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Triathlon Magazine Canada - - Front Page - WITH MELANIE MCQUAID

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?

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READS Sur­fac­ing 61 TRI SCENE / RACE RE­PORT

PODIUM Flora Duffy’s Stel­lar Year Shawn Skene, Theresa Wal­lace Roger Hospedales Greg Buium Matt Stet­son War­ren Wheeler Alysha De­marsh Sam Co­hen War­ren Hardy Sean Nils­son David Chaundy-smart An­dre Cheuk Joel Vos­burg joel@gripped.com Dan Walker dan@gripped.com

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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

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