Strength training or resistance training are very important for endurance athletes. The goal may not be to gain muscle size and weight but to maximize muscle strength, endurance and speed. Before starting your workout always stretch and warm up properly to prevent injury.
Here are some general guidelines for Resistance training:
1. Multiple joint exercises are functionally appropriate for endurance athletes, runners, triathletes etc..
2. Reduce momentum in all movements by using a 3-1-3 velocity. So doing a push-up would be 3 seconds up, 1 second hold and 3 seconds down. This will remove any momentum.
3. One set to Momentary Muscular Fatigue (MMF) is effective. MMF is defined by failure to move the resistance during the concentric phase of contraction.
4. Don't lock out any joint, but maintain muscular tension.
5. Use full range of motion (ROM) with each exercise.
6. Machines are generally safer. When using free weights and working until MMF always use a spotter.
7. Complete 8-12 repetitions in proper form. Achieve intensity through low momentum, maintaining muscular tension, no rest during a set.
8. Vary exercise order to allow each muscle group to experience pre-fatigue.
9. Two to three sessions per week of 20-25 minutes are ample on top of regular endurance and sport specific training.
10. Phase-In workouts using the chart below. Start with calisthenics and graduate to weights and bands as strength increases.
a. Practice correct posture and form b. Find appropriate weight to allow no more than 8 reps c. Start with MMF on ODD number exercises d. MMF on EVEN number exercises e. Progress to MMF on all exercises
It is important for triathletes to focus on core strength training which allows one single part of the body to transfer energy to the other parts of the body. Core strength training will allow you to improve your power in swimming, and your capabilities with uphill climbing and sprint cycling as well. Core strength training will also help you resist injury and will keep you in better shape by strengthening your body. Core strength training primarily focuses on the superficial and deep abdominal muscles, the lower back and lumbar region and the middle and upper regions of the spine, the thoracic and cervical regions.