Though triathlon is now considered a very popular sport, it seems that science is about to spoil the fun for triathletes. One study has recently indicated that triathlons increases risk of death twice as much as that of marathons. The said study was headed by Dr. Kevin Harris of the Minneapolis Heart Institute at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.
Statistics showed that for 4 to 8 people die with very one million participants of a 26.2-mile marathon. However, in the abovementioned study, the number of rate is higher at 15 for every one million.
The data used in the study included records on 922,810 athletes who participated in 284 USA Triathlon-sanctioned events between January 2006 and September 2008.
In the study, possible causes of triathlon-related deaths included carelessness of triathlete or negligence of the sport.
Harris commented that people usually do not think twice when signing up for a triathlon event. Moreover, most do not realize that training in pools is entirely differing in swimming in lakes and rivers. However, some people would comment that triathletes recognize that swimming in the pool is not enough training for triathlon.
Another doctor said that swimming with hundreds of people can be frightening but during triathlon events, swimmers may employ techniques to avail some rest, and there are also officials on canoes who tasked to provide aid when necessary.
Meanwhile, Consumer Reports indicated that accidents linked to recreational sports normally require emergency-room treatment. For instance, fishing and soccer account for 80,000 and 150,000, respectively, emergency room visits. On the other hand, basketball can be considered the most dangerous sport, with more than 600,000 reported emergency room visits. Football, skiing and snow-boarding, vehicle racing, and hockey are also considered dangerous sports.
In Harris’ study, 14 deaths were linked to triathlon, and 13 of them occurred during swimming. Examination of six of those deaths indicated that four victims had underlying health problems. Meanwhile, the other possibly suffered from heart rhythm problem.
Thus, for triathletes, they should take the necessary precautions to avoid being caught in any death-related incident during their competition. To prepare for their safety, they are advised to do the following:
UNDERGO A THOROUGH MEDICAL CHECK UP
Triathlon is an endurance sport and requires participants to be strong. Thus, those with pre-existing medical condition may put themselves at risk should they engage in triathlon. Though there is no law that forbids them from participating in such events, they must still take the necessary precautions and adjustments to accommodate their health conditions.
ASSESS THE SWIMMING ABILITY
Triathlete events will not be canceled just because of disturbances in water levels or presence of rain. However, weather may affect the swim course of participants. In some cases, participants are allowed to do a duathlon instead when extreme weather conditions prove to be dangerous for swimming.
MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION
Participants should decide whether they are fully capable of swimming during triathlon. They must assess whether their bodies can handle the current weather or water conditions.
DO NOT JUST PARTICIPATE IN DIFFICULT SWIM EVENTS
Beginners and inexperienced swimmers should think twice before they participate in difficult swims.
USING SWIMMING AS STRENGTH
Triathletes can become better swimmers if they try the following suggestions.
DEVELOP YOUR TECHNIQUE
Swimming is more about efficiency and proper techniques. Athletes are advised to seek professional continuation regarding their swim stroke.
SWIM IN OPEN WATERS
A number of triathletes are not fond of swimming in open waters. Thus, they are more commonly seen training in pools. However, learning in open waters will greatly aid them in developing their swimming capacities.
LEARN ADDITIONAL STROKES AND REST MEASURES
Knowing more about strokes and rest measures allows triathletes to face potential problems in water with more efficiency.
TRY SWIMMING IN CHOPPY WATERS
Swimming in high waves can be very difficult, but triathletes are advised to avoid giving in to what their brain dictates. Instead of trying to raise their heads and shoulders up, they should not fight the waves but just keep on taking side breaths just like in freestyle. Swimming in high waves may feel different but triathletes will eventually get the hang of it after thorough training.