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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
ORIGINAL ARTICLES EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2011 December;51(4):583-94
The impact of physical, nutritional, and mental preparation on triathlon performance
Houston M. 1, Dolan S. 2, Martin S. 3 ✉
1 Department of Kinesiology, Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, USA;
2 Sport Nutrition Department, United States Olympic Committee, Chula Vista, CA, USA;
3 Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, USA
AIM: There are numerous variables that can impact a triathletes’ performance. Research with this population has primarily focused on physical training habits to determine performance predictors, thus the purpose of this study was to explore the impact of nutritional and mental preparation strategies in addition to physical training on race times of Olympic-distance triathletes.
METHODS: Triathletes were asked to complete an online survey that focused on physical conditioning, nutritional habits, mental training, and educational experience related to triathlon training. Participants included 272 age-group triathletes (146 males, 126 females). ANOVAs and MANOVAs were conducted to identify variables that significantly related to race time, while a logistic regression was used to determine variables that predicted performance.
RESULTS: Race time was predicted by competitive motivation to participate, participation in strength training, and use of intervals during run and swim training. Mental strategies that predicted faster race times included pre-competition routines, use of energizing strategies before a race, and setting outcome goals for races. Nutritional habits did not have an impact on race time.
CONCLUSION: The results support the need to go beyond investigating physical training preparation.