There has been recent news about the pass of a young Singaporean triathlete due to uncertain cardiac problems. It is stated in a report that he collapsed right after finishing the race. Doctors have assessed this case as cardiac failure due to unseen heart problems of sort that wasn’t detected because he did not go for a thorough checkup.
I believe they are right in this case. Having a thorough check will ensure if one is fit enough to face the challange put to him. But I believe this isn’t exactly the case. There may have been something that either the press did not point out, or wasn’t given the info by the medics. It’s a very simple case, but it might play a major part in how the young triathlete train and prevent them from hurting themselves, even fatally.
It is the issue of overtaxation when one exercises his/her body. Lets’ not say in biology terms; in the context of a normal engine. Just to say, you let an engine run to it’s ideal capacity of say 90% load; and it has been running for 5 years with little fluctuation between 90% and 100% load, which is normal in many cases. But suddenly, there is a demand of load, maybe additional 40-50%. and the engine will take the load, as it is build with a tolerance level. but when the load maintains at this rate (150% max) for about a month or more, it starts wearing the engine down. The lifespan of the engine shortens, and just one fine day, it breaks down.
This theory, if applied to the human cardiac system, or any part of the body, will render the same effects. It has been said in the papers, that the althlete has been training vigorously for some time before the actual competition, to a point of training more than his normal routine. What may have happened is that by training in a higher than your normal standard, you are subjecting to a higher stress level than your body can get used to at such a short time. If you are healthy enough and train at that constant level, your body might get used to the new level of endurance. If not, your body might give up and collapse. There is a point to take in mind when testing a new limit in training, that you have to be sure to do additional training in small portions at a time, so to make sure your body can get used to the new level of stress, before adding more. Each time, give a duration so that it will not overstress the body trying to keep up the pace. Try not to push your body to the overtax limit at a sudden burst, just because you are a month away from the actual competition. One may not notice the initial reaction, but after some time, your body will show signs of wear and tear. When it goes unnoticed, it will soon break down.
Well, it’s a prediction I drew up while observing some engines being tested while I was working in China. I do not know if it is medically applicable, but it may well be possible guess. (even if it is, I am in no position to receive any noble prize because it’s only simple logic)
As such, I’m pretty certain my rantings can end here. Till another time when I find a good topic to ponder on.