High prevalence of overuse injury among iron-distance triathletes.
Triathlons consist of running, swimming and bicycling. An Ironman triathlon is an ultradistance triathlon consisting of 26.2 mile run, 112 mile bicycle ride and 2.4 mile swim. Although Ironman tournaments have become very popular over the past few years, there isn’t much literature on injuries suffered by ironman triathletes. The authors of this study hoped to discern the types of injuries/illnesses sustained by these athletes.
174 out of the 274 athletes entered in the 2011 Norsemen Xtreme Triathlon agreed to participate. They were sent an injury questionnaire every other week for the 26 weeks leading up to the event. The authors found that the majority of injuries in ironmen athletes were due to overuse with 87% of athletes reporting some form of overuse problem, whereas the incidence of acute injuries was low in both training and competition. The most prevalent sites of overuse injuries in these athletes were found to be the knee, lower leg, lower back and shoulder.
This study did have some limitations mainly that the injury reporting was by the athletes via email with no confirmatory physical examination. This could have have skewed the results if injuries/illnesses were not accurately diagnosed and reported > From Andersen et al., Br J Sports Med 47 (2013) 857-861. Copyright BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.
The Pubmed summary of the article can be found here.
Read more about the Iron Man at this Wikipedia page.