Triathletes and Injury

Yesterday the New York Times reported in the Thursday Style section on the growth of popularity of triathlon and the high rate of injuries among triathlon rookies. While it’s true that injury can and will occur with improper training, that which the article doesn’t adequately address (and probably more interesting and relevant) is how an athlete might avoid such injury.

Coincidentally, this is a topic of regular debate here at Trismarter.com and something we strive for –that being to avoid triathlon-related injury–with each of our clients. I circulated a paper entitled “Triathlon related musculoskeletal injuries: The status of injury prevention knowledge” by Gosling et al. from the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport among our coaches to spark discussion. Also, within the past month, Triathlon Coach Lee Gardner and I have written a series of articles on trifuel.com related to overtraining and its avoidance and detection. Additionally, within the past month we have started to collaborate with a strength and conditioning coach to provide our clients with improved information on exercises they can be doing in the gym to prevent such overuse injuries from occurring in the first place. Most of the physical therapists interviewed for the NYT article, I would argue, would agree that injury prevention is possible with many of the same exercises they are having athletes do to recover from injury.

As for the fractured clavicle being a “rite of passage” for triathlon newbies, I’m not quite sure what the anonymous physical therapist is basing that exaggerated statement on but I can say that in over 15 years of cycling and multisport I haven’t broken a collarbone yet and can count only one such injury among all of the athletes we have worked with at Trismarter.com

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