Strength training for triathletes
Just wanted to know everyones thoughts on strength training for tri?
I'm a big fan, but I know most don;t seem to be.
It's a bit like vegetables - we know it's good for us, but don't do/eat it
I understand fully that people often leave strength conditioning out of their training, as we have busy enough lives as full time employees AND try and fit in swim, bike and run sessions during the week too.
I would suggest that it's something that's incorprated into your winter training period - to break up the monotony of staring at the wall while on the turbo for instance, and also focusing on particular muscle groups. Include some nice deep stretching exercises as well - something else we as triathletes forget to do!
I'm not talking about light weights and high reps here either. More strength and conditioning - good stance/posture with a heavyish weight and low reps. Quality is the key!
I must admit that over the past few months I have become a real convert to the benefits of strength training. My traditional position having previously done weights and circuit training when I played rugby is I hated this aspect of training with a vengance, possibly because I was poor at it compared to team mates.
Having returned to cycling for eight months I then decide to move onto tri after joining a gym following a bike crash, and rediscovering swimming by using the pool and treadmills. The one aspect of the gym I did not fancy was the weight machine area. I decided to give it a go, in respect to cycling specific areas after reading a specialist book, cutting out some sections of the circuit given to me by gym staff to avoid potential problems regarding knee strains etc.. I stuck with three sessions a week and after a month or so I started to see some real results. The main benefit has not been increased strength with the main muscle groups as I have not focused on large weights/low reps, rather it has been due to the strengthening of the smaller muscle groups around my joint areas and core, and in re-addressing inbalances between limbs. This has really been evident when looking at performances on long climbs. With these small strength gains I feel I can hold a solid posture when climbing allowing the strength from the larger muscle groups to be better directed into the pedals. The end result is I have replaced the cassette on my wheels dropping the two largest sprockets, allowing closer ratios, easier to maintain focus on hr/cadence etc...
The plan now is to focus in my pre base period on moving from a maintenance weights programme to a specific period to make long term strength gains using larger weights / lower reps. I know this will have a short term effect on my performance but I am now confident that the long term gains will be worth the effort.
At first I hated the fact that I was lifting light weights compared to the body building types in the gym. Over time my confidence has grown as I know that this approach is giving me the results I was after. If like me you are in two minds as to the benefits of strength training give it a go and see what it can do for you, in my opinion it is time well invested.
I am beginner and have not much strength for the training. These suggestion
will help me in increase my strength and make better my training.
has helped me a lot this year. But as with any weight training, approach with caution and listen to your body!
There are a couple of gym's in london for crossfit only classes. The one I use is: