As a triathlete you will have noticed that triathlons have become increasingly popular and people of all ages and fitness levels now partake in this challenging sport.
Although those new to the sport tend to be the most commonly injured, everyone is potentially prone to injury, even if you have been taking part in triathlons for years.
At Kinetic Podiatry Clinic we have discovered that there is a common misconception that ‘triathlons are safer than marathons’ in relation to stress and injury.
Presumably this is because it is thought that the variety of muscles and motions used for the combined actions of running, swimming and cycling, spreads the strain on your body evenly across your muscle groups, thus lessening the impact and overall damage when compared to that caused by just one singular activity.
Unfortunately, this isn’t strictly true. The individual methods and muscles you need to undertake, both during a triathlon and prior to the triathlon (i.e. through training) are niche, specific and arduous. This maximises stress to your individual muscle groups, rather than depleting the total strain.
The high level of balance and propulsion that your body requires through the three combined sports stems from (and relies upon) the health of your lower limbs and feet. The potential stress on your lower limbs is extreme. For example. An aggressive 40-kilometre bike ride requires your (wet) body to apply constant pressure to your forefoot, calves and knees. A10 kilometer run (for example) entails your feet striking the ground at around 10,000 times, causing repetitive vibration through your feet and upwards through your knees, hips back and neck. All this following a grueling (and cold) 1 or 2000-meter swim and you can begin to appreciate the potential for injury.
Repetitive stress and traumas such as sprains, ruptures and fractures are common and although swimming and cycling can aggravate or cause these, the running element of a triathlon is the greatest offender. In fact, we tend to see more stress fractures caused by running, than any other injury.
At Kinetic Podiatry Clinic our intention is not to discourage you from participating in triathlons, far from it! Rather, our aim is to help you to prevent or lessen injury and maximise your speed and performance through the wearing of correct footwear, specific footwear modifications, practical techniques and/or bespoke foot Orthotics.