The best preventive measure? Understanding what causes triathlon-related injuries—and what doesn’t. Plus: How to structure your strength routine for real results.
Most injuries occur when training load exceeds what the athlete’s musculoskeletal system can handle. Strain something too much, it will break—pretty obvious. Adding strength and conditioning work is often considered the cure-all for injury risk, but that is just one tool in the arsenal of prevention or performance improvement. No amount of strength and conditioning work will single-handedly decrease injury risk if we don’t understand (and address) the broader contributors to injury risk and occurrence.
The real root of injury
Some of the common pitfalls I see in both the pro and amateur ranks:
Flawed training plan:
Follow a poorly designed plan (or one inappropriate for you), and your risk for injury will increase.
Plan execution: Often it isn’t the plan that is the issue—it’s how the plan is executed. A prime example is going too hard during sessions that are designed to be lower stress—perhaps the greatest mistake made by endurance athletes.
Inadequate recovery: How consistent are you with post-workout refueling? Are you consuming enough (and the right kind of) calories to support the training? What is the quality and quantity of your sleep?
Life stress: Integration of training into real life is an ongoing challenge for most athletes, yet many fail to recognize the fluctuating stress that can impact recovery.