Professional triathlete answers some TPM Pro questions
Professional Triathlete Minna Koistinen finds some time between the swim, bike and run to answer some TPM Pro questions
How long have you been competing and at what level?
I have only been competing in triathlon since the summer of 2013. This (2016) is my first year as a national, pro athlete in Finland. Next year (2017) I will compete internationally as a pro in (Ironman) including the Ironman in Hawaii.
Which do you find most challenging, swim, bike or run?
Definitely the bike. My running is fairly strong; I’m aiming to complete a 3 hour marathon in Paris in April, and regularly put in a 37 min 10k performance. My transitions between the bike to the run are also not something I struggle with. As for swimming, I hadn’t done of a lot of that before I started triathlon, but it has come very easy. I know that’s quite unusual compared to many other athletes but I find the bike much harder.
What were the issues that originally led you to work with TPM Pro clinic, SUF?
I have had problems in my lower leg, namely medial tibial stress syndrome (MTSS), or “shin splints”. This is quite an old problem as it meant I had to stop playing football when I was 17 years old; it just wouldn't go away. This issue returned as soon as I started running more (when I started to train for triathlon). At this point I was referred by a friend to contact Tony Elomaa at SUF.
What was your experience of testing at the TPM Pro clinic and the exercises that followed?
Although in the past, I had a number of treatments to manage the shin splints issues the testing and exercises I did this time were different. The testing was really challenging and from the results I can see there are some areas of my body that are vulnerable; I’m eager to train these weak spots. Even though my injury issues have been focussed around the lower leg I can see that the movement control around my hips is probably having an impact on this. The testing was explained to me in a way that made this make sense. Just focussing on the shin splints is not enough, I need to work on other regions to help this problem.
How would you compare the exercises you been given compared to the exercise you do in a triathlon?
It’s certainly very different. In triathlon you get tired and this hurts. The exercises I’ve been given after the testing are also tough, but in another way; it’s as if I can’t get the message through from my brain to the muscle. I’m performing them before I go running to help me move more efficiently.
What do you hope the testing and training will help you with?
During this spring my training load will be increasing from ~16 hours all the way up to 25-30 hours. This is compared to something like 12-16 hours per week in the past. I think the testing and the exercises will be really important for me to "be safe" as my training load goes higher than ever before. I'm only as good as my weakest spots.
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