Triathlon Injuries: Transitioning from Prevalence to Prediction and Prevention

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2017 Nov/Dec;16(6):397-403. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000000417.


The Ironman triathlon began in Hawaii in 1978 with 50 participants. Since then, the race has continued to grow in popularity. Injuries are very common among triathletes. Studies have looked at the relationship between injuries and many different factors. Sex, age, and morphological characteristics, such as height, weight, and body mass index, have not been shown to correlate with injury. The association between training volume and injury has shown inconsistent results. This could be due to multiple factors in study design including definitions and evaluation of training volume. Recent literature highlights the complex relationship between risk factors and injury occurrence. This article reviews the epidemiology and risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries in Ironman distance triathletes as well as general research and theories on training volume assessment and injury risk to provide recommendations for future studies and strategies for injury prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Athletic Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Athletic Injuries / prevention & control*
  • Bicycling / injuries
  • Humans
  • Risk Factors
  • Running / injuries
  • Swimming / injuries