Triathlon training by nature is more complex than other sports, as it comprises of three different sports in one. The inevitable training load to prepare your body for triathlon events can be 5+ days per week for some people. The most common injuries seen in triathletes are overuse injuries. This is frequently caused by training error; under or overtraining.
Why do we train?
Most high-performance coaches would agree that optimal athletic performance requires
adequate quality preparation as well as athletes to remain injury and illness free. Sounds simple, doesn’t it. Training at consistent, resilience building levels can be protective against injury. However, training errors are frequently met during the course of pushing athletes to their limits in order to gain peak athletic performance.
There are some easy metrics used to quantify your training workloads and these are used to feedback information on how to train most effectively. Workloads are broken down into external and internal load. External load describes the work performed by an athlete that is quantified externally. For example, distance, duration, intensity (Watts, RPM). Internal load describes measurements of the athlete’s perception of effort for a given external stress.
The most common method to quantify internal load is a rating of perceived exertion (RPE) or heart rate response to a stimulus (the training impulse score, TRIMP).
A simple equation to give each training session a score is the sessions duration multiplied by the sessional RPE.
How do we balance preparing our bodies for events whilst mitigating risk of developing an injury? We will break down some of the tips that may help to reduce your risk of developing an injury and enhance your recovery and performance on race day.
1. Establish moderate chronic training loads – consistent moderate to hard training* loads can protect against injury if achieved in a safe manner
2. Avoiding spikes in your training load, for example, large increases in your training volumes in a week. This can lead to injuries even four weeks after the change in training. Be careful not to increase weekly training loads by more than 10% each week if in a building phase
3. Be specific to your training history and goals – there is not a one size fits all and each person often responds differently. Seek guidance from a coach or your allied health practitioner if uncertain of how to tackle your training loads
4. Do not be afraid to adjust your weekly schedule and intensity depending on how
your body is responding to your training sessions. Use technology and fitness apps (Strava, fitbit, Garmin etc) to measure your external and internal loads and a training diary to document your weekly schedule.
For any further information or guidance, you can make an appointment with your physiotherapist or osteopath at 13th Beach Health Services on 03 5254 2668 or make an online booking at https://www.13thbeachhealthservices.com.au/make-an-appointment/