Floatation therapy is widely used for its many benefits in sport and training.
An athlete’s most important tool isn’t their bike, their running shoes, or their GPS watch. It’s their body. All too often, this tool is taken for granted and overworked with the extensive training and competing endurance athletes such as triathletes, cyclists, swimmers and runners do.
While athletes might adjust their training for sprains and broken bones, they often ignore the small aches and pains that can turn into major issues if left untreated. In fact, the same stubbornness that motivates athletes to succeed can become their downfall when it comes to seeking out the proper treatment for injuries.
Most athletes don’t realise how training affects their body until something goes wrong. While training for a triathlon or a marathon does wonders for your health and will ultimately help you live longer, it can also wreak havoc on the body.
Many competitors have experienced issues like shin splints, knee problems, and general muscle pain. Behind each of these “niggles” is often an even longer list of conditions that can impede performance.
How floating in our float pods helps enhance sports performance
Whilst high intensity exercise stimulates muscles to grow, it is not until the muscles are relaxed that the actual growth and strengthening occurs (30 – 40hrs post stimulation).
This is where the float pod is able to maximise those benefits whilst also reducing the effects of lactic acid and removal of other undesirable chemicals.
Additionally, the pod can facilitate a fantastic environment for visualisation where the athlete can focus all their attention and concentration on visualising their performance and technique. The results of research relating to the power of visualisation and its effect on performance are astounding, it is quite a powerful tool. Triathletes visualise their transitions, for other athletes it’s visualising scoring goals, breaking their personal best, etc.
Being a successful athlete is not only about physical ability, it’s also about the mind, the belief in one’s ability and being able to keep emotions under control whilst under pressure and staying motivated when it gets tough.
Benefits of floatation therapy for athletes
- Accelerates your recovery time immensely
- Speeds up removal of lactic acid & other undesirable chemicals
- Alleviates fatigue & re-energises you
- Helps reduce muscular tension
- Improves general relaxation & reduces stress
- Balances sleep patterns
- Improves visualisation & motivation
- Speedy recovery from injury & injury prevention
- You will have a great night sleep after your float & wake up feeling refreshed the next day.
When to use floatation therapy in sport
With Epsom Salts being a Magnesium Sulphate compound (essentially a muscle relaxant and a protein builder for your joints), when floating you get the benefits the pod has to offer from the actual act of floating which takes the pressure off your joints and your body, but also from the Epsom salt itself and the absorption of those minerals whilst you float.
The best time to use the float tank in any kind of training is before you start to feel your fatigue levels increasing and your strength plateauing. To avoid fatigue and hitting a mental or physical plateau, endurance athletes benefit the most when incorporating floatation therapy into their regular routines. Floating once to twice a week or fortnightly is recommended to reap the most benefits.
For endurance training in preparation for events such as Ironman, marathons and shorter Triathlon distances the best recovery for general maintenance is in your scheduled recovery and taper weeks.
Adding an hour of floating to your weekly routine during these times will make a significant difference on your physical and mental performance prior, during and after the race as you’re likely to be less fatigued, more motivated and recovery times are much reduced.
Floatation therapy can also be used before any event as it helps improve your energy levels. Our floaters commonly report that strength levels improve for a window of time after floating.
Floating relieves feelings of heaviness and sluggishness in your body, while leaving you feeling calm, invigorated and clear headed.
Floating in the pod after a major event, such as an Ironman is highly recommended instead of having a massage straight away. If you wish to have the massage as well, your recovery results are significantly improved if coupled with a float first. The reason we recommend floatation therapy first is it helps with fluid, fatigue and soreness. A massage too soon after a big event can leave you a bit bruised (even with gentle/medium pressure) and the best results wont be gleaned as you may potentially still be too sore. It is best to find what works best for you and your schedule and then utilise this tool that way.
No matter what you’re training for, the recovery process is just as important as training itself.
Take time to give your body the rest it needs to work like a champion, speed up recovery and avoid serious injury.
It will set you apart from your competitors and may give you that extra edge to win your next race.
“My first float experience was fantastic. The feeling of being weightless is amazing, and allows your body to completely relax. As a marathon runner with a busy job, switching off and giving my body adequate recovery often isn’t easy. But an hour of floating is now going to play an important role in my essential recovery during training.”
– Melanie Panayiotou, Australian Commonwealth Games Marathon Runner
If you’re not using floatation therapy to reduce recovery times and improve your sport performance yet, why not give it a try?
Faster recovery, better performance and higher energy levels are only a float away!