Triathlon research shows cycling alters the physiological response of subsequent running but, at present, biomechanical changes are unresolved. This study examined cycling cadence and running stride rate (SR) and length (SL) used by senior elite triathletes during competition. These variables were then compared to running and triathlon performance.

Data from 51 elite male World Championships triathletes were analysed via video recordings and Video Expert II Coach. Triathletes revealed consistent cadences throughout the majority of the cycle (96.8 +2.7 rpm) and run (90.9 +2.4 rpm) disciplines. However, a cadence increase (99.6 +5.7 rpm) was recorded at the completion of the cycle prior to running. Running SR and SL was significantly lower at the end of the run indicating a level of fatigue (p<0.01). Running SL was significantly and positively correlated with running and triathlon performance (p<0.01) suggesting those that could maintain a longer SL had a faster run and better final finishing position.