Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2024 | Viewed by 88367

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Centre for the Interdisciplinary Study of Human Performance (CIPER), Faculdade de Motricidade Humana, University of Lisbon, 1499-002 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: medical support; elites; training; health in triathletes both across the lifespan and vs. their sedentary age-matched peers; training adaptation; training diary based predictive models that can be used to minimize the occurrence of non-functional overreaching; injury and illness; pacing
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Guest Editor
Department of Human Movement and Health Sciences, University of Rome “Foro Italico”, 00135 Rome, Italy
Interests: training monitoring; elite athletes; endurance athletes (open water swimmers, triathletes and runners) functional and non-functional overreaching; overtraining prevention
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to presents some of the latest findings at the cutting edge of all aspects of triathlon health and performance. The idea arose from round table discussions on how to optimise training and performance that took place between some of the best coaches, medics, sports physiologists, researchers and athletes in the sport when they met in Lisbon in 2017. We aim to bring together a collection of papers that will act as a spur to the instigation and expansion of collaborative research projects that have the potential to improve applied practice in our sport. The key topics for which we invite paper submissions are:

  • Triathlon health in training and or competition (health evaluation, event medical care, open water swimming, heat acclimation).
  • Training and risk factors for maladaptation (as evidenced by injury, illness, and non functional overreaching and or performance stagnation)- including how it may change with athlete age, ability level and event distance specialisation.
  • Optimising training and race preparation- at the cutting edge (preparation for the Olympic Games, what can scientists tell coaches, what can coaches tell scientist, what do athletes want, how technology can change the game e.g. as regards research into the aetiology and prediction of maladaptation).

Although this Special Issue of Sports focuses on triathlon, the papers contained within it should also prove relevant both to its component sports and to the optimisation of performance and health in endurance sports in general.

Dr. Veronica Vleck
Prof. Dr. Maria Francesca Piacentini
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • training
  • maladaptation
  • monitoring
  • injury
  • illness
  • non-functional overreaching
  • predictive analytics
  • medical
  • Big data
  • neural networks

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

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31 pages, 1469 KiB  
Article
Work, Training and Life Stress in ITU World Olympic Distance Age-Group Championship Triathletes
by Veronica Vleck, Luís Miguel Massuça, Rodrigo de Moraes, João Henrique Falk Neto, Claudio Quagliarotti and Maria Francesca Piacentini
Sports 2023, 11(12), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports11120233 - 24 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1648
Abstract
We assessed the training, work and Life Stress demands of a mixed gender group of 48 top amateur short-distance triathletes using an online retrospective epidemiological survey and the Life Events Survey for Collegiate Athletes. On superficial inspection, these mainly masters athletes appeared to [...] Read more.
We assessed the training, work and Life Stress demands of a mixed gender group of 48 top amateur short-distance triathletes using an online retrospective epidemiological survey and the Life Events Survey for Collegiate Athletes. On superficial inspection, these mainly masters athletes appeared to undergo all the types of training that are recommended for the aging athlete. However, there were significant scheduling differences between their weekday vs. their weekend training, suggesting that age-groupers’ outside sports commitments may affect their training efficacy. The triathletes claimed to periodize, to obtain feedback on and to modify their training plans when appropriate—and some evidence of this was obtained. Over the year preceding the ITU World Age-Group Championships, they averaged 53%, 33% and 14% of their combined swim, cycle and run training time, respectively, within intensity zones 1, 2 and 3. Although the triathletes specifically stated that their training was focused on preparation for the ITU World Age-Group Championships, the way that they modified their training in the month before the event suggested that this aim was not necessarily achieved. Sports-related stress accounted for most—42.0 ± 26.7%—of their total Life Stress over the preceding year (vs. 12.7 ± 18.6% for Relationship-, 31.3 ± 25.9% for Personal- and 14.0 ± 21.1% for Career-related Stress). It affected most athletes, and was overwhelmingly negative, when it related to failure to attain athletic goal(s), to injury and/or to illness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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11 pages, 291 KiB  
Article
Gender Effect on the Relationship between Talent Identification Tests and Later World Triathlon Series Performance
by Alba Cuba-Dorado, Veronica Vleck, Tania Álvarez-Yates and Oscar Garcia-Garcia
Sports 2021, 9(12), 164; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9120164 - 6 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2766
Abstract
Background: We examined the explanatory power of the Spanish triathlon talent identification (TID) tests for later World Triathlon Series (WTS)-level racing performance as a function of gender. Methods: Youth TID (100 m and 1000 m swimming and 400 m and 1000 m running) [...] Read more.
