Five thousand women just participated in the Seattle Danskin triathlon! Local triathlons are selling out. Most Ironman triathlons sell out in spite of there being more events added annually. Triathlon has enjoyed its second year of existence on the Olympic event calendar with a great race in Beijing 2008. Clearly triathlon is a growing sport.
The vast majority of triathlon participants are adults who “suffer” from, as Sally Edwards puts it, “Adult Onset of Athletics”. The other majority share of triathletes come into the sport as being a former (pick one), runner, swimmer or bicyclist.
Triathlon’s bike sections are mostly non-drafting, individual, drag-races against the clock to the run. Triathlon necessitates the use of an aerodynamic position. Aerodynamic positions will help increase your speed for a given level of strength and thus decrease your finish time.
Most triathlon participants have not mastered the bicycle.
I was watching a review/recap of the Coeur d’ Alene Ironman on www.universalsports.com and was amazed at how the top athletes were positioning themselves on their bicycles. They could be going a lot faster if attention were paid to their position on the bicycle. Many people are “self fit” or are following internet “mythology” to aerodynamic positioning. Most people accept resultant pain/injury of poorly fitting bicycles as being part of the process. The bike shouldn’t hurt.
Aerodynamic position is not as easy as attaching some aerobars to your bike or buying the latest tasty aerodynamic treat from the local bike shop. You are not “aero” if you are not comfortable on the aerobars.
This class will class will first of all demonstrate (via literature review) how triathletes injure themselves (chronic and acute), we will build the argument for the use of an aerodynamic position and then we will review the science of pedaling and position for aerodynamics.
Given the knowledge of basic endurance bicycle fit, I will take you through the process of transitioning a person from a basic endurance road bicyclist to an aerodynamic cyclist. Aerodynamic position needs to be done over a gradual period with respect to athlete skill and musculoskeletal tolerance. I will talk you through this process and give you rough guidelines to progress a person in their aerodynamics without creating injuries or pain syndromes.
This will be a great class! You will be able to use this information with your clients and your friends. You will be able to effectively intervene on bike related injuries and pain syndromes and allow the triathlete to transition and benefit from the use of an aerodynamic position.
Erik Moen, PT
You can register for Erik’s Oct. 24 class at www.ptwa.org/conference