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Running Is One of the Categories of Triathlon

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Triathlons consist of three types of categories. Running, Biking, and Swimming. A client wants to participate in their first triathlon, but they are currently only a recreational exerciser. This client will be taken through three steps. These steps include, and informative step, where they will be told information that will benefit towards their goal. This step includes three different types of information. The general principles of training, proper program prescription, and training adaptations. The second step is picking and discussing a training program that will fulfill their goal of competing in the triathlon. The final step is fulfilling the goal. Once the first step of information is through, the goal setting can take place. The client must understand the information provided to them about the general principles of training, proper program prescription, and training adaptations as it will help prepare them mentally for the training programs.

There are about five subcategories of general principle training. Principle of individuality, principle of specificity, principle of reversibility, principle of progressive overload, and principle of variation. Principle of individuality states that individuals do not all have the same ability to respond or have the same capacity to adapt to exercise training (Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L., 2008). This client who is transitioning from recreational exercise to a competitor is not an exception. Their ability is not the same as an Olympic athlete. With this principal client can be one of two things. A high responder, which is someone who shows improvement in a given program or a low responder, someone who shows little or no change in a given program. This would be seen after the specific program.

Principle of specificity states that the physiological system that is used for optimal performance must be stressed to achieve specific training adaptations and goals (Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L., 2008). This client will experience this physiological stress as the type of exercise will change in order to help prepare them for their triathlon. Having a client that has already endured regular exercise will help when the exercise intensity increases. Principle of reversibility states that a maintenance plan must be included with a training program so that the program process is not lost (Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L., 2008). All clients will receive this principle as it is one of the most important principles. The reason being is because if a client does not have some sort of maintenance plan in their program their muscles will revert back to the way they were before exercise. These muscles will also revert quickly and the client will have to restart their training all over. Principle of progressive overload states that as the body adapts during training the stimulus must be progressively increased to have the training program benefits maximized (Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L., 2008).

This is important because the increasing demands on the body can help with improvement. This client with this principal will be able to improve their endurance. If hypothetically the client could only run a mile in say 12 to 14 minutes, this principle they would be able to change that to 8 to 10 minutes after training. The final principle is the principle of variation. This principle states a change in one or more variables within the program will have a continuous challenging effect on the host whether it’s changing the mode, intensity, or volume (Kenney, W. L., Wilmore, J. H., & Costill, D. L., 2008). This will be beneficial for anyone going through a training program because variation can allow the host to experience different types of exercises and will keep them motivated. Doing the same exercise with the same intensity can get boring and many clients will lose interest and motivation. Keeping the client busy with different types of exercises will help with their progress.

Exercise prescription is defined as the individualization of the prescription of exercise duration, frequency, intensity, or mode. This can also be defined as a plan of fitness related activities designed for a specific purpose and for a specific individual. This client has a very specific goal that we are trying to achieve before their triathlon. Exercise modes are normally focused on for cardiorespiratory endurance activities. For competitive sports this is used as a pre-conditioner. There are several types of modes that are prescribed to athletes. The recommendations for this client are running, cycling and swimming as these are the categories of the triathlon. The client is able to take the recommendations or they will choose an activity that is desirable and one that they are willing to continue throughout their life.

Exercise frequency is how often the exercise should be done. According to Dr. Kenny of Pennsylvania state and his colleagues in 2008, exercise should not exceed 3 to 4 days a week but can be increased to five days a week if the exercise is enjoyable. The reason for this according to Dr. Kenney is because many people will try to work out every day with great motivation but they will stop fast due to fatigue or boredom. This client will be limited to 3 to 6 days in order to prevent severe fatigue and to keep them motivated throughout the program. Exercise duration is how long exercise is done for. Many research studies show that 20 to 30 minutes per day is considered the optimal amount of exercise. The only thing is that this cannot be determined without discussing the intensity of these exercises. Exercise intensity is how hard the body works during physical activities. There are many pieces of evidence that show that 40% of intensity in training has health benefits. Although training for competitors must have higher intensity than others. Anywhere between 40% and 80% heart rate reserve is the ideal intensity for most clients for competitors increasing to 90% can be beneficial.

Training adaptations are the body ‘s response to the training the host is doing. The has many different types of adaptations from the muscles, to the blood, to the heart and many others. Cardiovascular adaptations can be changes in heart size, stroke volume or oxygen transportation system changes, which can be changes in blood flow, volume, and pressure. During training, exercising muscles demand oxygen as the intensity increases. This allows the maximal ability of the blood to the muscles creating maximal levels of exercise. All this allows the oxygen transport system to function efficiently.

Cardiac hypertrophy happens when there is an increase in muscle wall thickness causing the enlargement of the heart. This is a normal adaptation to exercise training as it is the reflection of the left ventricular chamber filling with plasma to overcome afterload. Different types of people have different types of stroke volumes. The stroke volume of a larger person is higher due to having greater blood volume than someone who is smaller. All stroke volumes are proven to be higher during training then at rest. There are respiratory adaptations in training as well. Some of those are changes in pulmonary and arterial-venous oxygen.

During training, the pulmonary ventilation decreases as much as 20 to 30%, where the pulmonary diffusion is increased during training. The arterial-venous oxygen changes very little, if anything. The blood contains less oxygen as the host increases the training. Muscles have two important adaptations. The number one most important adaptation is the increase of capillaries during training. The capillaries can increase more than 15% which allows the body to have a greater exchange of nutrients, gases, byproduct and more between the blood and muscle fibers. The second is muscle fiber type changes. Type I fibers have up to 25% increase in size. Where type II fibers have no change. Although Type IIa are recruited more during training due to having higher oxidative capacities. These adaptations are all seen in anaerobic, aerobic, high intensity interval training, and other types.

This client will be given a workout plan/ program that they will follow up until the triathlon takes place. San Diego based coach Jim Vance, has a 12-week training plan for Olympic triathlon participants that has a great set up. This client will have a similar set up. Jim Vance has a setup of interval training with the three key aspects of a triathlon. This client would need to train like an Olympian or at least close to them if they would like to compete in an Olympic triathlon. Meaning that this client will be pushed beyond their normal limit to get the progress that they want. Table 1.1 is a theoretical 5- week set up for this client’s training program. Most Olympic athletes train for 12 weeks. This program is open for modifications and moderations, when the client is ready the training will begin. The clients should allow at least 12 weeks of training this way the goal will be fulfilled and the client will be able to do well in the triathlon.


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