7 Embarrassing Triathlon Injuries
Clipless Pedals Fail
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This is a rite of passage for triathletes and cyclists. Anyone who dabbles in the world of clipless pedals will get clipped in and subsequently fall over, perhaps suffering a bruised knee or road rash and most definitely a heavy case of humiliation. No worries—we've all been there.
Head, Meet Wall
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Whether you're doing a backstroke cool-down, focusing on counting your strokes, or if you're just zoned out after swimming a bunch of laps, that lack of concentration could cost you. While swimming pools have systems in place to prevent you from whacking your head into the wall, it still occasionally happens. Most of the time, ego is the only thing permanently damaged.
The Dangers of Dismounting
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Who knew T2 could be so dangerous? A tough bike ride has your legs burning, you're clipped in and a line is drawn in the pavement demanding that you get off your bike before crossing into the transition area. That combination has caused problems for those who never considered the art of dismounting (and for your first triathlon, who thinks about that?) Coming in too fast, forgetting you're clipped in, trying to do a flying dismount with little practice...all can lead to a spectacular crash, a few scrapes and bruises and a big slice of humble pie in a high-traffic area.
Flip Turns Gone Wrong
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For those getting the hang of swimming, flip turns aren't usually something you learn right away. But they are important to pick up at some point, and they can best prepare you for the continuous swimming of the open water. Flip turns can go wrong, though—for example, if you flip too close to the wall and smash your heels into the ledge. Flip turning can also cause injury if the pool you're swimming in is too shallow, and you scrape flesh along the bottom. Ouch!
Mischievous Tree Branches
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Checking out your watch, making sure your shoe is tied, checking out the pretty girl across the street—so many things can distract runners just when a tree branch hanging over the sidewalk has you in its crosshairs. Next thing you know, you've got a nice gash on your forehead and your presentation to the board is later that day. Yikes.
Danger: Aero Bars
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Aero bars are wonderful to reduce wind drag and speed up your bike leg. But those new to aero bars need some practice to feel safe and secure in the position. Here are some quick tips for avoiding injury: 1. Don't stay aero during big descents; 2. Don't take your eye off the road to "maximize" your aero-ness; 3. Until it's second-nature to you, realizing that going from the hoods to the aero bars (and back) makes you vulnerable to losing control of the bike.
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If you're wearing a singlet or running shirt and you are a man, you are vulnerable to bloody nipples. It happens when the shirt rubs against your nipples over and over and over until the skin wears off. Long runs can cause this. Chilly weather can intensify it. A hot shower after a fresh jogger's nipple injury will be agonizing. Thankfully, unless you're wearing a white shirt, you can likely hide this injury until you get home. (Photo: Flickr)