Overuse injuries are very common in triathlon, especially in the running phase. It is important to understand biomechanical changes to establish risk factors for injury within the sport.
To understand the changes in biomechanics when running after cycling in triathletes and establish a link to injury. To determine a relationship between triathlon ability or experience and biomechanical change.
Systematic literature review.
Medline, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus and the Cochrane Library were searched using key terms relating to change in biomechanics in triathletes whilst running before and after cycling. A modified Downs and Black tool was used to quality assess included papers.
9 studies of which 5 were high quality were included. 5 studies focusing on moderately trained triathletes and 4 studies focusing on elite triathletes were identified. There is strong evidence that moderately trained triathletes are susceptible to kinematic changes and that less triathlon experience and ability is associated with a greater susceptibility to kinematic change. There is little difference between muscle activation in moderately trained versus elite triathletes whilst running after cycling. There is strong evidence that exercise related leg pain and neuromuscular changes are linked, however the causality of the link is unknown.
Many biomechanical changes, particularly an increased anterior pelvic tilt and increased tibialis anterior activity are likely to be associated with injury risk. There is currently insufficient data to make concrete associations between causality of biomechanical changes and risk of injury to establish interventions to prevent injury.