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One Of The Dangerous Sports

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.

  1. DEVELOP YOUR TECHNIQUE

Swimming is more about efficiency and proper techniques. Athletes are advised to seek professional continuation regarding their swim stroke.

  1. 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.

  1. LEARN ADDITIONAL STROKES AND REST MEASURES

Knowing more about strokes and rest measures allows triathletes to face potential problems in water with more efficiency.

  1. 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.

Triathlons Are For Elite Athletes

Triathlon is the perfect activity for those who want to upgrade their sports or become fitter as athletes. In the past 5 years, this sport has become more popular than ever, with increase of 30% in the United States. Around 500,000 Americans are expected to go on swimming, ride their bikes, then go on running in one of the triathlon events this year.

Most triathletes are runners who want try new routines. Most discover that triathlon makes them better runner. For example, underachiever runners usually find themselves passing standards that seem unachievable before they decide to participate in triathlon. A number of triathletes also end up breaking their previous records.

Most runners are hesitant when taking up another sport. Moreover, when it comes to triathlon, they must first have the proper equipment for biking and swimming. Thus, for runners who are just about to begin their journey as triathlete, it is important to know some notable tips that can help them in the other two components of triathlon: swimming and cycling.

  • SWIMMING

Swimming is an entirely different activity from running. The stresses that it puts on the body can be considered to be the opposite of those posed by running. As swimming is important in stretching muscles, running is known for compressive stresses. In addition, running is a high impact sport and is more focused on the lower body, whereas swimming is non-impact and involves full-body activity.

Training for swimming is more centered on efficiency. In this case, triathletes aim at spending less energy by improving their swim strokes.

  • SWIMMING STROKES

A number of strokes can be applied to swimming. Normally, most triathletes will prefer freestyle than butterfly. However, they should still ask a professional swim coach about how they can better improve on their strokes.

Beginners should not focus too much on speed but on efficiency and economy of their swim. They should not aim for swimming across the pool faster but reducing their strokes.

Performing drills is one way of enhancing swimming techniques. Such type of exercises allows swimmers to analyze their strokes one at a time.

Newbies on triathlon should at least try cross-training in the pool. They can do swimming laps for a specific period of time. Lap swimming also allows for active recovery after running. On the other hand, swim intervals teach triathletes to vary their swim space. Swim intervals may start with some warmup laps followed by some drills.

Triathletes should also prepare themselves in swimming in open waters and with a large crowd. Swimming in triathlon events feels entirely different than swimming in a pool. In relation to this, triathletes should develop their confidence and learn to swim with other people in close distances.

Training in open water is also a great way to prepare for triathlon. This way, triathletes become more confident in swimming in open waters and its related conditions.

  • BIKING

Cycling is similar with swimming in that this activity provides the body with significant cardiovascular workout without posing much impact. However, it also bears similarity with running as it is more focused on the lower body. During cycling, quads and calves are extremely worked out compared with running. Thus, runners should also take up cycling in order to develop such muscles.

Notably, cycling benefits running. Runners who engage in cycling discover that they become better at running over time. As a result, triathletes and runners also do cycling when preparing for a race or triathlon events.

Obviously, the most important equipment in cycling is the bike. Beginners in triathlon may start with moderate bike cross-training using any bike that is available for them. However, as soon as they got the hang of it or started to like the biking, they should consider purchasing a road bike.

For those who are using their old bike models, they should ensure that their bikes can accommodate their needs. When athletes are not compatible with their bikes, their training becomes less effective, and they are placing themselves at risk of injuries. Thus, cyclists or triathletes should have their bikes checkout by professionals to ensure that they their equipment fit them.

  • PEDAL POWER

Cycling is not merely pedaling to get the bike running, it also requires mastery of some skills. The most common mistakes by beginners is focusing all their efforts on pedaling down the bike. They do not realize that they should also actively pull the pedal upward during the second half of pedal stroke.

The second error is using bigger gears with slow cadence. If people cannot pedal at least 80 revolutions per minute on flat terrains, then they should shift their gear to an easier one.

