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Obviously, as a triathlete, you’re in the gym on a regular basis. But are you letting your strength training slip to the side while you focus on more triathlete-centric training? Yes, you need to be able to swim, bike and run to your best ability, and endurance training is critical, but strength training is also going to greatly benefit you when triathlon day comes. Here are four reasons why you should stick to your strength training when preparing for your next big event.
1. Strength training prevents injuries
Any athlete’s worst nightmare on triathlon day? An injury absolutely kills your performance. Don’t let this happen. Proper strength training ahead of your event can help you avoid injuries, by increasing your bone density, joint strength and overall muscle mass.
2. Strength training equals better form
No athlete wants a poor form. Strength training greatly helps you to correct poor form, as it adjusts and realigns your body’s imbalances. The result is a better overall form when it comes to all types of exercise, not just strength training, for a better result and performance across the board.
3. Strength training builds a better core
Strength training for your core is key for triathlons. Just think about it. While your arms and legs will certainly get a hard workout, your core — just like throughout most of life — is the center of it all. Your core strength will impact your form while swimming, making for a more efficient stroke; it will improve your form while cycling, alleviating back pain while simultaneously allowing you to take in more oxygen and work harder, better and faster; and it will help you run faster, longer, so you can finish the triathlon with ease.
4. Strength training equals a faster performance
Yes, going beyond endurance training to strength training can actually make you faster. It just makes sense, right? The stronger your legs, the faster they can make you go. Keep in mind, you don’t want to bulk up ahead of a triathlon, but you do need to have enough muscle mass to carry your weight easily and efficiently, without running into muscle fatigue early on.
How to work strength training into your triathlon prep
So, wondering how to best add strength training into your triathlon prep? A strength training session one or two times a week, that lasts around an hour, added on top of your normal triathlon training should be enough. And, remember, strength training doesn’t have to be lifting weights. Recommended strength-related exercises as you look forward to your triathlon can include pull-ups, push-ups, squats and planks as well.