Strength training is often viewed as a trivial piece of an endurance athlete's workout regime. At best, it's squeezed in at the end of a bike ride or run; at worst, it's shunned entirely.
Many endurance athletes let strength training fall to the bottom of their training priority list, despite overwhelming evidence that it improves performance.
Here are five common excuses used to skip strength training and the reasons why you can no longer use them.
I Don't Have Time for Another Workout
Proper strength training reduces your risk of injury. Period.
Now, read that sentence again. Even those most adverse to the weight room would probably prefer making time for lat pull downs than a trip to the doctor's office. Strength training doesn't make you superhuman. Still, numerous studies have shown consistent strength training can help to reduce your risk of injury. Muscular imbalances, neuromuscular fatigue, weakness and lack of coordination are all common causes of overuse injuries that strength training can help to correct.
Weight training is a highly efficient and effective way of developing power and strength, key components of speed. How do you not have time for strength work?
Tip: Make time for strength work. Even if it means cutting out one endurance workout a week or trimming your mileage slightly.
My Training Already Works My Muscles
Swim, bike, run training is excellent for building endurance, not for building muscle or making you stronger. In fact, distance training encourages the body to break down and cannibalize muscle mass. This is known as a catabolic process. Too much of it can send our performance in the wrong direction.
Strength training is an anabolic process (translation: it builds muscle), and when used effectively, can curb the loss of strength and power that may otherwise accompany the high volume training.
Tip: Pair endurance and strength work for optimal performance, even during high volume phases.