Ask A Coach: Should I Weight Train?



(From FB: Debbie Astraikis Wog) How much weight training, if any, should you do during the triathlon season?

A well-structured weight training program can provide better race results for triathletes. A stronger muscle is able to produce more power and resist fatigue for a longer period of time. While swimming, cycling and running do a great job of conditioning muscles specific to those movements, traditional triathlon training often leaves smaller muscle groups underdeveloped or imbalanced. These are the muscle groups that once fatigued can contribute to loss of form, a decrease in speed and an increased risk of injury.

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Throughout the year, especially during race season, the majority of training should focus on triathlon activities. That being said, it is wise to continue weight training throughout race season to ensure strength gains are maintained and even improved upon. These sessions can be relatively short and are not required every day. Sessions lasting 20 to 30 minutes two to three times per week should be adequate and reconcile well with a triathlete's busy schedule.

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Also keep in mind that strength training is not limited to weight training. There are plenty of exercises that can be incorporated into swim, cycle and run sets that promote increases in strength. Swimming with paddles, low cadence cycling and hill repeats can all increase a triathlete's power output. Body weight exercises, functional movements and activities such as yoga, Pilates and stretching routines can also improve strength and help mitigate injury risk, as well.

About the Author

John Mayfield

John Mayfield is a USAT certified coach and coaches with the TriDot Training System, a data driven approach that takes the guess work out of triathlon training and racing. Coach John specializes in working with athletes with busy schedules and lofty goals. As a husband and father of three, he understands training, racing and recovery must all be prioritized alongside family, careers and faith.
John Mayfield is a USAT certified coach and coaches with the TriDot Training System, a data driven approach that takes the guess work out of triathlon training and racing. Coach John specializes in working with athletes with busy schedules and lofty goals. As a husband and father of three, he understands training, racing and recovery must all be prioritized alongside family, careers and faith.

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