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Why triathletes should strength train

It can be difficult to fit in all the training when it comes to any multi-sport. Therefore, it is important to do the most effective exercises not just spend the hours out on the road. What will give you the best return on the smallest investment?

Strength training can:

Increase maximal power output

Improve endurance capacity

Reduce neuromuscular fatigue

Improve running economy

Reduce oxygen consumption

Reduce heart rate

 

What sort of strength exercises?

The muscles to train for both cycling and running are similar, you need a strong core as a base and specific strength in your calves, hamstrings, quadriceps and gluteal muscles. There is of course a wide range of ways to strength train. We can divide strength training into two broad groups of training styles, one being heavy and slow, and the second being powerful and explosive strength training.

Plyometric training – the best for running

Power and explosive training is called plyometric training. It trains you to be more powerful, which means to generate strength quickly. It doesn’t just train your muscles to get stronger but also your tendons to work more effectively as springs. Our tendons are designed to absorb and release energy, such as when you run. Running is a plyometric exercise. When your foot lands on the ground, energy is absorbed and temporarily stored in the tendon, to be released when you spring forward for your next stride. So, training yourself with tough plyometric exercise will make you a better runner.

A few examples are skipping, hopping and jumping. Try getting higher or go further with your jumps or skips. Jumping onto a box is a great way to measure this if you can the equipment available to stack or increase the box height. Alternatively, jumping or hopping over a measured point on the ground can similarly show you the progress you are making with distance.

Heavy and slower – the best for cycling

Cycling is a completely different way of using your muscles to produce movement. It doesn’t require such quick power generation as with running. Therefore, the strength training that most benefits you for the bike is different to the plyometric training that are so effective for running. Heavier and slower movements have a greater impact on cycling. That is doing heavy training to reach the point of muscular fatigue.

Movement such as squats, lunges, bridges, deadlifts and heel raises are all great choices. Work on increasing your strength by doing an exercise slowly, with a squat that might be taking 3 seconds to lower and 3 seconds to lift. You want to aim to fatigue between 8-12 repetitions, and doing 4 sets with a 2-3 minute rest between each.

More isn’t always better…

A new study has shown that doing just one set of a strengthening exercise to failure, 3 times per week had “strikingly similar” strength improvements to doing three or five sets of the same exercises. So if you are really short for time you can get a great benefit from just three 15 minute sessions per week. You can read the full article here.

 

For more advice get in touch with the Flawless Physio team here.

Feel good. Move well. Be better!

 

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Very knowledgeable physio Team! Was in London on a business meeting and ended up visiting James for some urgent treatment on my lower back. Delighted with the service. James put me at ease straight away. His treatment was paramount in getting me through what was a hectic weekend. Could not recommend enough. Will definitely be back when in London again!
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Funky Inflatable Co.
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Went to "Flawless Physio" two weeks ago for back pain that I'd been carrying for months. Three sessions later, it's all gone! The staff was very pleasant, professional and gave me a series of simple exercises to do at home. I definitely recommend them. I'll be back, hopefully not too soon ;)
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Charles Muzard
13:04 24 Sep 18
I was recommended to see James by my consultant following surgery to my ankle. He was extremely professional and knowledgable. He motivated me throughout the process and I have now returned to long distance running thanks to his help. I would recommend his services to anyone
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19:32 08 Sep 18
Awesome team. I ended up having to seek out treatment when my back went into spasm (on going problem) whilst down visiting friends. I saw James and he was very professional and through with his treatment. More importantly he gave me a better understanding about what was going on and how to manage my injury in the future. Highly recommended!
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Tiziana Guffanti
17:23 29 Aug 18
I would highly recommend Flawless Physio. Excellent knowledge/treatment and also brilliant customer care - following up and giving advice. Tailored rehab to suit the type and level of sport as well as lifestyle. My wife & I have been treated by both James & Victoria and they have both been great. Will continue to use for any future injury & rehab.
Joe Gomes
Joe Gomes
19:11 30 Mar 19
I saw Victoria for my dodgy shoulder, and she was brilliant. Very professional And knowledgeable, she really took time to explain what was going on and to treat it. She followed up with me to check I was getting on well with the exercises. She is also really accommodating with timings for appointments. I couldn't recommend more highly, thank you Victoria!
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Fiona Hall
08:35 27 Mar 19
First class. Had 4 or 5 appointments with Victoria that were always late in the evening, although you wouldn't know it. She took her time, whether that be on soft tissue work, explaining how to do an exercise, or the purpose behind it. A genuine person that wants to help and she clearly knows her stuff.
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Jamie Moles
21:14 20 Jan 19
Went to flawless physio and vic was great! Training for a marathon and she was very understanding and helpful. Living in the Twickenham area so was in great location! Her specialist knowledge in knee injuries was able to get me back running in two weeks 🏃🏼‍♀️
Ruth Herlihy
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23:44 25 Jan 19
I injured my leg (ITB) training for the Berlin Marathon and then made it far worse it by trying to run it. Victoria has been essential in my recovery, helping me understand how to strengthen the right muscle groups and get back to running. I have been very impressed by the depth of knowledge and insight. This weekend I will run the Cancer Research 10km. Thank you!
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17:02 28 Jan 19
Really impressed with the service provided at Flawless Physio. Vicky was knowledgeable, professional and her invaluable treatment and advice got me to the start of this year’s marathon when I’d had to stop running with 8weeks to go. Without the advice and care I received at Flawless Physio, at best I’d have limped my way round the course and at worst, not been able to take part at all. Definitely recommend!
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11:03 30 May 19
James helped resolve a hamstring injury that had troubled me for the best part of a year. I'll certainly use Flawless Physio for any future issues. Highly recommended.
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