T1 With Melanie Mcquaid WHAT’S NEW EDITORIAL GALLERY
TRI TIP 10 Your Guide to Saddle Happiness
INSIDE THE AGE GROUP MIND Holding High the Eagle Feather TRAINING Go to Your Happy Place
GEAR Huub Kickpant TRAINING Does Your Cycling Need Work?
GEAR Garneau Gennix TR1 TRAINING Kirsten Sweetland’s Top Three Run Sessions
GEAR Skechers Gorun 5 – NYC 2016 HEALTH Training Seasonal Affective Disorder
GEAR Oakley Radar Pace CLUB PROFILE Kamloops Triathlon Club
READS Surfacing 61 TRI SCENE / RACE REPORT
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WARM-UP SWIM BIKE RUN TRANSITION FINISH LINE
TRAINING FOR TRIATHLON makes you stronger, which is why some athletes feel they don’t need to do specific weight training exercises, but strength training helps you avoid muscle imbalances. Those imbalances in the body lead to compensation and incorrect movement patterns. Poor movement patterns, along with f lawed muscle recruitment, lead to poor performance and injury.
My approach to strength training is to frequently reinforce correct movement patterns under load. This way I specifically train for triathlon by reminding my muscles to recruit correctly when I am swimming, biking or running.
These are my three favourite strength exercises. In the off-season I enhance some of these exercises with weights or jumps, but it isn’t necessary to do anything more than what I describe to get benefit. During race season I do one set of 15 repetitions after a run to remind my legs what to do and nothing more.
Marcus Blumensaat, the massage therapist I work with ONE-LEGGED BODYWEIGHT SQUAT (PISTOL SQUATS) One-legged squats are great for balancing left/right strength, training balance and challenging mobility. If there is limited range of motion in your ankles or hips, you will have a difficult time achieving extension, and consequently speed, in your running. This exercise will identify and correct weakness, balance and range of motion to improve your run mechanics.
Stand in front of a chair or a bench on one leg with the other extended straight out in front of you. Slowly lower yourself onto the bench until your butt touches the seat. You may find you lose control before your butt gets there, which is why the seat is there to catch you. Find a seat or bench height that challenges you at the last inch or so. Do not rest when your butt touches, immediately stand back up and repeat. When you raise and lower yourself, watch to see if your knee tracks inward toward the opposite leg. Focus on keeping your knee straight both lifting and lowering.
Make this exercise more advanced by lowering the chair or bench height. Alternatively, you can stand on a shorter bench in front of the chair, which will effectively lower the seat height. The ultimate goal would be to do a full one-legged squat to the floor and then stand back up. STEP-UPS Step-ups are my favourite exercise for hip strength. I started doing these exercises on an 8-inch block before my hips and glutes started firing correctly. Try the following exercise on a low step before moving to a high bench as it is easy to adopt an incorrect movement pattern.
Stand in front of a low block of 8 to12 inches (or a stair). Keeping your back heel down to prevent push-off with your back foot, step your front leg up onto the stair. Lift your front knee up to running stance then step back down. When stepping back down, keep weighting your back heel towards the floor. Pay attention to whether your knee tracks inward toward the opposite leg or whether you have trouble balancing. Both of those instances indicate other muscles are trying to take over for your glutes and hips.
Keep the step low until you are sure your neurological recruitment for this exercise is correct. The main focus of step-ups is to encourage your glute muscles to fire during foot plant when you are running and knee tracking can indicate whether this is happening. Make this exercise more difficult by increasing the step height or holding dumbbells in each hand. This exercise is a great way to train leg strength without stressing the back muscles. This type of strength is very similar to pedalling a bike, so athletes who need strength to improve knee tracking while they are pedalling will find this exercise useful. Romanian split squats target your glutes, quads and calf muscles. Also, one leg balance is challenged and mobility through the ankle and hip is tested.
To perform this exercise, start standing in front of a bench or use a Swiss ball for more of a challenge. Stagger your feet, placing the top of your back foot onto the bench or ball. Bend your front knee and lower until you have about a 90-degree bend in your front leg, then raise back to standing. Keep your back straight and avoid leaning over the front leg.
A more advanced version of this exercise is to hold a dumbbell in each hand or add a hop during each rep with the front leg as you raise back up.
I do 15 repetitions per leg for all the exercises and one round can take less than 10 minutes. The main objective is to perform the exercises correctly and frequently. By doing so, I remind my body how to move correctly and strengthen the supporting muscles I need to continue to hold good form while training and racing. My goal with this strength work is a strong and balanced body that is more resistant to injury and capable of consistent training.
My Three Favourite Strength Moves