FEMALE TRIATHLETE PUTS HERSELF IN THE RUNNING
7th January 2016
A smart ‘Tri’ to push the volume - female triathlete makes remarkable transition to take the honours
Back in December 2014 experienced female triathlete, M, had both a goal and a problem. The goal is clear; win her age category for the Olympic distance triathlon, a feat she feels is in her grasp if she can get the training volume in, make it through the hard yards over the winter and into the spring. And there lies the problem; recurrent pain centered around the hips and hamstrings is not letting those kilometres happen, performance is impeded, the volume has to stay low. Nowhere is the discomfort more apparent than in the transition from the bike to the run. As a strong swimmer, M knows her goal is in sight if she can just piece these components together and get some decent time on her bike and on her feet. Aware these ‘brick’ sessions are exactly what she needs to build her challenge attempt a fix is required. This is where The Performance Matrix stepped in.
As a movement management system The Performance Matrix is certainly comprehensive, taking both the active and the athlete from initial testing through to performance enhancement. Such structure in process and rigour in both testing and retraining is likely to appeal to most triathletes, a group known to share a healthy obsession with precision and the minutia related to gaining an edge.
M's movement control ability was tested in December and a highly bespoke programme was then devised and delivered. Months passed. Along the way, perseverance and guidance played their part as the volume of bike/run (brick) sessions increased and started to pay dividends, hinting at what might be possible come the summer.
Fast forward to the day after the competition. M sees a friend who offers her commiserations knowing another friend had won the age category that M had fought so hard over the last 6 months to win. M identifies it was a great result for this other competitor however, there is a reason M’s name is not at the top; M’s has come first overall, topping the female charts and finishing within the top 20 of all 147 competitors- male, female, young or senior. Naturally, she’s quite pleased.
Her margin of victory is more than comfortable, it’s glorious, a full five and half minutes in front of second place. Looking at the breakdown of times everything begins to fit. The run (45.21) was within thirty seconds of her best, her swim (10.51) equalled the times she was logging six years ago, but the bike was the big difference (1h,17) – 5 minutes quicker than her personal best.
What had made the difference? M states, ’lots more of the bike and brick sessions could happen because the discomfort was no longer stopping me. The transition from bike to run was also much better as I could switch from one to another without the issues of before.’
Finding and fixing this triathlete’s movement control deficits allowed them to smash their goals and the opposition. What happened here? Lincoln Blandford, Performance Development Consultant involved in the programme design suggests,’ I think we gave M the ability to have more choice in her movement, allowing her to more successfully adapt between the demands of the bike and the demands of the run. Along the way, the programme targeted the key movement impairments associated with the discomfort she felt in her training. Of course, this helped her get in the volume of bike-run sessions she needed to win and to win well. I think we provided the movement foundations she could then take into her more traditional triathlon training.’
What next? There is now the need for an update, helping to take this performer to the next level, but where does she go from here? Qualification races with an eye on the National team with The Performance Matrix supplying her performance insurance along the way.