Endurance athletes can fall into a workout rut that focuses solely on running, cycling and swimming and ignores strength training—an essential component of long distance races.
The weight room is frequently overlooked, in part because it's a less desirable training environment than a rocky trail or winding mountainside road.
Fortunately, even if you have a strong aversion to gyms and complicated-looking weight machines, you can still get in your strength training.
Why It Matters
Small muscle imbalances can lead to major injuries down the road. Strength training can help stabilize the regions that often get passed over during running, biking and swimming.
Strength training also sharpens performance come race day. Athletes that participated in an eight-week strength training program increased the efficiency of their oxygen use while running, according to a study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.