  • RUNNING

Triathletes should make adjustments to their running schedule should they decide to train for swimming and cycling. The changes must focus on maintaining or developing strength in running even when mileage is lowered.

Thus, triathletes should engage more in tempo runs, interval workouts, and long runs to boost their fitness. After a hard run, swim and bike work outs aid in recovery of the body.

Weekly runs depend on swim and bike workouts. One swim and one bike workout can be partnered with four runs on a week for cross-training. However, for triathlon training, athletes should engage in more mix of those three activities.

  • TRIATHLETE RUNNING

Those who engage in triathlon must learn the transition between biking and running. Running after a bike ride will feel different because the legs becomes rubbery. Thus, runners-turned-triathletes must train thoroughly to get used to such sensation.

Transition run is the training run that comes after a training ride. This activity can be as short as 10 minutes. Transition run may also serve as running activity for runners who are just starting with triathlon.

Longer transition runs benefit those who cross-train with swimming and cycling because it limits the impact on the body caused by running.

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Triathlon is a multi-stage competition which normally include swimming, cycling, and running. The winner is determined by fast overall course completion time. During competitions, a transition area allows triathletes to change gear for different segments of the race. Thus, they are seen switching from swimming to cycling then cycling to running.

History of triathlon can be traced back to France in 1920s. The sport is said to be based on race called “Les trois sports”, “La Course des Débrouillards”, and “La course des Touche à Tout.”

The earliest tri-sport event was possibly an event in 1902. This race included running, cycling, canoeing. Afterward, other related events were documented from the 1920s until 190s.

The first event to be called “triathlon” took place at Mission Bay, San Diego, California on September 25, 1974. This even was headed by Jack Johnstone and Don Shanaham.

In 1989, the International Triathlon Union (ITU) was established. The organization was put up with aim of including triathlon on the Olympic program. ITU is also in charge in organizing the World Cup and World Triathlon Series and implements the necessary sanctions. In these events, recognition is given to elite pro-triathletes, junior pro-triathletes, and age-group athletes.

On the other hand, the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) is a private organization which is in charge of Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races every year. People join the Ironman race to qualify for annual World Championships, which is held annually in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Meanwhile, Ironman 70.3 is held in a different location each year.

International Ultra-Triathlon Association (IUTA) is in charge of Ultratriathlon, an event that covers longer distances compared with the usual iron-distance races.

Triathlon made it to the Olympic program at the Sydney Games in 2000, whereas Paratriathlon debuted at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Ultra-triathlons included triathlons that cover longer distances. However, distances may vary depending on the choice of race organizers and their goal to meet various distance constraints.

The standard Olympic distance is 1.5/40/10 km, which was created by the triathlon race director, Jim Curl. Meanwhile, newer distances include the 111 and 222 events. In 111 distance, triathletes must cover 1 km while swimming, 100 km bicycling, and 10 km running. The 222 distance involves twice the distances covered in 111 event.

Triathletes join triathlon events for improvement and maintenance of their physical fitness. Each event in triathlon provides remarkable cardiovascular events. Participation in such events require intense training that should be able to improve endurance sports performance. In relation to this, triathletes are also known for participating in other activities, including yoga, pilates, and weight training.

In swimming, triathletes are more careful when using their legs. They use different swim strokes to compensate for turbulent, aerated water and to conserved their energy. Triathletes also employ different techniques to take advantages of water movements and waves of the sea.

Meanwhile, cycling may allow drafting or formation of pelotons. In organizing the cycling event of triathlon, running performance of participants is considered. Triathletes also normally use triathlon bicycles, which are customized with special handlebars, called aero-bars or tri-bars, aerodynamic wheels, and other accessories to improve aerodynamics. Even the seat is customized not only to improve aerodynamics but to preserve some muscles that are used for running.

During running, most muscles of participants are already tired from performing two equally exhausting physical activities. Beginners may suffer from weakness and muscle pain caused by lactate accumulation. Thus, intense training is required before any qualified athlete can join a triathlon event.