Background: We examined the explanatory power of the Spanish triathlon talent identification (TID) tests for later World Triathlon Series (WTS)-level racing performance as a function of gender. Methods: Youth TID (100 m and 1000 m swimming and 400 m and 1000 m running) test performance times for when they were 14–19 years old, and WTS performance data up to the end of 2017, were obtained for 29 female and 24 male “successful” Spanish triathletes. The relationships between the athletes’ test performances and their later best WTS ranking positions and performance times were modeled using multiple linear regression. Results: The swimming and running TID test data had greater explanatory power for best WTS ranking in the females and for best WTS position in the males (R2a = 0.34 and 0.37, respectively, p ≤ 0.009). The swimming TID times were better related to later race performance than were the running TID times. The predictive power of the TID tests for WTS performance was, however, low, irrespective of exercise mode and athlete gender. Conclusions: These results confirm that triathlon TID tests should not be based solely on swimming and running performance. Moreover, the predictive value of the individual tests within the Spanish TID battery is gender specific. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
15 pages, 686 KiB  
Article
The Training Characteristics of Recreational-Level Triathletes: Influence on Fatigue and Health
by João Henrique Falk Neto, Eric C. Parent, Veronica Vleck and Michael D. Kennedy
Sports 2021, 9(7), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9070094 - 25 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3901
Abstract
Little is known about how recreational triathletes prepare for an Olympic distance event. The aim of this study was to identify the training characteristics of recreational-level triathletes within the competition period and assess how their preparation for a triathlon influences their health and [...] Read more.
Little is known about how recreational triathletes prepare for an Olympic distance event. The aim of this study was to identify the training characteristics of recreational-level triathletes within the competition period and assess how their preparation for a triathlon influences their health and their levels of fatigue. During the 6 weeks prior to, and the 2 weeks after, an Olympic distance triathlon, nine recreational athletes (five males, four females) completed a daily training log. Participants answered the Daily Analysis of Life Demands Questionnaire (DALDA), the Training Distress Scale (TDS) and the Alberta Swim Fatigue and Health Questionnaire weekly. The Recovery-Stress Questionnaire (REST-Q) was completed at the beginning of the study, on the day before the competition, and at the end of week 8. Training loads were calculated using session-based rating of perceived exertion (sRPE). The data from every week of training was compared to week 1 to determine how athletes’ training and health changed throughout the study. No changes in training loads, duration or training intensity distribution were seen in the weeks leading up to the competition. Training duration was significantly reduced in week 6 (p = 0.041, d = 1.58, 95% CI = 6.9, 421.9), while the number of sessions was reduced in week 6 (Z = 2.32, p = 0.02, ES = 0.88) and week 7 (Z = 2.31, p = 0.02, ES = 0.87). Training was characterized by large weekly variations in training loads and a high training intensity. No significant changes were seen in the DALDA, TDS or REST-Q questionnaire scores throughout the 8 weeks. Despite large spikes in training load and a high overall training intensity, these recreational-level triathletes were able to maintain their health in the 6 weeks of training prior to an Olympic distance triathlon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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17 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Exercise Intensity during Olympic-Distance Triathlon in Well-Trained Age-Group Athletes: An Observational Study
by Atsushi Aoyagi, Keisuke Ishikura and Yoshiharu Nabekura
Sports 2021, 9(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9020018 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4643
Abstract
