As the years of coaching add up, I just further see more and more the correlation between:
endurance athletes who like to occasionally do 15min of lunges after a workout X endurance athletes who don’t do as well as they would like X endurance athletes who are hardly training hard because something hurts.
Lemme tell you a secret, to be a tri “athlete” you have to be an “athlete”. Athletes are strong. From NFL players to bowlers to tennis players, these athletes are strong!
Seriously, watch some pro bowling at the bar on tv, these guys are pretty jacked.
Why should triathletes be strong?
- Be a more efficient swimmer, biker, and swimmer. The stronger your legs are, the less energy you spend on every pedal and step. Strong shoulders and upper back muscles make each swimming stroke easier. This can help you compete faster and have more energy for the end of the event
- 3-6 hours of competition will take a toll on your tendons and ligaments. Strength training helps strengthen your tendons and support your ligaments. Stronger tendons can last better through the event and stronger muscles & tendons will keep your ligaments from taking a big beating.
- Confidence. A strong body makes you feel powerful & capable. A capable body will make you feel like you can persevere more. The mental and emotional strength can sometimes go much further for your performance than actually getting stronger will
What should you do?
Strengthen the main movements of the body: squatting, lunging, hinging, upper body pulling, upper body pushing, and rotating. Secondarily, working your calves, shin muscles, hip flexors, arms, and core muscles is of value.
You need to hit the gym 2-3x/week hitting most or all of those movements each day to be well rounded. The specifics are very personal to your body, experience, availability of strength equipment, but 2-4 rounds of 8-15 reps can be generally useful shot in the dark.
Triathlon training requires very good logistic planning and coaching. Coaching for triathletes can vary from a coach who handles overall mileage, to having a swim coach and self programming bike/run mileage, a strength coach, or someone who can do many of those things or a different coach for many.
Going at it alone isn’t the best solution. Inexperienced people can poorly handle the workload, and experienced people may end up stagnant because of a combination of not knowing what they don’t know & knowing that there are things they don’t know but not addressing it.
If you are tired of being like the meme, shoot me a message so we can take your training more seriously. We can meet to truly look at your workload or even just get your strength training in line.
Share this with a teammate or training buddy of yours.