Intermountain Healthcare

Olympic Triathlon Hopefuls Adapt Training During the Pandemic with Help from Sports Performance Experts at Intermountain Park City Hospital


Salt Lake City, UT -- (ReleaseWire) -- 08/02/2021 --For young U.S. triathletes with goals to compete in future Olympic triathlons, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced them to adapt their training. With group competition races cancelled internationally, athletes lose the benefit of competing side by side with fellow athletes to improve their times, but it also has given them extra time to focus more on consistent individual training.

For athletes like, Parker Spencer who belong to the USA Triathlon elite men's development team called Project Podium, their training is enhanced by one-on-one consultations to improve their performance with Dr. Max Testa, a physician with the sports performance program at Intermountain Park City Hospital in Park City, UT.

"Normally, during the summer, we're racing all over the world, but given the circumstances with COVID-19, races are canceled, says Spencer. "We were looking for a temporary home base to train, and the Utah Olympic Park and Park City Hospital came highly recommended."

"The altitude training is key, and Park City is an ideal location that provides world-class triathlon training. At Park City Hospital, we have access to everything from recovery components to sports performance to sports medicine," says Spencer.

"The team comradery is at a level I've never seen before," mentions Spencer. "Because of COVID, we're just all in this together. Since we're not competing, we're able to use our teammates to gauge our successes and motivate each other more than ever.

Trained in Europe in exercise physiology, Dr. Testa has worked for 29 years with professional cycling teams as a team physician. He's participated as a coach and team physician in over 30 grand tours, including Le Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, and Vuelta a EspaƱa.

Dr. Testa uses a methodology that emphasizes the importance of a fine-tuned human engine to help athletes reach peak performance.

"At times, athletes get distracted trying to lighten the weight of their bike or become more aerodynamic, yet they forget to check their 'engine' and implement quality training that affects the running of that engine," says Dr. Testa.

"I love seeing the data, and the science behind the training is incredible," says Chase McQueen, 22, another upcoming Olympic hopeful training with Project Podium.

"Working with Dr. Testa and the team has helped me dial into my cycling to better understand how I train at altitude, how I adapt, and what is different when I return to training and competing at sea level," adds McQueen.

Dr. Testa helps ensure athletes stay healthy through training. He evaluates injuries that arise and helps them increase their fitness level to avoid injuries in the first place. Athletes also work with sports medicine physical therapists.

"By utilizing the team approach, we can assess and manage injuries, but also devote a great deal of time to preventing those injuries through proper warm-ups, customized workouts, proper nutrition, and time spent focusing on recovery," says physical therapy manager, Marlene Hatch. She and her team provide therapy to many local winter Olympians and professional athletes as well as everyday athlete of all abilities.

In addition to sports medicine physicians and physical therapists, the sports performance team includes certified athletic trainers, accredited sports dietitians, exercise physiologists, and performance coaches. For more information visit:

Project Podium is a USA Triathlon men's elite development team based at Arizona State University. The program enables college-aged triathletes with elite competitive potential to train in a daily high-performance environment while earning an undergraduate degree through its online program or at the Tempe, AZ campus.

About Intermountain Healthcare
Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, a Medical Group with 2,600 employed physicians and advanced practice clinicians, a health insurance company called SelectHealth, and other health services in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Intermountain is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes and sustainable costs. For updates, see