The ability to perform well during a triathlon is dictated by one’s ability to perform optimally in each of its three disciplines: swimming, biking, and running. Previous research has demonstrated that running performance during a triathlon is affected by cycling intensity, cadence, bicycle frame geometry, power output consistency, and drafting. However, very little research, if any, has looked at the relative contributory effect of swimming on overall performance in a triathlon. As such, Peeling & Landers conducted a review of the literature pertaining to Swimming intensity during triathlon that was recently published in the Journal of Sports Sciences.
The authors of this review cited previously conducted research by Vleck, Laurse, Kreider, Delextrat, McCole, Bentley, Chatard, themselves, and several others. Based on this review, the current state of the literature can be summarized as follows:
It was no secret that the various strategies mentioned above are utilized during the swim leg of a triathlon in order to increase the likelihood of a optimal results. However, Peeling & Landers were perhaps the first to document all variables through this review in its entirety. It should be noted, however, that the majority of research has solely focused on the Sprint and Olympic distances and therefore, the recommendations pertaining to long course races (70.3 and Ironman) may differ.