Professor Vicky Tolfrey leads a team at Loughborough University that is pioneering new approaches to the way paratriathletes train and race – all with an eye firmly on paratriathlon’s debut at the Rio 2016 Olympics…


>>> Medal events confirmed for paratriathlon’s Olympic debut

Paratriathletes compete over three disciplines, in five classification groups (PT1 – PT5). Although the disciplines are the same for the Olympic athlete, the training principles aren’t directly transferrable.

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The short history of the sport means that effective training principles for the paratriathlete are still being developed, and there’s very little applicable published data in the area.

The British Triathlon Federation (BTF) and their paratriathlon performance manager Jonathan Riall decided that the best way to develop effective training principles for paratriathletes would be to carry out a scientific study of the development/elite squad of athletes, while documenting existing knowledge.

The BTF – with funding from the Peter Harrison Foundation – granted a physiological support project at Loughborough University (2014-2015) for the paratriathlon performance athletes. 

The team at the Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport consists of Katy Griggs has carefully planned a programme of testing that will support the athletes and coaches during the build up to Rio 2016.

The main purpose is to give athletes a physiological advantage over their competitors, by ensuring that they’re in the best shape for Rio with an effective training strategy.