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Triathlete Adaptations are Freaky

May 14, 2010

Research has come out hinting that the modern-day elite level swim/bike/run triathlete has finally caught his single-sport counter-part. Apparently in the 80’s when they last tested triathletes’ aerobic measures as compared to single-sport athletes, the runners and cyclists were physiologically more capable and better trained in their respective fields. Of course, they get the privilege of training exclusively for their sport and naturally they become beasts in their little niche. But then something happened. The sport of triathlon got huge and grew bigger, faster than any other endurance sport ever has, and triathletes adapted. Recent studies conclude that elite level triathletes’ aerobic measures resemble indistinguishably that of endurance athletes competing in single-sport.
We can draw a couple conclusions from this study:

  • There’s a cross-over. Even after dividing their training across 3 different sports, elite triathletes can become as competitive in a single sport as one who trains for that specific sport exclusively.
  • Single-sport athletes are training wrong. The Law of Accommodation shows us that if the human body is placed under the same stress (workout) day after day, eventually the body adapts and progress is slowed. So the triathletes were accidentally training smarter.
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