The aim of this study was to examine the exercise intensity during the swimming, cycling, and running legs of nondraft legal, Olympic-distance triathlons in well-trained, age-group triathletes. Seventeen male triathletes completed incremental swimming, cycling, and running tests to exhaustion. Heart rate (HR) and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to examine the exercise intensity during the swimming, cycling, and running legs of nondraft legal, Olympic-distance triathlons in well-trained, age-group triathletes. Seventeen male triathletes completed incremental swimming, cycling, and running tests to exhaustion. Heart rate (HR) and workload corresponding to aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, maximal workloads, and maximal HR (HRmax) in each exercise mode were analyzed. HR and workload were monitored throughout the race. The intensity distributions in three HR zones for each discipline and five workload zones in cycling and running were quantified. The subjects were then assigned to a fast or slow group based on the total race time (range, 2 h 07 min–2 h 41 min). The mean percentages of HRmax in the swimming, cycling, and running legs were 89.8% ± 3.7%, 91.1% ± 4.4%, and 90.7% ± 5.1%, respectively, for all participants. The mean percentage of HRmax and intensity distributions during the swimming and cycling legs were similar between groups. In the running leg, the faster group spent relatively more time above HR at anaerobic threshold (AnT) and between workload at AnT and maximal workload. In conclusion, well-trained male triathletes performed at very high intensity throughout a nondraft legal, Olympic-distance triathlon race, and sustaining higher intensity during running might play a role in the success of these athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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11 pages, 226 KiB  
Article
The Prevalence of Legal Performance-Enhancing Substance Use and Potential Cognitive and or Physical Doping in German Recreational Triathletes, Assessed via the Randomised Response Technique
by Sebastian Seifarth, Pavel Dietz, Alexander C. Disch, Martin Engelhardt and Stefan Zwingenberger
Sports 2019, 7(12), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7120241 - 26 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3581
Abstract
This study investigated the use of performance-enhancing substances in recreational triathletes who were competing in German races at distances ranging from super-sprint to long-distance, as per the International Triathlon Union. The use of legal drugs and over-the-counter supplements over the previous year, painkillers [...] Read more.
This study investigated the use of performance-enhancing substances in recreational triathletes who were competing in German races at distances ranging from super-sprint to long-distance, as per the International Triathlon Union. The use of legal drugs and over-the-counter supplements over the previous year, painkillers over the previous 3 months, and the potential three-month prevalence of physical doping and or cognitive doping in this group were assessed via an anonymous questionnaire. The Randomised Response Technique (RRT) was implemented for sensitive questions regarding “prescription drugs […] for the purpose of performance enhancement […] only available at a pharmacy or on the black market”. The survey did not directly state the word “doping,” but included examples of substances that could later be classed as physical and or cognitive doping. The subjects were not required to detail what they were taking. Overall, 1953 completed questionnaires were received from 3134 registered starters at six regional events—themselves involving 17 separate races—in 2017. Of the respondents, 31.8% and 11.3% admitted to the use of dietary supplements, and of painkillers during the previous three months, respectively. Potential physical doping and cognitive doping over the preceding year were reported by 7.0% (Confidence Interval CI: 4.2–9.8) and 9.4% (CI: 6.6–12.3) of triathletes. Gender, age, experience in endurance sports, and number of weekly triathlon training hours were linked to potential physical or cognitive doping. Given the potentially relevant side effects of painkiller use and physical and or cognitive doping, we recommend that educational and preventative measures for them be implemented within amateur triathlons. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
17 pages, 659 KiB  
Article
Motivation Regulation among Black Women Triathletes
by Candace S. Brown
Sports 2019, 7(9), 208; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7090208 - 10 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2671
Abstract
There is a paucity of information on motivation among U.S. minority triathletes. This study aimed to understand the extrinsic motivation and regulators of Black women triathletes using a modified version of the valid Motivations of Marathoners Scale and semi-structured interviews, for triathletes. The [...] Read more.
