Wissenswertes: Verletzungen im Triathlon

No other endurance sport trains the muscles, the metabolism and the cardiovascular system as extensively as a triathlon. The risk of an acute injury (15 to 56 percent) is rather low compared to other sports. However, a majority of triathletes (41 to 91 percent) suffer an injury during the season due to overuse.

Most injuries are not serious, with less than half of triathletes having to take a pre-season break due to injury. Nevertheless, these injuries are always annoying. We show you which injuries occur most frequently and how you can avoid them.

Swimming injuries

When swimming, there are sometimes insertion tendinopathies (inflammatory disorders/diseases in the area of ​​a tendon attachment) in the shoulder and neck area as well as functional impairment of the shoulder joint with bursitis outside and above the main shoulder joint with muscular imbalance and shoulder instability.

Injuries in the race can result from abrasions on the wetsuit, eyelid injuries (e.g. from a kick or hit on the goggles) and skin burns.

Preventive measures when swimming

– Vaseline to avoid abrasions

– Refraining from shoulder-damaging warm-up exercises

– careful use of paddles

– muscular balancing in the shoulder/neck/back

– Training of the internal rotators of the shoulder joint and the shoulder erecting muscles

Cycling injuries

In addition to abrasions and bruises, a fall from cycling can also cause much more serious injuries. The most common are broken collarbones and acromion joints, as well as craniocerebral injuries and fractures of the vertebral bodies.

Overload-related problems arise from insertion tendinopathies (inflammatory disorders/diseases in the area of ​​a tendon attachment) around the knee joint, the foot and the spine, as well as muscle pain in the shoulder and neck area.

Preventive measures when cycling

– wearing a helmet (logical)

– Optimizing the seating position

– balancing spine training technique training with cycling specialists

injuries while running

Running is the most injury-prone sport, accounting for 58 to 70 percent of all injuries in triathlon, followed by cycling and swimming. The legs are most commonly affected:

– Knees: 25 to 42 percent

– Achilles tendon: 10 to 27 percent

– upper ankle 7 to 22 percent

– Plantar fascia: 6 percent

Capsular, ligament and muscle injuries occur when running. Stress-related Achilles tendon complaints, inflammation of the sole of the foot, irritation of the muscle-tendon attachments (insertion tendinosis) and stress fractures of the metatarsal bones, tibia, fibula and heel bone as well as the thigh bone and pelvis are more common.

Preventive measures when running

– Improvement of muscular compensation and flexibility

– Leg length compensation with insoles

– Slow volume and intensity increase

– Training camps in warmer areas

injuries in competition

Most injuries (75 to 91 percent) are sustained during pre-training. In contrast, only 8 to 27 percent of triathletes report injuries during competition. Nevertheless, the risk in competition is about six times higher than in training.

Triathletes should also pay attention to a few points with regard to internal diseases: Especially in hot races, sweating rates of six to ten liters in three hours can occur. Therefore, during the load, it is necessary to regularly drink a liquid, previously adding one gram of salt per liter. If the fluid loss is not replaced, the athlete can end up in a life-threatening condition.

Rules of conduct in strong heat

– adequate acclimatization

– adequate fluid intake before, during and after the competition

– Attention to critical signs of overheating (pulsating head pressure, dizziness, extreme muscle weakness, protruding body hair)

– Reduction of competition speed

- Abstaining from medication

– Participation only if you are in a sufficiently good physical condition

– Constant cooling of the head, neck and legs with water


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