The first year Mark Allen incorporated strength training into his training regime he won the "Triple Crown" of triathlon (the Nice International Triathlon, the Zofingen duathlon and the Ironman World Championship).
A strength or resistance training program is one of the most commonly overlooked means to improve endurance athletic performance. The number one reason for triathletes to incorporate strength work into their offseason training is injury prevention.
Additionally, a well-executed program will enhance strength, muscular endurance and power. While ALL athletes will benefit from a strength program, those over the age of 35 will find this most beneficial as their natural muscular strength and hormone levels are no longer the same as it was in their 20s.
The time investment in strength training is minimal, but the payoff is big. By incorporating weights 2 to 3 times a week at 30 to 45 minutes a clip, you will most certainly see the benefits in your training and racing during your season. Be sure to do a brief warm-up beforehand and don't forget to incorporate core work.
Not sure where to get started? It is best to contact a trusted triathlon coach to help structure an effective strength program for you and your goals. Personal trainers are another option, but make sure they understand triathlon and account for sport-specific strength requirements.
If this route doesn't suit your budget, a little internet research can help point you in the right direction.
It goes without saying that it is important to spend time swimming, biking and running. However, it is just as important to take time away from these activities. Cross-training is the perfect way to stay active, have fun and gain a little supplemental fitness.
Additionally, cross-training will give your body a rest from repetitive stress and help maintain body balance. Then, when it's finally time to get back on the saddle or in the pool, you'll be renewed and refreshed from your time away.
Depending on where you live, a few favorite cross-training activities include snowshoe running, cross country skiing, mountain biking, paddle boarding, surfing, and rock/ice climbing. Remember, to always have fun and don't be afraid to try new things.
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