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Triathlon consists of swimming, cycling and running. Being good at one event doesn’t, however, necessarily guarantee conclusive success at the whole distance. This is when smooth transition between segments, effective division of energy and sufficient mental preparation become decisive.

Swimming concentrates on upper body work, thus holding the horizontal position demands swift adaptability during the first transition. The competitions are usually held in open water. As open water involves a range of swimming conditions and requirements that differ from pool swimming, it is necessary to have adequate skills regarding swimming in open water. One can benefit from the abilities to draft by following other swimmers closely and sight during the swim in order to stay on course. 

The transition to the cycling segment is somewhat easier than the transition from the cycling stage to running. After the swimming segment the effort is switched from upper body muscles to the lower part, however after the cycling stage the effort remains throughout the whole body, in addition, the footwork during pedaling and running is entirely different. Depending on the stage, terrain also makes a big difference: whether the course runs on solid terrain, whether there are any sharp climbs and what the soil is like. Weather also has a great effect on the overall results. Those influences may prove to be either positive or negative depending on the athlete, since preferences and abilities differ greatly. Some people stand the heat better than the others, while some have an advantage in swimming in the waves or running on soft soil.

Characteristics of endurance events

There are many qualities that distinguish triathlon from other sports and are of advantage to triathlon. In triathlon probably the only aggressive activity during the competitions takes place at the instant of the starting signal, contrary to, for example, boxing in which the aggressiveness extends throughout the whole event. While gym trainings develop muscles and build muscle mass, triathlon is more consistent, concentrating rather on training the cardiac muscle and engaging the entire organism in the process of developing and economical functioning. 

To point out some aspects triathlon has in common with other sports, we may compare triathlon with, for example, motorsports and chess. As is the case with motorsport, technology is very important in triathlon as well – there are large varieties of bikes, although the only source of power is the athlete personally. On the other hand, triathlon is somehow like playing chess – all the moves have to be foreseen in detail, whereby taking into account several different parameters and being prepared for making use of unpredictable situations. All the aspects mentioned make triathlon such an attractive activity.

 

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