Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Triathlon Training And Injuries

*Picture of Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3 by RS

Due to the fact that last Sunday was the Singapore Aviva 70.3 Ironman race, both our clinics Physio and Sports Solutions saw a fair bit of triathletes last week (for both Physiotherapy and Sports Massage) and this week as well (post race massage). We've also treated a number of overseas participants as well and some won their age groups too.

Since I treat lots of injured (and sometimes not injured) triathletes over the years (and having raced many before in the past myself), I've had the opportunity to ask our patients lots of questions about their training regime, equipment, tapering and racing of course. Here are some things I've noticed about triathletes, which strangely is also supported by a published research paper I came across this past week.

There seemed to be no real difference in overuse injuries in both Olympic distance (OD) and Ironman distance (IM) athletes. Chances of an OD patient getting a injury recurring was much less compared to their IM counterparts.

The research paper reported that OD triathletes suffered less from running injuries but those who did were out injured longer compared to IM triathletes. The less the OD triathletes trained, the more they seemed to be injured (these are the newbie triathletes).

For the IM distance triathletes, the overuse injury rates corresponds to the number of intensive sessions done. Yes, this is what I've noticed as well, the more the interval sessions, the higher chance of IM triathletes sustaining an overuse injury, especially during "brick" (combining bike-run sessions) training. This may be due to the "cumulative stress" of performing back to back sessions of hard biking and running.

The authors also noted that when some triathletes get injured, there is a tendency to increase training load in another discipline rather than resting. This frequently further increased their injury recurring and may delay their time to recovery.

Come talk to us if you need help whether you are training for your first Sprint, Olympic distance or done lots of Ironman distance races, we'll be most happy to help you.


Vleck VE et al (2010). Triathlon Event Distance Specialization: Training and Injury Effects. Journal of Strength Cond Res. 24(1): 30-36.

*Picture of Aviva Singapore Ironman 70.3 by RS

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