Does a particular sporting background provide an advantage to an athlete entering the sport of triathlon?
AuthorsMooney, Orla G.
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AbstractThe goal of this dissertation is to establish what sporting background do age group triathletes come to the sport of triathlon from and if a particular sporting background results in faster finishing times. It will also examine the impact of training hours, periodisation and strength training on finishing times. The research in this study is questionnaire based and 401 completed surveys from triathletes of both sexes across 26 countries and ranging in age from 16-19 years to 70-74 years. In all statistical comparison tests, a significant value indicates p<0.05 unless a Bonferroni adjustment was required. For the purposes of data analysis, the data was been broken up into four categories, i.e. Male and Female Sprint distance triathletes and Male and Female Olympic Distance triathletes and these were subdivided into “High Performer” and “Regular” triathletes. Athletes from a swimming background had the lowest mean finishing time in three data groups, and statistically significant differences in two data groups but in no case was there a statistically significant difference between athletes from a swimming background and those from a running background. Training hours proved to be very significant with “High Performers” having a significantly higher volume of weekly training than their “Regular” counterparts. Triathletes had a very high awareness of the concept of periodisation with statistical differences in finishing times between those who employed periodisation, those who did not and those who were unaware of the concept, in three of the four groups. There was some evidence that early learning was advantageous but only to the extent of becoming involved in sport; specialization at a young age did not appear to be a criterion for success at age group level in the sprint and Olympic distance triathlons.
PublisherUniversity of Chester
TypeThesis or dissertation
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