Sports Medicine Tips to Stay Safe in The Nashville Kids Triathlon

Sunday’s big event will be a major step in enhancing the health and well-being of children in the Nashville area.  Making sure those smiling faces and fast little legs stay safe is priority #1 for everyone involved with this wonderful event.

The Nashville Kids Triathlon kicks off on Sunday, June 5th at 8 AM at Centennial Park with an exciting Pre-Race Pep Rally scheduled for Saturday at 5:30 PM.  The Nashville Kids Triathlon is one of the largest youth triathlons in the world.  It’s focus is to promote an active and healthy lifestyle for children AND their parents.

To help the children involved in this wonderful event to avoid injuries, I’ve put together my sports medicine tips to share with the racers and their parents.

The Day Before the Race

Hydrate, Hydrate and Hydrate – Getting fluids in your body early is very important while getting the proper type of fluids is the key.  Avoid sodas, ice tea and all sweet drinks.  Focus on consuming water and sports drinks.

Hey Mom & Dad:  This goes for you too!  You’ll be out there cheering in the heat and no one wants to see one of you suffering from a dangerous case of heat Illness.

My motto that I use with the Jacksonville Jaguars players to reduce the likelihood of dehydration is “Keep Drinking 50/50”.

  • Consistently drink a combo of 50% water/50% sports drink before, during and after the race.

Carbs are Your Friend – Push the carbs.  Carbohydrates are the best source of fuel to get you through any workout or race.  Toast, bagels, whole-grain cereals, non-citrus fruits and pasta are all smart options.

Relax & Stay Cool – Being a kid is hard work.  Taking some extra time to get off your feet and avoid being in the heat/humidity for any extended period of time the day before the race.  This will help your body to store fluids and be properly prepared to cool itself on race day.

Race Day

Pre-Race Meal – Keep it simple:  Carbs and smart fluids.  No dairy products, no sweets, and nothing that will upset your stomach.  Pre-race nervous “butterflies” are normal but don’t let them keep you from eating your needed fuel for the big race.

Drink Early & Often – It’s going to be hot on Sunday so you’ll need fluids early & often.  Remember my “50/50“ Rule:

  • Consistently drink a combo of 50% water/50% sports drink before, during and after the race.

Grease Your Dogs – Blisters are not your friend and they can quickly make your race very painful.  Putting some Vaseline or petroleum jelly in a ziplock bag to quickly wipe on your toes, heels and arches before you put on your sneakers for the bike will minimize your chance of getting blisters.

Wicking Away the Heat – It will be hot on Sunday and staying cool is a vital tip to avoid heat illness.  What you wear is the key.  Wearing a light-colored thin DryFit-type shirt allows your body to release excess heat and cool itself like a giant radiator.  Darker colors hold more heat and contribute to dehydration so “lighten up” the colors of your shirt and hat to stay cooler.

Thinking Healthy – The reason you’re in this race is because you want to be active and having fun.  Thinking that way is a helpful tip to being safe.  Being too aggressive and not being considerate of your fellow racers can lead to accidents or keep you from properly hydrating during the race.  Both are bad.  Slowing down, drinking often and having a healthy attitude will ensure that you and your friends will finish the race safely.

Keep Smiling & Enjoy the Race!

I applaud all of those involved with the Nashville Kids Triathlon.  It’s one of the most organized races and it positively touches so many lives, young and old, in the Nashville area.  From the race organizers to the amazing volunteers to the brave racers themselves, everyone wins with this event.

Keeping athletes, young and old, safe is my job and it’s what I love to do.  As a 6-time Ironman triathlon finisher, I’m thrilled to see so many young athletes becoming involved in multi-event sports.  I hope these sports medicine tips from helps to keep everyone involved with this amazing event safe & healthy!


Author: Mike Ryan

After 26 seasons as a full-time certified athletic trainer and registered physical therapist in the National Football League, Mike Ryan has outstanding first-hand experience. His unique professional and athletic background has sharpened his skills in the arts of sports injury management, elite rehabilitation, performance enhancement and injury prevention. Mike is now taking his experience to mainstream America. His mission is simple: Sports Medicine advice that is easy to use and brings fast results. Learn more about Mike Ryan

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