The organising team at the Castle Triathlon Series note that ‘getting an injury can be the difference between a season of medals, personal bests and finish line photos or a disappointing summer of cancelled races, limping and feeling unfit.’ In partnership with physiotherapy specialists Six Physio, the Castle Triathlon Series has carried out research among triathletes to uncover the most common injuries experienced.
The poll was conducted via the Castle Triathlon Series Twitter and Facebook channels, with responses collated from 157 triathletes in the UK. The worst culprits in the league table of injuries for triathletes are achilles and knee pain, with back, shoulder and neck pain close behind.
|Castle Triathlon Series’ league table of triathletes most common injuries:|
|Injury||% of respondents who had experienced this injury|
Despite experiencing injuries through triathlon training and competing, 45% of the survey respondents stated that they did not have any physio regularly, and only 25% said that they have physio treatment even when they are injured.
Interestingly, the survey also documents that triathletes have seen less or no difference in injury experiences versus another sport, indicating that triathlon may be physiologically less straining on the body than taking part in a single sport, such as running.
Lynne Cantwell, Consultant Physiotherapist at Six Physio, explained that injuries can be avoided and risk reduced by daily stretching and targeted activities. She said, “It’s crucial to keep your calves fresh, supple and strong throughout training in prep for competition. The foam roller is every triathlete’s best friend and should be used daily to release all muscles and specifically calf tension; it’ll loosen knots that build-up which can eventually cause tears.
“Physio input works to screen for imbalances created from training demands and intervenes to iron out these glitches in time to prep for game day. We can also help with advice of how to manage an injury during the event itself to try and stay on target.”
Key recommendations from Six Physio to avoid injury:
- Listen to your body and don’t ignore signs of fatigue, pain and slow unexplained progress.
- Understand where your imbalances are and get advice on how to correct them.
- Manual physiotherapy will target the tension spots; and use hands-on treatments to restore optimal muscle length and tension. Rehab physiotherapy is aimed at retraining correct muscle function and building functional strength and control in the body.
- Invest in your recovery strategies to complement your training. The best strategies are a good diet and hydration plan, foam rolling daily, sports massage, short Pilates and rehab sessions 1-2 per week.
If you’re unlucky and do get an injury, the best advice is to:
- Rest and seek advice in first 48 hours.
- Once pain has settled, use roller to access any tension spots in the area.
- Look to slowly rehab the injury on advice from your physio; and in the early days, don’t push through pain.
Triathletes surveyed recognised the value of stretching and rated this the most valued advice they would like to see. Triathletes who are looking to incorporate more physio into their training programme can head to the Six Physio website and see how to stretch effectively can find training videos here, helping triathletes of all levels to lean how to prevent injury.
To receive immediate personalised advice, Six Physio’s ‘Ask the Guru’ portal allows athletes to submit queries directly. Castle Triathlon Series competitors can also call Six Physio and quote code CTS20 to receive 20% off an initial Physio appointment (1hr), massage or sports assessment.