With the Winter Olympics finally starting, the Inngi Float team was excited to chat with and learn from someone who has trained and competed at an elite Olympic level. We asked Jeremy Dodson, a Colorado local and two time track and field Olympian, what inspires him about sports and why physical and mental recovery after training is such an important part of his self-care routine. Below, he shares his story and why Inngi Float has quickly become a weekly necessity for his training.
Tell us a little bit about how you got into Track and Field and why you love what you do?
Track and field has always been a part of my life since I was young. My dad had a club track team in Denver, not necessarily to coach my brothers and myself, but more so to coach other kids in the neighborhood who didn’t have much going on. Track was always the secondary sport, used to keep us all in shape for our other sports, like football, basketball, and baseball. It wasn’t until the last years in high school where track became more than off-season training, but a means to pay for college. It eventually grew into a way of life and has now been the means to connect my life to the lives of many others around the world. Track is now my escape from a stressful world, and a lifesaver by giving me a means to joy!
What makes you excited to get up in the morning?
The simple fact of being able to get up is all the excitement I need! I was diagnosed with a brain condition, hydrocephalus, in 2006 and it wasn’t until 2011-12 where the condition pushed me to undergo chemotherapy as a form of treatment, because of the severe effects it placed on my brain. I experienced tumors in a region of the brain that should have limited my ability to move, nonetheless run at an elite level. I eventually went on to qualify for the 2012 London Olympic Games 6 months after treatment and continued to move for the past 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Waking up in the morning just reminds me of the many miracles that we tend to overlook. So that is what gets me excited daily!
What is your training regimen for the Olympics like? Are you currently training for summer 2020? Tell us about the rewards and challenges of this.
Running is a full-time job for 11 months of the year. A typical season for a track athlete begins with preseason training in October with competitions beginning in January. There is an indoor season, where athletes compete at venues all around the world with a downsized track, ranging from 200m to 300m in length. March is the beginning of the outdoor season, lasting through the month of September. For track and field, the Olympic Games are every 4 years, with World Championships occurring every two years at elected locations all around the world. The last World Championships happened during the 2017 season in London, with the next championships coming in 2019 in Doha, Qatar.
The training regimen is a constant task, there isn’t a “clock-out” option for professional athletes. We train 6 days a week, with work on the track 3 hours a day, and weight training for 2 hours a day. Surrounding that, we have rehab routines, where some visit chiropractors, physical therapists, specialists, and even psychologists to get the body and mind rehabilitated for the next workout sessions and travel. Also attached to that is the refueling of the body through specific diet and rest/meditations. The job continues on with work for our sponsors, whether it means speaking at events, creating content for marketing teams, or even aiding in research and development for several other companies, our lives are surrounded by the sport.
Everything leads up to each Olympic Games. So, with this season being a year without a World Championships, athletes use this season to compete in as many races as preferred, while developing their team of coaches, training partners, sponsors that will lead into the next two years. The goal is to create a solid core so that the lead up to the Olympics will be seamless. World Championships in 2019 will be a “dress rehearsal” of how the new team is doing and if adjustments need to be made. 2020 will be the year of hitting the qualifying mark and hopefully representing yourself, your country, and your team well in Tokyo!
Why is physical recovery important to you and how has float been helping you with this?
Training constantly is a stress inducing routine for the body. Although athletes are shaped to be the picture of health, the daily routines can really put the body in a stressed state. There must be a balance of work and recovery if the athlete wishes to continue to get better, and physical recovery is the key ingredient for that success. Along with training regimens, the constant travel to competitions (flights to Europe, Australia, China, etc) can create large stress factors for any human being. Physical recovery then becomes just as important as training. A general rule goes for every hour of training, there must be at the very least, an hour of recovery to counteract and balance. Recovery can be anything from sleep, massages, cryotherapy, and even meditation. Float therapy has been tremendous in my recovery; along with the physical recovery through the Epsom salt soak, I get the mental reset with the sensory deprivation of the pods. It’s really a two-for-one special, making recovery efficient so that you can go along and enjoy the rest of the hours you have left in a the day.