There is a paucity of information on motivation among U.S. minority triathletes. This study aimed to understand the extrinsic motivation and regulators of Black women triathletes using a modified version of the valid Motivations of Marathoners Scale and semi-structured interviews, for triathletes. The Self Determination Theory guided the dual method assessment of the extrinsic motivators and the regulators external, introjection, and integrated. Using MANOVA, data from (N = 121) triathletes were compared across participant categories of age, body mass index, and distance. Results showed a significant age difference with younger women displaying more motivation. Descriptive means indicated integration as the greatest regulator of motivation. The statements ‘to compete with myself’ and ‘to be more fit,’ had the highest means among the women. A sub-sample of 12 interviews were conducted revealing 16 extrinsic themes. Six were related to the regulator integration and two unexpectantly related to the regulator, identified. Integrated themes, including coping mechanisms, finishing course, improvement, accomplishment, and physical awareness were most represented. This research fills gaps of understanding extrinsic motivation and the regulators of a group not previously explored. Future research on motivation among triathletes may benefit knowing how motivations are regulated, as to promote personalized training and participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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9 pages, 1938 KiB  
Article
Core Temperature in Triathletes during Swimming with Wetsuit in 10 °C Cold Water
by Jørgen Melau, Maria Mathiassen, Trine Stensrud, Mike Tipton and Jonny Hisdal
Sports 2019, 7(6), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7060130 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7250
Abstract
Low water temperature (<15 °C) has been faced by many organizers of triathlons and swim-runs in the northern part of Europe during recent years. More knowledge about how cold water affects athletes swimming in wetsuits in cold water is warranted. The aim of [...] Read more.
Low water temperature (<15 °C) has been faced by many organizers of triathlons and swim-runs in the northern part of Europe during recent years. More knowledge about how cold water affects athletes swimming in wetsuits in cold water is warranted. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the physiological response when swimming a full Ironman distance (3800 m) in a wetsuit in 10 °C water. Twenty triathletes, 37.6 ± 9 years (12 males and 8 females) were recruited to perform open water swimming in 10 °C seawater; while rectal temperature (Tre) and skin temperature (Tskin) were recorded. The results showed that for all participants, Tre was maintained for the first 10–15 min of the swim; and no participants dropped more than 2 °C in Tre during the first 30 min of swimming in 10 °C water. However; according to extrapolations of the results, during a swim time above 135 min; 47% (8/17) of the participants in the present study would fall more than 2 °C in Tre during the swim. The results show that the temperature response to swimming in a wetsuit in 10 °C water is highly individual. However, no participant in the present study dropped more than 2 °C in Tre during the first 30 min of the swim in 10 °C water. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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12 pages, 3518 KiB  
Article
Effectiveness of Manual Therapy, Customised Foot Orthoses and Combined Therapy in the Management of Plantar Fasciitis—A RCT
by Casper Grim, Ruth Kramer, Martin Engelhardt, Swen Malte John, Thilo Hotfiel and Matthias Wilhelm Hoppe
Sports 2019, 7(6), 128; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7060128 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 7860
Abstract
Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the most common causes of plantar heel pain. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of three different treatment approaches in the management of PF. Methods: Sixty-three patients (44 female, 19 men; 48.4 ± 9.8 years) were randomly [...] Read more.
