For endurance athletes, strength training is very beneficial. You just need to do it in a strategic way, as you will have to juggle quick and strong stimulus/change to the body in addition to the adaptations that come from endurance training. Completely do-able once the principles are understood. Additionally, being very strategic on what strength training is preformed is key, as the endurance athlete, especially the triathlete doesn’t have a lot of extra time. The benefits certainty do make it worth the effort. But again. It has to come from solid education. Most gym trainers don’t quite understand the endurance training body relationship. For instance, bicep work should only be done once the back side of the shoulder cuff is rock solid AND the swim form is good in specific aspects.
Here are some benefits to strength training:
- Stronger bones: they are stimulated to grow stronger (thus one reason why we need to eat well)
- Injury prevention: centered joints are less likely to experience wear and tear. Just like your tired. Keep the alignment spot on and the tires last longer. So smart lifting means you bring balance to the limited dimensional running and biking.
- Improvement performance: for the SAME above reason. BOOM!
- Strength training brings changes to the body faster if done well
- Stronger is better for the spirit
- Stronger is healthier
- Stronger is sexier
Utilizing a coach that understands both endurance training and strength training is really important. It can mean a huge PR or a big fat injury. Learning and understanding the principles is key.
Fact: It takes one to two days to recover from a harder resistance training session. (This is assuming your nutrition status is on par and you are eating well before and after.)
Fact: Your body is pretty efficient at moving it’s own weight. When you ask it to move something heavy, your brain alters its neural recruitment pattern, calling up the most fatigue-resistant muscle fibers so you exert less energy. Kanji Doma, Ph.D. At James Cook University in Queensland.
Fact: Due to delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) that results after resistance-training, runners that run and push themselves to achieve a certain level of performance after strength training risk injury due to muscle fatigue that causes poor running form. Research shows that performance can be decreased by 10% due to DOMS.
Fact: There is functional/activation type of strength training that can be done prior to running that benefits running form and performance.
Fact: It is acceptable to run on tired and/or sore legs. Dr. Doma suggests keeping your exertion at 70% (or a zone 2 effort). This type of training actually benefits the endurance athlete by stimulating other …. adaptations.