The Benefits of Strength Training
Triathlon is a strength endurance based sport. To perform at your best you need to develop specific strength to ensure your body can perform the same movement repeatedly. Remember it is those that slow down the least that win the race. No one speeds up towards the end of a race, the faster athletes just slow down less compared to their competitors.
There are a number of ways to develop specific strength to improve your triathlon performance. These include paddle work in the pool, big gear efforts on the bike and running hills. These are all proven ways that will make you a faster athlete.
I am also a firm believer in regular strength work in the gym to compliment your triathlon swim, bike and run training. This type of gym work can come in many forms including circuits, pilates, yoga, boxing, weights and group fitness classes. All depending on the athlete can have a direct benefit to improving your triathlon performance.
Here are 5 benefits of regular strength work in the gym:
- We know that after the age of 35 we start to lose lean muscle mass which is our productive tissue that we need. Regular strength work can delay that process.
- Overcoming and preventing injury. I know myself that a strength routine in conjunction with my physio helped me to overcome achillies and knee injuries last year. In fact some of the latest research according to my physio, Paul Fien from Brisbane Sports and Spinal is advocating specific strength work in the gym to overcome tendon type injuries.
- Improving movement patterns through specific training . This includes things like pilates, reform classes, yoga and specific strength work designed to improve movement patterns to make your more efficient.
- More variety in training. By hitting the gym 1-2 times per week it gives you something else besides swim, bike and run.
- Vanity – everyone likes a buff body!