Triathlon case study

Enable athletes to train to their potential and avoid injury

Zach has been fortunate enough to assist age-group athletes in reaching the Ironman World Championships (Kona) and 70.3 World Championships. Using his knowledge of the sport and its separate disciplines has enabled athletes to train to their potential and avoid injury so that they can feel truly satisfied during their lead up training and performance on race day.

Recently, Zach worked with an age-group athlete who won her division at the Busselton 70.3 Ironman and qualified for the 2022 World Championships in St.George, Utah. The training block consisted of an intensive three months, building on a modest base-level of fitness after navigating covid.

It is important to consider the athlete and their ability to tolerate physical load. The treatment to support the sustained ramp up effort included weekly massages, dry needling, strength work, technique sessions and sensible step-ups in training volume to support the athlete to build her fitness at a remarkable rate and remain injury-free.

There were times when the running volume caused the calves or knees to start to niggle and with a desk job, the neck and shoulders often required targeted treatment to keep her pain free. Dry needling and sports massage were incredibly effective at releasing the tight muscles and allowed her to maintain the effort.  

Adding some targeted strength work worked as great preventive measure once the niggles had settled. After juggling training, a high-pressure workload and other life stressors, her fitness levels were at all-time peak going into race day. She had a calm confidence knowing that after juggling life she was able to achieve this incredible level of fitness and the result on the day would take care of itself. 

Optimal equipment and treatment plan

An important part of the puzzle was also finding the right equipment, bike fit, shoes and working on technique for all three disciplines. Some pieces of equipment are just faster than others and then some are highly individual like a pair of running shoes. 

The importance of feeling comfortable on your bike cannot be underestimated. The best fit will enable the athlete to maintain an aero position for longer and also generate the maximum amount of power. A bike fit will look at all “touch points” on the bike which are the handle bars, saddle, pedals and importantly the interaction of all three.  After the bike fit this athlete’s shoulders, neck and pelvis no longer hurt and she was able to maintain a very aero position for over 1 hour. This resulted in averaging speeds of over 40km/h over 1 hour which was a gigantic leap considering she was around 37km/h previously. 

It was incredible to see this athlete’s progression after investing in the optimal equipment and treatment plan to enable her to best performance.