BUILD RACE STRENGTH IN 8 WEEKS
It’s simple really – add strength training to your sessions to get faster! Here’s the plan that will keep you race strong in 2018
As triathletes, we’re concerned with numbers, watts, speed and making sure that we spend as much time as possible on swim, bike and run. Which is fair enough, but there’s one final element to a triathlete’s training that will produce greater results and longevity in the sport, and that’s strength training.
Spending time building greater strength is so often overlooked in the pursuit of speed. But in this eight-week plan we’re going to help you achieve a more rounded approach to strength training, by including traditional gym- or home-based exercises alongside specific swim, bike and run strength sessions. There’s always time in the year to build muscle, but spring is perfect as it’s before most triathletes start hitting peak distance or intensity.
The plan is based around an Olympic-distance triathlon, so you can modify the duration or distance of sessions to be more individual, in particular the longer weekend sessions. The success of the plan will be boosted if you have running and cycling routes around you that offer a variety of hills – some long, some short, some steep and others that have a gradual incline. It’s important to make these hills part of longer sessions and learn to love them!
The shorter midweek sessions in the plan include very definite focus on building power through either swimming with paddles, using an indoor bike to climb with structure or running on a treadmill and hitting the inclines. An area of particular focus is ‘overgearing’ on hills, which means riding in a gear that’s one or two more than you’d usually choose to offer greater resistance.
The strength exercises separate into swim, bike and run and can be done at either home or in the gym. They’re split into four groups, which can be found online at 220tri.com. The routines should take no more than 20-25mins and they change every two weeks to offer variety and progression. All of the exercises are straightforward, but, as with any strength training plan, you should seek advice on form and technique to avoid injury. At the end of these eight weeks you’ll be more powerful and more resilient to injury, which both create more speed. It’s time to get strong!