Triathlon is one of the fastest growing sports in the UK. Whatever your level of fitness you can get involved in this multi-discipline event. It consists of swimming, cycling and running, linked with transitions at T1 (swim to bike) T2 (bike to run).
The Races can vary in lengths from sprint, Olympic, half ironman to a full iron man. I embarked on training for my first sprint distance triathlon 400m swim/20k cycle/5k run at the beginning of this year. I had in the past swum through my childhood and teenage years so I could plough up and down the lane for many a metre and I had in the past done various running events up to a 10 mile distance. So all I had to do was buy a road bike and get on it, I had ridden a bike since a kid so how hard could it be?
Little did I realise the extent of the choice of road bikes or the all the other equipment/gadgets that can be purchased for cycling and triathlon. But I made my choice and got out on the road building up my distances in all the disciplines, involving swim/cycle or run every day with one rest day and at the weekend incorporating some “Brick” training – swim to cycle, cycle to run.
The good thing about triathlon is that you are mixing up your training so you may not suffer from overuse injuries, but as the distances build, the repetitive nature of each sport may lead to injuries (Wik et al 1995). Research demonstrates that 75% of triathletes surveyed had had at least one injury, these varied from contusions/abrasions, muscle-tendon injury, ligament/capsule injury and fractures, with 55% occurring whilst cycling either in training or whilst competing (Egerman et al 2003).
Here at Hillview Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Clinic, we are all able to assist you in the management of any of these conditions should they arise. For each individual discipline it’s important to ensure good technique and have the appropriate equipment. Get a good pair of trainers and ensure your bike is set up appropriately for you and is well serviced. Incorporate a good stretching regime into your training after each discipline and consider looking at working on you core stability and strength training.
Any of our Hillview physiotherapists would be happy to work through a programme which works for you and your training needs.
When it comes to the big day, the nerves will be jangling, but all the hard work will have paid off.
The Incidence of musculoskeletal injuries in an amateur triathlete racing club (Wik et al 1995)
Analysis of injuries in Long distance triathletes (Egerman et al 2003)