Injury Risks for Multi- Discipline Athlete

As Physiotherapists in private practice we are often responsible for getting athletes onto the starting line of a multitude of different events and hoping that they are able to complete the full race. However in the real world of sports injury management there are times when, despite our best efforts, the athlete is just not able to recover fast enough from a training injury and is forced to miss an event or has to withdraw during an actual race.

The challenges for a health professional working with the injury management of athletes is never more apparent than when you are involved with a multi-discipline sport such as triathlon – this events can essentially be regarded as a “Physios Nightmare” due to the large volume of training and length of the actual races – however in your case you have a good lead in time so this will work in your advantage.

That being said, in some instances it is actually an advantage to work with athletes involved in the “Multi – Discipline” sports like triathlon – as these athletes at least include some variety on their training programs – unlike the majority of runners who just “run” or swimmers who just “swim”.

The Risks for the Multi- Discipline Athlete

From an injury prevention standpoint the risks to the Multi Discipline athlete appear for one or more of the following reasons:

–          Minimal recovery times between sessions

–          Extreme training volume across all disciplines

–          Lack of time allocated for flexibility and other pre-habilitation issues

–          Limited allocation of time for off- season strength training to reduce overall injury risk

–          Biomechanical adaptations from one activity that negatively impact on the next activity

–          Failure to appreciate and undertake adequate recovery sessions

–          Poor periodization of training programs leading to fatigue and tissue breakdown

The majority of the issues mentioned above can be solved, at least partially, by constructing a well researched and systematically planned training program – that takes into account such factors as competition dates, rehabilitation concerns, past injuries, training volume limits, nutritional issues and recovery modalities such as massage – this is where the input of an experienced coach and trainer is essential.

You can see a preview of an excellent “Sports Injury Prevention” video by sports conditioning guru AshleyJones on our You Tube channel at :

Paul Wright

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