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What is your speed limit?

As someone who grew up driving on the freeways in Southern California, I grew accustomed to driving at the speed of traffic. Sometimes that meant bumper to bumper traffic and other times it meant driving 20 mph faster than the speed limit. I wasn’t accustomed to driving outside of the greater LA area until I did a road trip with some of my friends to Las Vegas for a concert. I had heard of this stretch of road from others but I was unsure of what to expect. I told people in the time leading up to that trip that I was planning on driving and they all gave me different tips on how to get there as quickly as possible. Some people’s strategy was to drive the speed limit, after all, “there are too many cops and crazy people on the roads.” This seemed like decent advice and a safe strategy. Apart from unforeseen road construction or road blocks along the way, you are fairly certain you’re going to get to your destination in a fairy timely manner and it is safe. Was this the quickest strategy presented to me? no and I knew that saving time was important. 

The second strategy that people told me about was the “gambling starts when you get in the car” strategy, meaning drive as fast as possible. This trip was 240 miles and some told me they had made the trip in 2:15. Although this was the fastest way described, I knew the risks of getting pulled over were far too great for me. After all, if you get pulled over and have a particularly deliberate police officer, you may lose 20-30 minutes and a substantial amount of money. 

The final option presented to me was to figure out the “get pulled over threshold” and stay just under that. What this means is that you drive about 10-15 mph over the speed limit and hopefully find a group of other cars that are driving at the same speed. This allows you to get to Vegas quickly, while also not having the same risk associated with driving at break neck speeds.

Recovery and performance can be looked at in very similar ways as this 240 mile trip. You have a goal of reaching your specific destination as quickly and safely as possible. With a surgery, it’s getting back to your previous activities and with performance it’s setting a new PR. What a lot of people try to do is to go the “speed limit” because they are afraid of injury, pain, or the discomfort associated with pushing themselves. Although they end of reaching their destination they’ve lost valuable time. What others try is to go as fast and hard as possible and run the risk of irritation and/or injury. Irritation and injury are your body’s way of “pulling you over” and telling you to be smarter about how you’re approaching your situation.  Both of these options can produce quality results but are generally not the best option due to the time lost or the risk associated. The best option is to figure out your body’s “get pulled over threshold” and maintain that speed throughout the process. This assures that you’re getting to your goals as quickly as possible while also not putting your body through unnecessary risks. 

This can be done on your own, but I’ve actually left out the best strategy in getting to your desired destination as quickly as possible. During most road trips, there’s been a friend who knew the stretch of road and where there were “speed traps.” Speed traps are those small towns where the speed limit drops suddenly and there are police officers hiding out ready to pull you over if you’re speeding. The benefit of having a friend who has been there before is that he knows where those towns are and will tell you when you can go faster and when you really need to slow down. This is ultimately what working alongside of a coach, trainer, or therapist does for you. It gives you a friend who understands the road that you’re traveling on and provides you with the appropriate information to know when you should speed, when you should slow down, and even when taking a different road would be quicker. 

T-Zero Physio is just that type of “friend” who knows the road that you’re traveling on and can help you reach your fitness and health goals quickly. 

tzerophysio@gmail.com       909-573-3550

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