Honors College Thesis


Strength Training for Triathletes : Blending Anecdotal and Empirical Evidence to Improve Triathlon Performance Public Deposited

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  • Triathlon is an endurance sport consisting of back-to-back swimming, cycling, and running. There are four popular distances: sprint (.75k m swim, 20km bike, 5km run), Olympic (1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run), half-ironman (1.9km swim, 90km bike, 21.1km run), and ironman (3.8km swim, 180km bike, 42.2km run). Even at the shortest distances, elite triathlon performance requires excellent aerobic fitness (maximum rate of oxygen consumption and lactate threshold) and movement economy. Strength training, defined here as weight lifting targeted at primary movers of large muscle groups, is becoming popular as a means of improving performance. Empirical evidence shows heavy strength training to benefit endurance sport performance in laboratory settings. However, optimal training changes in the context of confounding variables of life, such as family and work, and the additional stress they create. The purpose of this project is to explore both the scientific and unscientific elements of triathlon training to aid triathletes in developing a plan for strength training (or none at all) to improve their performance.
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