Minimal decrease in triathlon running performance compared to isolated running performance is important for sprint triathlon success
Keywords:Competition, Elite triathletes, Endurance, Fatigue
A strategy to improve running performance at the end of a triathlon (TR) is minimizing fatigue from the preceding exercise. However, little is known about decrease in TR compared to isolated running (IR) performance and the degree at which it changes. This study examined the decrease in TR performance compared with IR performance and the degree of change in the sprint triathlon competition results. We searched the web (http://www.jtu.or.jp/) for the official result times of certification competitive events from 2013 to 2016 of the Japan Triathlon Union and elite categories participating in the Asia Cup Osaka sprint triathlon from 2013 to 2016 of the International Triathlon Union. Data of 236 athletes who finished IR and TR in the same year were analyzed. The average time was significantly longer in TR than in IR and the effect size was large, regardless of competition years and sex (p < 0.01). The IR time variation (coefficient of variation) was 3.7?8.2%, while the rate of change in performance variation was 35.6?95.0%. The overall triathlon time and the rate of change in performance were significantly correlated (Speaman?rs = 0.47?0.76, p < 0.05). TR performance was lower than the IR performance and the degree varied widely among individuals. For elite triathletes who have homogeneous IR performance, a minimal decrease in TR compared to IR performance effectively increases sprint triathlon success.
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