Friday, October 4, 2013

How does a World-Class Female Triathlete Train?

Exercise tracking apps can allow us access to the training programs of our friends but it is quite rare to gain detailed insight into the workout schedule of a world-class athlete.  A recent article in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance provided such an account of the preparation of a women triathlete for the 2012 London Olympic Games. 

During the 50 weeks leading up to the games, this athlete completed 796 training sessions  about 16 per week comprising  303 swimming, 194 biking, 254 running and 45 strength training sessions. Typical weekly totals were 15.5 miles of swimming, 9 hours of cycling, and 5 hours of running.  The intensity of the training program was monitored and modulated based on heart rate, speed, and power output together with measurements of blood chemistry (particularly lactate).  In addition to training, the athlete completed 15 races - 8 of which were Olympic distance triathlons.  There is no mention of injuries during the year.  The athlete placed 7th in London 2012 and her world ranking improved from 14th to 8th at the end of 2012.

This glimpse into the life of an Olympic athlete shows what it takes to compete at the highest level.  Sustaining such a high-intensity program obviously requires years of background preparation together with a very unusual genome!

Read more here.


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  2. Injuries are definitely frustrating and moreover, painful. The main challenge in triathlon training is that, even though the cardio vascular system is highly adaptable, the muscoskeletal system takes a very long time to adapt to the changes. Most of the trainees push themselves and this result in an injury. You need to be precautions to avoid sports injuries .

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  4. That's a lot of intensity. No wonder I'm not a world ranked athlete. Then again I've had some minor physical issue that contribute, besides my laziness. I'm just lucky none of my issue have graduated from minor to major.

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