caps and warm clothing to put on after the session. As long as the Lido is open the swim session will go ahead. The run may be cancelled if conditions are not safe.

See ya, Tim (LFTC Coach).

PS. Geeky science stuff:

The Achilles paratenon membranes are rich in mucopolysaccharides which serve as a lubricant for gliding of the tendon and epitenon. Decreased temperature may increase the viscosity of the lubricant and thereby increases friction and risk for Achilles paratendinitis. This relationship illustrates why ‘warming up’ before exercising may be important in lowering the incidence of Achilles paratendinitis (Milgrom et al 2003). Want to see what the structure of tendon looks like? Click here.

4 responses to “Remember to warm-up when it’s cold!

  1. Who said we weren’t concerned about winning?!! This club is made of champions don’t you know? ;-)
    Woo hoo for next season, l feel the girls team could give the boys a run for their money.
    Brazil is amazing, l would go if l hadn’t booked up Lanzarote.

  2. Yes Minky, the club is full of talented triathletes! As such I expect you to be posting some of the fastest run splits of anyone. Your mission: Sub 40mins for 10km at the North Norfolk Triathlon September 4th! Tim (LFTC Coach)

  3. Hi everyone! first of all thanks, Tim, for posting about the camp.
    Couple of things i would like to add:
    – we are planning to run the first camp no earlier than august 2011. but also it could be at the very end of the season here, so you could extend a little bit your summer.
    – all camps will coincide with the “Trofeu Brasil de Triathlon”, so at the end of the two weeks we will be travelling to Santos to race. you can check photos and videos of previous races here:
    – you can also check photos of the place where you would be staying at

    – we will do groups of no less than 8 and no more than 20.

    if you are interested please let me know. it would be great if we could arrange one camp with club members only.


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