Background: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is one of the most common causes of plantar heel pain. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of three different treatment approaches in the management of PF. Methods: Sixty-three patients (44 female, 19 men; 48.4 ± 9.8 years) were randomly assigned into a manual therapy (MT), customised foot orthosis (FO) and a combined therapy (combined) group. The primary outcomes of pain and function were evaluated using the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society-Ankle Hindfoot Scale (AOFAS-AHS) and the patient reported outcome measure (PROM) Foot Pain and Function Scale (FPFS). Data were evaluated at baseline (T0) and at follow-up sessions after 1 month, 2 months and 3 months (T1–T3). Results: All three treatments showed statistically significant (p < 0.01) improvements in both scales from T0 to T1. However, the MT group showed greater improvements than both other groups (p < 0.01). Conclusion: Manual therapy, customised foot orthoses and combined treatments of PF all reduced pain and function, with the greatest benefits shown by isolated manual therapy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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10 pages, 969 KiB  
Article
Effects of Cycling on Subsequent Running Performance, Stride Length, and Muscle Oxygen Saturation in Triathletes
by Guillermo Olcina, Miguel Ángel Perez-Sousa, Juan Antonio Escobar-Alvarez and Rafael Timón
Sports 2019, 7(5), 115; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050115 - 16 May 2019
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4885
Abstract
Running performance is a determinant factor for victory in Sprint and Olympic distance triathlon. Previous cycling may impair running performance in triathlons, so brick training becomes an important part of training. Wearable technology that is used by triathletes can offer several metrics for [...] Read more.
Running performance is a determinant factor for victory in Sprint and Olympic distance triathlon. Previous cycling may impair running performance in triathlons, so brick training becomes an important part of training. Wearable technology that is used by triathletes can offer several metrics for optimising training in real-time. The aim of this study was to analyse the effect of previous cycling on subsequent running performance in a field test, while using kinematics metrics and SmO2 provided by wearable devices that are potentially used by triathletes. Ten trained triathletes participated in a randomised crossover study, performing two trial sessions that were separated by seven days: the isolated run trial (IRT) and the bike-run trial (BRT). Running kinematics, physiological outcomes, and perceptual parameters were assessed before and after each running test. The running distance was significantly lower in the BRT when compared to the IRT, with a decrease in stride length of 0.1 m (p = 0.00) and higher %SmO2 (p = 0.00) in spite of the maximal intensity of exercise. No effects were reported in vertical oscillation, ground contact time, running cadence, and average heart rate. These findings may only be relevant to ‘moderate level’ triathletes, but not to ‘elite’ ones. Triathletes might monitor their %SmO2 and stride length during brick training and then compare it with isolated running to evaluate performance changes. Using wearable technology (near-infrared spectroscopy, accelerometry) for specific brick training may be a good option for triathletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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18 pages, 272 KiB  
Communication
The Rise of Elite Short-Course Triathlon Re-Emphasises the Necessity to Transition Efficiently from Cycling to Running
by Joel A. Walsh
Sports 2019, 7(5), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050099 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4013
Abstract
Transitioning efficiently between cycling and running is considered an indication of overall performance, and as a result the cycle–run (C–R) transition is one of the most researched areas of triathlon. Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the impact of prior cycling on running performance. [...] Read more.
Transitioning efficiently between cycling and running is considered an indication of overall performance, and as a result the cycle–run (C–R) transition is one of the most researched areas of triathlon. Previous studies have thoroughly investigated the impact of prior cycling on running performance. However, with the increasing number of short-course events and the inclusion of the mixed relay at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, efficiently transitioning from cycle–run has been re-emphasised and with it, any potential limitations to running performance among elite triathletes. This short communication provides coaches and sports scientists a review of the literature detailing the negative effects of prior variable-cycling on running performance experienced among elite, short-course and Olympic distance triathletes; as well as discussing practical methods to minimise any negative impact of cycling on running performance. The current literature suggests that variable-cycling negatively effects running ability in at least some elite triathletes and that improving swimming performance, drafting during cycling and C–R training at race intensity could improve an athlete’s triathlon running performance. It is recommended that future research clearly define the performance level, competitive format of the experimental population and use protocols that are specific to the experimental population in order to improve the training and practical application of the research findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
10 pages, 257 KiB  
Article
Cross-Sectional Investigation of Stress Fractures in German Elite Triathletes
by Pauline Neidel, Petra Wolfram, Thilo Hotfiel, Martin Engelhardt, Rainer Koch, Geoffrey Lee and Stefan Zwingenberger
Sports 2019, 7(4), 88; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7040088 - 15 Apr 2019
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3682
Abstract
Triathlon is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive athletes. This study investigated the rates and patterns of stress fractures in the German national triathlon squad. We developed a web-based retrospective questionnaire containing questions about the frequency of stress fractures, anatomic localisation [...] Read more.
