Hope I've peaked your interest on the sport of triathlons. How cool is a sport where you can swim, bike, and run all in one event!
Let's examine the first element of triathlons...training.
Though exercise and sport training is great for health and fitness, there is always a risk of over-training, eventual loss of interest, and simply putting your body into a rut. These risks can lead to over-use injuries, boredom or noncompliance in your training plan, and asymmetries in your human movement patterns.
How can tri training remedy these risks, you ask?
Your tri training schedule includes swimming, biking, running, and bricks (a bike session followed by a run session). Sessions can focus on speed, endurance, or strength. What better way to maximize your anaerobic and aerobic energy systems!
Let's say you've been pounding the pavement and need to rest your joints for a week or two. Hop in the pool and fine-tune your bilateral breathing. Jump on your bike and improve your aero position. All the while you are actively recovering from your strong running efforts AND building cardiovascular fitness from the other two activities.
With respect to asymmetries in human movement from falling into that "constant exercise routine" rut, examine the tri training solutions:
- biking puts you in hip and spinal flexion ---> swimming opens up the hip and lengthens the spine
- running places varying degrees of impact and stress to the hip and knee structure ---> biking reduces that impact
- strength training damages and tightens muscle tissue ---> swimming loosens up muscles, tendons, and ligaments and increases blood flow
With these few examples, I hope I've illustrated that tri training provides a host of solutions to some pitfalls of a seemingly sound but repetitive training regimen, whether it be for recreational tennis, football, baseball, basketball, soccer, etc.
In part 3, I will introduce the athleticism that triathlons create in all of us.