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Share facts & history + some of your heart

Posted By: KP
Date: Friday, 29 June 2007, at 8:07 p.m.

Over the last week or so there has been some detailed discussion on the forum that focused on execution over the IM and HIM distances. Through the sharing of data there was an attempt to understand one another. Personal data sparked questions. Run data prompted inquiries regarding swim and bike efforts. Bike HRs had others wondering about FTP. Swim efforts were compared to pace and whether energy expended and resultant pace 'increases' warranted increased efforts. As a coach/mentor, these are just a few of the items I think about when evaluating an athlete’s ability to execute. Too, I like to know how well he or she is planning to use their entire fitness package (gordo's phrase). I love that one. I think of my fitness as a finite entity over an IM. How do I prevent running out early // or never using it all. When I first begin working with a client there is a concerted exchange of information; a detailed report of history. It covers ground outside of sport as well as specifics that relate to swim, bike and run. I want to know about work, family, stress and their ability to see good humor. The more I become aware of who it is I am working with, the better I can serve them. I need each client to participate.

Over the twenty-five years I have been seeing patients, I have developed similar techniques in an effort to get those folks who come to me completely well. I work for them; I serve them and I need their participation if I am to do my best. Do doctors have favorite patients? I don’t know if favorite is the correct term, but do we enjoy some more than others? No, not just the ones who pay! For me, I like working with patients who really want to get well. I want a partner. Believe it or not, some patients don’t want to get well. They float from doctor to doctor, subconsciously enjoying the attention they get. This can be quite frustrating for the treating doctor. Why? Because this type of patient will never get well. That is how powerful our minds are when it comes to the health equation. We can prevent or facilitate health by the messages our brains send to our bodies (thoughts & attitudes). I enjoy patients who will walk the talk. It is a two way street. If I am not doing my job I expect to hear about it; and if my patient isn’t doing their job, I must tell them. This means both of us must do more than ‘wish’ things would change. We need to communicate. Both need to know the other cares. Once that has been accomplished and nothing changes, well, I have sent patients up the street to see my buddy; and, I have had patients make the decision to go see my buddy on their own. I dropped the ball.

I am participating in a ‘hands on’, working medical seminar (ART) that centers attention on soft tissue injury (muscle, tendon, ligaments, blood vessels, fascia, nerves). We are focusing on some conditions that have been notoriously tough for treating docs to quickly resolve over the years. Some are cumulative injury disorders. They may stem from acute injury, repetitive injury, or constant pressure/tension injury. Think injuries that we might face as triathletes that seem to linger: achilles tendonitis, plantar fascitis and ITB as runners; carpal tunnel syndrome, median nerve entrapment at the base of the thumb, contraction of the palmar fascia, and ulnar nerve compression at the hypothenar muscles (handlebar palsy / cycling), or upper back pain, neck pain and radicular symptoms that develope from long rides in aero position while cycling. Perhaps medial elbow or triceps pain, anterior shoulder impingement syndrome or latissimus dorsi pain from swimming. Your treating doctor needs your input. Be sure you are your best advocate. Offer a complete history and detail of your symptoms. Tell your provider of care when symptoms present, the nature of the discomfort, how long it lasts, whether there is weakness, burning, numbness or an aching feeling. Hopefully, your health care provider will have specific questions to help zero in on your injury but it is essential you go prepared to be a participant. I have a secret for you that isn’t really a secret: if you want somebody’s best, give them your best and let them know that what you want is important to you. I can guarantee, your desire will mean you are not seen as the 'average guy on the block. They will remember the name!

Keep it rolling ….

coach KP

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