One of the top fitness trends right now is endurance sporting events. These events used to be only for elite athletes, but now even the average person is jumping in with both feet to these grueling regiments. Multi sport events, such as the Rodney Coast Challenge in Auckland, New Zealand, include a 10km forest run, 30km road cycle, 24km mountain bike on rural roads, and an 8m kayak to finish. These events can be completed by a single person, or by a team of competitors who divide up the events.
Running , Cycling, Cross Country Orienteering and triathlons, are the most common types of endurance events, often requiring participants to complete 100 miles in a day or giving participants a set time to complete as many “laps” as possible. Some events are designed to be completed in 24 hours. Others last multiple days. These activities are quickly gaining popularity for athletes of all levels.
Who’s Doing Endurance Events?
This trend has caught on with those who want to push themselves to the limit. Many athletes have something to prove to themselves, using the event to challenge themselves to recover from illness or maintain an active life style. Some athletes who have completed a “standard” marathon or Ironman, are intrigued by a new challenge. Others are coaxed into competing by friends and family members. People are pushing themselves to achieve more than what was thought possible in every area of their lives. Popular races are often sold out with in hours or days of open enrollment.
One of the things that makes these events so much fun is their exotic locations. Participants travel from all over the world to mountain bike in Costa Rica, or kayak the Great Barrier Reef. Leadville, Colorado hosts a whole race series, including “The Race Across the Sky” – a 100 mile trail run at elevations between 9,000 – 12,000 feet above sea level. While there are hundreds of locations and events to choose from, active.com has picked out some of the most memorable locations in this article.
The Physical Challenge
The long hours of training, and immense strain involved in the actual race certainly take a physical toll on each participant. Extremes of any kind can be dangerous, and endurance race organizers have to pull participants out of the race to prevent permanent health issues. While it’s certainly a good thing to be physically active, Healthcare providers may find themselves helping endurance athletes manage injuries from overuse and accept their limitations. The jury is still out on whether endurance races do more good or harm to today’s athletes. In addition to physical injuries, an endurance athlete’s relationship may suffer because of the time required to prepare for this type of event. Physical Training for an endurance race can actually become an addiction. Participants may require emotional support to regain balanced lifestyle.
Your Role in Endurance Sports
As the number of endurance sport athletes rises, so does the importance of physical therapy in treating endurance event injuries. Endurance athletes who become injured are highly motivated to recover so that they can still compete in their event. In addition to providing pain relief, a physical therapist’s role is to educate the athlete on proper body mechanics, which enable the athlete to maintain their rigorous training regimen and prevent future injuries.
PT Solutions is dedicated to placing the best physical therapists in that will be able to care for these types of patients. If you are interested in working with endurance sport athletes or just looking for a great new physical therapy opportunity in Michigan, please contact us today to learn more about physical therapy staffing in your area.