How CrossFit Can Benefit Triathletes

3. CrossFit builds greater strength, power, agility and speed.

Mobility and flexibility are not the only limiters. Endurance athletes often lack top-end speed, strength and power output. Marathoners and Ironman-distance athletes come to mind here. Too much time spent going long and slow at sub-maximal intensities leads to an athlete that can only go one speed: long and slow. At the professional and elite amateur level though, athletes enjoying the most success at the marathon and Ironman spend years developing strength and speed.

At CrossFit, athletes learn to incorporate strength and gymnastic skills into their workouts. They jump, sprint and develop power they previously thought impossible. Time and time again, we have seen these new abilities translate to increased athletic performance.

Concerned with potential injury? Start slowly and learn the proper mechanics first under a coach, then work to maintain these mechanics even when the coach isn't watching or when fatigue hits.

Think of this crucial step as developing technique endurance. Then and only then can you safely add intensity. Once again, if you lack strength, power, agility and speed your will struggle to reach your athletic potential.

4. CrossFit develops and builds true functional strength.

Many strength programs promote sport-specific and functional strength movements for endurance athletes. While these movements sound great, many of them involve overly complicated exercises that ironically lack in true substance.

To be functional, an exercise should be natural, develop full range of motion, and promote core-to-extremity movement and mid-line stability.

Functional strength does not need to be sport specific. It should focus on building your general physical capacity with multi-joint movements that you already do day to day. With an improved ability to pull, push, squat, dead lift, jump and even throw, you will approach your sport with greater levels of strength, power, body awareness and confidence.

5. CrossFit develops skills that transfer to our specific sports.

Too often endurance athletes are disconnected between the brain and the body. You do sit-ups and crunches but stand hunched over or over-extended in the low back. You probably even run and swim with poor posture.

At CrossFit, functional exercises can and should contribute to better swimming, biking and running. With a good CrossFit coach and program, your understanding of hip and knee mechanics will translate to better run and pedaling mechanics. Your understanding of shoulder mechanics will enhance your swim pull and power.

Find a qualified gym, with a good coach, and discover first hand how CrossFit can intelligently elevate your game as an endurance athlete.

Active logoSearch for a triathlon.

About the Author

Discuss This Article

Follow your passions

Connect with ACTIVE.COM