Triathlon is a popular sport for both recreational and competitive athletes. This study investigated the rates and patterns of stress fractures in the German national triathlon squad. We developed a web-based retrospective questionnaire containing questions about the frequency of stress fractures, anatomic localisation and associated risk factors. The survey was conducted as an explorative cross-sectional study. Eighty-six athletes completed the questionnaire. Twenty athletes (23%) sustained at least one stress fracture. All documented stress fractures were located in the lower extremities. Factors associated with a higher risk for stress fractures were female gender, competitive sport prior to triathlon career, Vitamin D or iron deficiency, menstrual disturbances and a high number of annual training hours. Disseminating knowledge among athletes and their professional community in order to raise awareness about early symptoms and relevant risk factors could help to improve prevention and reduce the incidence of stress fractures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
9 pages, 709 KiB  
Article
Is the Bike Segment of Modern Olympic Triathlon More a Transition towards Running in Males than It Is in Females?
by Maria Francesca Piacentini, Luca A Bianchini, Carlo Minganti, Marco Sias, Andrea Di Castro and Veronica Vleck
Sports 2019, 7(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7040076 - 29 Mar 2019
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 3364
Abstract
In 2009, the International Triathlon Union created a new triathlon race format: The World Triathlon Series (WTS), for which only athletes with a top 100 world ranking are eligible. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of the three [...] Read more.
In 2009, the International Triathlon Union created a new triathlon race format: The World Triathlon Series (WTS), for which only athletes with a top 100 world ranking are eligible. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to analyze the influence of the three disciplines on performance within all the WTS Olympic distance races within two Olympic cycles, and to determine whether their relative contribution changed over the years. Methods: For each of a total of 44 races, final race time and position as well as split times (and positions), and summed time (and position) at each point of the race were collected and included in the analysis. Athletes were divided into 4 groups according to their final race placing (G1: 1st–3rd place; G2: 4–8th place; G3: 8–16th place and G4: ≥17th place). Two-way multivariate ANOVAs were conducted to compare the main effects of years and rank groups. For females, there were significant differences in the swim and bike segment only between G4 and the other groups (p range from 0.001–0.029), whilst for the run segment each group differed significantly from each other (p < 0.001). For males, there were significant differences in swim only between G4 and the other groups (p range from 0.001–0.039), whilst for the running segment each group differed significantly from the others (p < 0.001). Although we found running to be the segment where there were significant differences between performance groups, it is apparently important for overall success that a good runner be positioned with the first cycling pack. However, bike splits were not different between either of the four male groups or between the first 3 groups of the females. At this very high level of performance, at least in the males, the bike leg seems to be a smooth transition towards running. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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Review

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17 pages, 24089 KiB  
Review
Accelerating Recovery from Exercise-Induced Muscle Injuries in Triathletes: Considerations for Olympic Distance Races
by Thilo Hotfiel, Isabel Mayer, Moritz Huettel, Matthias Wilhelm Hoppe, Martin Engelhardt, Christoph Lutter, Klaus Pöttgen, Rafael Heiss, Tom Kastner and Casper Grim
Sports 2019, 7(6), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7060143 - 13 Jun 2019
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 9146
Abstract
The triathlon is one of the fastest developing sports in the world due to expanding participation and media attention. The fundamental change in Olympic triathlon races from a single to a multistart event is highly demanding in terms of recovery from and prevention [...] Read more.
