The importance of strength and conditioning in keeping healthy has been in the news recently – experts suggest it will pay dividends for an ageing population to maintain their strength, helping them to live independent, healthier lives for longer.
Strength and conditioning is an important factor in your success as a triathlete too. It can improve your performance in competition, and help with injury prevention. British Triathlon are actively promoting these values.
Benefits of a coherent strength & conditioning plan to your triathlon performance are:-
Increased upper body strength – the latissimus dorsi (large muscles in the lower back) are the main engines enabling you to drive through the water.
Improved range of mobility allowing you to get into the correct positions for efficient swimming.
Increased strength endurance allowing you to maintain the correct form throughout the swim
Leg strength & power is key in your ability to surge.
Leg strength endurance helps you to maintain power throughout a race, and enables you to withstand surges over the entire bike leg.
Core strength allows you to maintain the correct position on the bike throughout a race.
Leg strength & power enables good force production through the ground, as well as increasing the ability of the muscles & tendons to absorb the force produced.
Leg strength endurance helps you maintain force production throughout a race.
Core strength helps you maintain good posture & technique.
Injury Prevention – due to the nature of triathlon training some injuries are common. By strengthening certain areas you can minimise the risk of injury.
Muscles – well conditioned, strong muscles help with correct movement mechanics, and so help minimise injury risk.
Tendons – a strong supporting musculature and good conditioning help tendons ability to absorb force, thus minimising the risk of tear or tendonitis.
Bones – good conditioning & strength help minimise the risk of stress fractures.
Introducing strength & conditioning circuits to your training doesn’t have to take up too much time – as little as 30 minutes, 2 or 3 times a week will reap rewards in the long run.
Watch this space for exercises to include in your own S&C routine…