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Strength Training for the Triathlete in the Pre-Season
by Jamie Silber
Intelligent use of the weight room, just like intelligent implementation of a triathlon training program, can have a dramatic influence on your performance. This success can be defined as faster swim, bike and run times but can also be extended to include reduced risk of injury, athletic longevity and an overall heightened enjoyment of triathlon.
For many, the triathlon season starts as early as March and some still enter events as late as November. This can be a racing season that’s
eight or more months
long. Add in the necessary base training and you’ve got over ten months of work! In some parts of the world the climate allows for year-round training and few realize a break is needed. The standard paradigm has been: race a full season, spend 2-3 months on the couch, and then get up and base train for the next season. This is a dangerous plan of action!
What is your Limiter?
The process of training and racing for triathlon will make you fit, but it will also put you out of balance. The consistent forward motion of swim, bike and run atrophies most of the body’s stabilizing muscles – putting you at risk of injury. Starting from a state of deterioration is the biggest risk of all.
PreSeason is all about spending more time on your Limiters! What’s a Limiter you ask?
Your “Limiter” is your weakest part(s) of your event or training. Determine this via experience, confidence and results. For our proposes at Triathlon Training Series we see Strength Training as a
in most athletes, especially when you consider that most triathletes never make time for strength training because most of us can only allow our precious time to be only on swimming, biking and running.
What to do? Anatomical Adaptation Strength Training.
In order to prepare the body for greater demands in the coming months, the goal is to strengthen our bones, tendons, ligaments, and small stabilizing muscles of all the important joints we use in triathlon. This approach increases their ability to withstand tension and tearing and creates a strong foundation in which to support the larger musculature. Also, by performing a wide variety of exercises, Anatomical Adaptation Strength Training places a strong importance on refining the movements of each exercise by lifting/moving in a controlled manner and emphasizing perfect form, not intensity. Your triathlon training however, is stripped down to the very minimum to allow for the spirit to be strengthened as well. The charts below describe, in detail, the methodology of the entire Anatomical phase.
Number of Exercises
3 per Week
of maximum effort
skills and drills
For more information and a detailed look at the exercises in the Anatomical Adaptation Phase check out
Strength Training for Triathletes
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