In 1978 a US Navy Commander, CDR Collins, organised an Ironman event following an awards dinner debate over who was fitter: swimmers, cyclists or runners. He combined the Waikiki Roughwater Swim, the Around-Oahu Bike Race and the Honolulu Marathon to create an ultimate race. In the list of rules and regulations he added at the bottom “Swim 2.4miles! Bike 112 miles! Run 26.2miles! Brag for the rest of your life!” Gordon Haller became the first Ironman, and is no doubt still bragging about it!
Since the 1970s the Triathlon has become more and more popular, for both amateurs and professionals. In Sydney 2000 it made its Olympic debut, making a spectacular splash in front of the Sydney Opera House, capturing the imaginations and ambitions of athletes worldwide. Of course the Olympic distance is more reasonable, with a 1.5km swim, 40km cycle and a 10km run.
To complete a triathlon is on a par with running a marathon, so training and preparation cannot be taken lightly. This special report from Sports Performance Bulletin combines triathlon specific features with cutting edge reports on improving the prerequisite factor, endurance.
We start with a strength and conditioning programme, followed by advice on how to cope with the cycle-run transition. A feature on rest and recovery is in there for serious competitors, followed by an article on emotional control during endurance events, because it will get emotional!
There are then two reports on energy drinks and supplements, which will hopefully help professional triathletes gain an extra edge. Finally there is a case study report about an athlete who pushed himself to the limits in an Ironman event, and lived to tell the tale. Not for the faint hearted!
I hope this report helps all you triathletes to complete your
goals, and enhance those bragging rights.
Training – A complete Strength and Conditioning programme for
all triathletes, including an extensive core training guide – Raphael Brandon
Physiology – A report on how to master the dreaded cycle-run
transition phase, focusing on breathing techniques – Alison McConnell
Rest and Recovery – How to monitor the heart, aiding
recovery and reducing stress in between triathlons and training – Eddie Fletcher
Psychology – An investigation and guide into developing
emotional control for endurance, crucial in a triathlon – Andy Lane
Nutrition – Why triathletes should think about changing their
tipple for improved performance – Andrew Hamilton
Supplements – Power athletes have creatine, but what about
triathletes? Phosphatidylserine could be the answer – Andrew Hamilton
Injury and Illness – My heart-stopping race to be an Ironman – Victor Thompson
What the papers say – Must-read articles for anyone training for triathlon:
- Swim-Cycle Transition
- Triathlon Gender Differences
- Triathlon Swimming Tactics
- Triathletes and Sodium
Raphael Brandon MSc is a sports conditioning and fitness specialist.
He is also London region strength and conditioning coach for the English
Institute of Sport.
Alison McConnell is currently professor of applied physiology at Brunel
University; her research interests are in respiratory limitations to
Eddie Fletcher MSc is a sport and exercise physiologist and coach
specialising in endurance events.
Andy Lane is professor of sport and learning at the University of
Wolverhampton and research editor for ‘Sport and Exercise Scientist’,
published by the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences
Andy Hamilton BSc, MRSC, trained as a chemist and is consultant to the fitness industry and an experienced science writer.
Victor Thompson is a London-based clinical sports psychologist.