Triathlon participation has grown significantly over the last 10 years. Technology has paved the way for advances in almost every aspect of training and racing. Every year improvements in equipment are promoted as making an athlete go faster, look better, and stay healthy while participating in the sport of triathlon. These improvements all come with a price tag. For the beginner triathlete, these technological advancements can be of less importance than the simple joy of participating and fulfilling a goal of race completion.
Triathlon training and racing are not activities we all grew up with. The days of Little League games, travel soccer, and the many other individual and team sports we might have participated in and those that many active weekend warriors now enjoy do not lend themselves as a natural transition to the rigors of triathlon participation. There are rare cases of people, including professional and age-group competitive racers, who are highly experienced in all three disciplines. Today, through increased involvement of adolescent and younger children in triathlon participation, a new breed of athletes is being developed who may have a better chance of being great at all three. Oh, to be young again!
Triathlon is considered by some to have its beginnings in France in the 1920s. The first modern swim, bike, run event to be called a triathlon was held at Mission Bay, San Diego, California, on September 25, 1974. Since then races at every distance imaginable, from sprint, Olympic, half Ironman, full Ironman, and Decaman—10 Ironmans all at once—are run almost every weekend in the United States and worldwide.
Whatever the distance may be, the principles of training remain the same. Improved cardiorespiratory fitness and increased musculoskeletal strength and power build the foundation of improved performance. Triathletes often like to say, “The larger the engine, the faster the train.” A fast engine that breaks down frequently from overtraining can be problematic and frustrating. A well-thought-out training program that includes strength and flexibility training can create a large engine that runs smoothly.
As an athlete commits more time and effort to the sport, injury prevention and often injury management can be crucial. The information presented in this book allows both novice and experienced athletes to obtain a better understanding of how the musculoskeletal system functions and responds to triathlon-specific exercises and training. Remember to never stray far from the fundamentals of safe and effective endurance sports training for performance.
- Chapter 1 The Triathlete in Motion
- Chapter 2 Cardio Training
- Chapter 3 Creating a Customized Training Plan
- Chapter 4 Arms
- Chapter 5 Shoulders
- Chapter 6 Chest
- Chapter 7 Core
- Chapter 8 Back and Neck
- Chapter 9 Legs
- Chapter 10 Whole-Body Training
- Chapter 11 Injury Prevention