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5 Reasons You Keep Getting Injured and How to Break the Cycle

5 Reasons You Keep Getting Injured and How to Break the Cycle

As a triathlete you understand the dedication and perseverance required to conquer the swim, bike, and run. However, the intense demands of triathlon training, especially iron distance, can also make you susceptible to injuries. In this article we will delve into key reasons you are getting injured and how to combat these injuries to help you reach the finish line in optimal physical condition.

Reason #1 You are not warming up.

For the Swim: Do some easy warm up sets using various equipment at a moderate pace to warm up your body before the more intense efforts. An example of this might be 300-400 yards done as 100 easy free, 100 kick with kick board, 100 with pull buoy and 100 non-free. It’s best to simulate the main set but at a much lesser intensity level. You can also do dryland warm up with bands. I've done several dry land warm up swim videos so be sure to check out my YouTube Channel @marinewifemultisport.

For the Bike: Do a few bike specific dynamic and static stretches before you get on the bike. No need to sprint right out of the gate. Use the first 10-15 minutes as a warm up as you ease into your ride.

For the Run: Definitely do some dynamic stretches and mobility work to get your quads, glutes and hamstrings ready for action.

Reason #2 You are pushing through pain.

There is a difference between discomfort and true pain due to an injury. There will always be discomfort during training so you have to learn to distinguish between the two. If you feel as if you have an injury stop right then and be sure it’s nothing that requires medical attention. Overuse injuries can take a while to heal, so if something doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t. It’s better to be safe than sorry because an injury can keep you out of the sport for several weeks or months.

Reason #3 You are not taking enough rest days.

Ironman training is notoriously intense. You need to strategically incorporate rest days into your training no matter what. I urge my athletes to use their rest day to be kind to their bodies. This might mean chiropractor, massage, compression boots, yoga, or meditation. I always tell my athletes that if you really need a day off then by all means take it! When your body is screaming for rest it is best to comply. Did you know that most of your fitness gains take place when you are sleeping? One thing you can do on your rest day to promote healing and maintain flexibility is Yoga or PiYo. Either of these are game changers for your mobility, and they will also help build strength.

Reason #4 Your technique and form needs work.

For the Swim- the best thing you can do is get a Swim Stroke Analysis. Have someone experienced with swimming look at your technique, position in the water and form. A swim stroke analysis can help you avoid shoulder injuries, especially if you are not pulling the water with a high elbow. I also urge my athletes to take a few lessons from the local swim coach especially if you are a beginner. If you are serious about improving your swim, you can sign up for a Swim Stroke Analysis by me by clicking HERE. Make sure we have a conversation before you do your videos! Shoot me a DM or email at

For the Bike- one of the ways you can improve your form on the bike is to have your bike professionally fitted. This process takes about 2 hours but it is well worth the time. They will take many measurements, photos, and videos of you on your bike and then set your bike up to best serve your particular body. I highly recommend this because it will also keep you from getting injured!

For the Run-similar to swim, it never hurts to do a professional Run Gait Analysis. In this analysis I look at your head position, shoulders, arm swing, torso twist, hips, knees, ankles and feet. I get down low and see how your foot strikes the ground. I take views from front, rear, and lateral sides. I give you advice on what you can change in order to be a more efficient runner. A great investment in my book! If you’d like to get your run gait analysis just click HERE and be sure to send me a DM or email before you do your videos. If you live locally, I will meet you at the local track.

Reason #5- You lack flexibility and mobility.

This is huge in my book. I am a huge fan of doing regular Yoga, PiYo and stretching. It is well worth the investment and your body will thank you for it later. If you’d like to download the PiYo workout, click HERE. Most Yoga studios have flow classes that are great for hips, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back mobility. Check out what is available in your area. Also, go to my YouTube channel and check out the many PiYo and Mobility videos in my library.(@marinewifemultisport)


In the pursuit of Ironman glory, prioritizing injury prevention is not only necessary but smart. Tailoring your warm-up strategies, pacing, rest days, technique refinement, and flexibility/mobility routines to the specific demands of the Ironman triathlon can significantly reduce the risk of injuries. By adopting a holistic approach to training and incorporating these insights into your regimen, you not only enhance your chances of reaching the finish line but also ensure you do so in the best physical shape possible. Remember, an injury-free journey is key to mastering the Ironman.

Have you thought about hiring a coach for your next iron distance race? Get the personalized service you need from an experienced coach! Click the purple button below and fill out the short form for a free chat with Mary about your race goals!

Mary Timoney

Ironman Certified Coach

USA Cycling Coach

ACSM Trainer


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