It is almost time to toe the line and test out the hard work you have done during the offseason. As race season approaches, for many of you your strength training will ultimately enter maintenance mode.
The approach you take to maintaining your strength will depend on your race goals, race distance, overall volume of training, and experience. As you modify your strength training session, there are certain components of your workouts that should not change. Continue to work on your posterior chain, hamstrings, glutes, and back. Also keep hammering away on your joint mobility. As the races approach the intensity of your riding, running, and swimming workouts will most likely increase, which only adds more stress to the body. Recovery between workouts becomes imperative, so get on the foam roller and continue to work on your hip and shoulder mobility as well.
Here is a list of exercises that are a must during race season. In general, you want the workouts relatively short and full body in nature. Two strength workouts a week, each lasting no longer than 45 minutes will help maintain your strength during racing season.
Renegade Rows1 of 9
Using a pair of dumbbells, get yourself into a pushup position. Your body needs to stay as rigid as possible, so squeeze your butt and abs. Start rowing on your right side, rely on your back to row the weight, not your bicep. Do not twist your hips, that makes the exercise easier but ineffective. Do 3 to 5 sets, 5 to 8 reps for each arm.
TRX Single-Arm Row Low Rows2 of 9
Put the TRX into the single-handle mode, and face the anchor point. Get yourself into a deep angle while keeping your body rigid and your core engaged. Start with your feet narrow, pull your chest forward while squeezing your back. Return to the starting position and repeat. To make this exercise harder, grab a dumbbell and hold it by your side with your free hand. Do 3 to 5 sets, 5 to 10 reps.
Bulgarian Split Squat3 of 9
Hold a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells. Elevate your left foot behind you on a bench, while your right foot is out in front you. Squat down by flexing the knee of your front leg, making sure you keep your knee from collapsing inward. Return to the starting position by extending both your hip and knee. Maintain a tight core throughout the movement. Do 4 to 5 sets of 4 to 6 reps with each leg.
Kettlebell Front Squats4 of 9
Start by holding two kettlebells in front of your shoulders. Make sure you position the bells close to your body. Start with your feet straight and your torso engaged. Push your butt back and down as you descend, try to get your knees below your hip crease. Extend your knees and hips to return to the starting position. Do 4 to 5 sets of 4 to 8 reps.
Shoulder Press5 of 9
Grab a pair of dumbbells and position each of them to the side of your shoulders. Press the dumbbells straight up until you lock out your elbows. Lower the dumbbells back into the starting position and repeat. Do 4 to 5 sets of 4 to 6 reps.
Push-Ups6 of 9
Get yourself into a pushup position, your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width. Squeeze your butt and abs hard to help your body to stay rigid. Lower your body to the floor, while keeping your elbows close to your sides. Push yourself back into the starting position by extending your arms. Do 2 to 8 sets of 5 to 20 reps.
Half Get-Ups7 of 9
Lay down on your back next to a kettlebell. Roll to your side, lifting the kettlebell up with your right hand, using your left hand for assistance. Bring the bell to your chest and press it straight up. Keep your right knee bent, use your right foot and your left arm to get yourself into a seated position. Plant your right foot into the floor pushing down through that foot. Also use your left arm to lift your hips off the floor, squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position. Make sure your arm holding the kettlebell stays fully extended. Never take your eyes off the kettlebell throughout the movement. Do 2 to 3 sets of 3 to 8 reps each side.
Cable Twist8 of 9
Start by grabbing the handle with both hands. Position your feet wide apart facing away from the pulley. Get yourself into an athletic stance, knees slightly bent and core engaged. While keeping your arms extended, rotate your torso to the opposite side. Return to the starting position and repeat. Do 3 to 5 sets, 5 to 8 reps each side.