The triathlon is one of the fastest developing sports in the world due to expanding participation and media attention. The fundamental change in Olympic triathlon races from a single to a multistart event is highly demanding in terms of recovery from and prevention of exercise-induced muscle injures. In elite and competitive sports, ultrastructural muscle injuries, including delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), are responsible for impaired muscle performance capacities. Prevention and treatment of these conditions have become key in regaining muscular performance levels and to guarantee performance and economy of motion in swimming, cycling and running. The aim of this review is to provide an overview of the current findings on the pathophysiology, as well as treatment and prevention of, these conditions in compliance with clinical implications for elite triathletes. In the context of DOMS, the majority of recovery interventions have focused on different protocols of compression, cold or heat therapy, active regeneration, nutritional interventions, or sleep. The authors agree that there is a compelling need for further studies, including high-quality randomized trials, to completely evaluate the effectiveness of existing therapeutic approaches, particularly in triathletes. The given recommendations must be updated and adjusted, as further evidence emerges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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15 pages, 302 KiB  
Review
Training and Competition Readiness in Triathlon
by Naroa Etxebarria, Iñigo Mujika and David Bruce Pyne
Sports 2019, 7(5), 101; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7050101 - 29 Apr 2019
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 20811
Abstract
Triathlon is characterized by the multidisciplinary nature of the sport where swimming, cycling, and running are completed sequentially in different events, such as the sprint, Olympic, long-distance, and Ironman formats. The large number of training sessions and overall volume undertaken by triathletes to [...] Read more.
Triathlon is characterized by the multidisciplinary nature of the sport where swimming, cycling, and running are completed sequentially in different events, such as the sprint, Olympic, long-distance, and Ironman formats. The large number of training sessions and overall volume undertaken by triathletes to improve fitness and performance can also increase the risk of injury, illness, or excessive fatigue. Short- and medium-term individualized training plans, periodization strategies, and work/rest balance are necessary to minimize interruptions to training due to injury, illness, or maladaptation. Even in the absence of health and wellbeing concerns, it is unclear whether cellular signals triggered by multiple training stimuli that drive training adaptations each day interfere with each other. Distribution of training intensity within and between different sessions is an important aspect of training. Both internal (perceived stress) and external loads (objective metrics) should be considered when monitoring training load. Incorporating strength training to complement the large body of endurance work in triathlon can help avoid overuse injuries. We explore emerging trends and strategies from the latest literature and evidence-based knowledge for improving training readiness and performance during competition in triathlon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)

Other

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7 pages, 482 KiB  
Case Report
Late-Presenting Swimming-Induced Pulmonary Edema: A Case Report Series from the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon
by Jørgen Melau, Martin Bonnevie-Svendsen, Maria Mathiassen, Janne Mykland Hilde, Lars Oma and Jonny Hisdal
Sports 2019, 7(6), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports7060137 - 3 Jun 2019
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5686
Abstract
Swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE) may develop during strenuous physical exertion in water. This case series reports on three cases of suspected late-presenting SIPE during the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. A 30-year-old male professional (PRO) triathlete, a 40-year-old female AGE GROUP triathlete and a 34-year-old [...] Read more.
Swimming-induced pulmonary edema (SIPE) may develop during strenuous physical exertion in water. This case series reports on three cases of suspected late-presenting SIPE during the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. A 30-year-old male professional (PRO) triathlete, a 40-year-old female AGE GROUP triathlete and a 34-year-old male AGE GROUP triathlete presented with shortness of breath, chest tightness and coughing up pink sputum during the last part of the bike phase. All three athletes reported an improvement in breathing during the first major uphill of the bike phase and increasing symptoms during the downhill. The PRO athlete had a thoracic computed tomography, and the scan showed bilateral ground glass opacity in the peripheral lungs. The male AGE GROUP athlete had a normal chest x-ray. Both athletes were admitted for further observation and discharged from hospital the following day, with complete regression of symptoms. The female athlete recovered quickly following pre-hospital oxygen treatment. Non-cardiogenic pulmonary edema associated with endurance sports is rare but potentially very dangerous. Knowledge and awareness of possible risk factors and symptoms are essential, and the results presented in this report emphasize the importance of being aware of the possible delayed development of symptoms. To determine the presence of pulmonary edema elicited by strenuous exercise, equipment for measuring oxygen saturation should be available for the medical staff on site. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Maximising Triathlon Health and Performance: the State of the Art)
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