Ultra-Event Overuse Injury Rates

Ultra-Event Overuse Injury Rates An iron distance race is basically a long-distance triathlon encompassing 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of cycling and concluding with a full marathon distance 26.2 mile run. Training to finish such a demanding competition is compounded by the fact that many of these events set time limits of 17 hours. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine analyzed overuse injuries among competitors.

Tracking the training progress of 174 participants in the 2011 Norseman Xtreme Triathlon over 26 weeks, researchers discovered an average overuse injury rate of 56%, with most issues involving the knee, lower leg or lower back. This translates into nearly 1 injury for every 1,000 hours of training.

True Strength Moment: The good news is that relatively minor contusions and sprains are far more common among iron distance athletes than more serious problems. Dedicating some training time to flexibility and ligament strengthening might be a good idea for those interested in participating in one of these events.
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