October 13, 2020

Should Triathletes Do Strength Training?

Should triathletes do strength training? In this post, we answer that question and share why the type of strength training you choose is essential.

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One of the most significant challenges faced by age-group triathletes
is fitting swimming, cycling and running around an already busy work,
family and social schedule.

It surprises me then, the frequency I see gym sessions included in
the schedule of athletes new to Coached when reviewing their
past training. I also find it curious that it’s one of the most common
questions I get via email, and during talks that I give.

Fitness is sport-specific.

When time is tight, it’s essential to focus on the things that will
move the needle. For most, that means dedicated time swimming, cycling
and running, to develop the crucial technical skills and fitness that
will allow you to perform at your best in a triathlon.

Does that mean triathletes don’t need to do strength training?

No! It means you don’t need to dedicate significant time each week to a specific strength training session in the gym.

Cut Race Times, Not Corners.

Racing at your potential and enjoying training is easy when you’re following the right programme.

I believe that strength training is best incorporated directly into the disciplines of swim, bike and run. That’s where we focus in Coached programmes, and it works.

What we’re trying to do is engage and strengthen the muscle groups that actually perform the discipline while using the correct technique for that sport.

In swimming, we use paddles, pull buoys and bands to build strength.

On the bike, hills, big gear or a combination of the two work great.

For the run, hills and drills do the trick.

None of this is complicated; the results are fantastic, and best of all, it adds no additional time to your already packed week.

Are there exceptions to this? Of course – like in everything related to training – but in my experience, this approach works for most athletes, most of the time.

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Ben Pulham

Ben Pulham is the founder of Coached, a personalised training programme that helps runners & triathletes optimise, track and enjoy their training.