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Taking it easy for Triathletes
22 March 2014


story by Olivia Vivian, WAIS Gymnast, Olympian


I saw a few familiar faces in this particular triathlon workshop, which is always nice. It means these athletes are sticking to their sport and are on the right path towards great things.


Because it was a more advanced workshop, we didn’t just talk about basic methods on how to reduce stress, but we practiced a few exercises as well.


One main exercise that I want to talk about, I think is extremely important especially in today’s times. When you think about how popular and reliant technology has become these days, it won’t seem abnormal when I say that a lot of people are on their phones right before they try going to sleep.


Sleep is one of the key parts in an athletes recovery plan and it can’t be compromised for anything else if you’re trying to be the best. What some might not know is that the light from your phone/laptop/TV right before bed, tricks your mind into thinking it’s still day time. That’s why it might take a while to get to sleep if you’ve been on Facebook or something similar before shutting your eyes.


Now some people won’t have a problem at all and can be asleep in seconds, but then there are others that will hop into bed and their mind continues to think, work and be over-active, which makes it tricky sometimes. I know it can be really hard sometimes if you’re thinking about a comp or training session the next day, or maybe an exam you have coming up.


What we worked on in the workshop was a couple of relaxation techniques. One of my favourite of these exercises is taking ten deep, slow breaths to slow down your heart rate. It’s tricky for me because I have an active wandering mind so to get to ten is a challenge which makes this a great exercise to work on!


Another good one we practiced was the tightening and relaxing action of every muscle. It’s a great technique before bed to close your eyes, lay on your back and feel certain muscles. Tighten those muscles for ten seconds then let them completely relax. Once you’ve done this all over your body, all your muscles should be fully relaxed making it much easier to drift off to sleep!

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