Go on, Tri it
Thursday, 27 September 2012
If you’re doing some serious running races, chances are you’ll enjoy the challenge of a triathlon.
Triathlons were developed as a test of all round fitness involving every muscle in the body and plenty of hard cardio work.
Triathlons can also have cross over benefits for running. The core strength and upper body strength you develop through triathlon training will help maintain posture and good form during your running. This can be particularly useful for a strong finish.
By swimming and cycling, you take a load off your feet and will be able to give your body a better chance of recovering from the strain created by the shock than runs up your legs with each running stride.
It allows you to take on greater cardiovascular training volumes as other muscles will share the training pain.
It’s also a great way of giving your fitness program variety. Triathlons are no easy feat, particularly when your focus has traditionally been on purely running. Here are some tips to get you started.
TIP 1: If swimming is your biggest weakness, focus on developing your technique. When your arm enters the water in the “catch phase” you’re trying to grab hold of the water sliding your hands through it so don’t rush this stage. A good swimmer will take fewer than 20 strokes per 25 metres.
TIP 2: Avoid using too higher gear when cycling. You should be getting between 90 and 100 pedal strokes per minute when cycling in order to use the aerobic system more predominantly. This will be much less strain on your legs. During the run, you will be less tired and have less chance of cramping.
TIP 3: Remember that triathlon training is all round training for your body. If you’ve changed your focus to a triathlon, you should be doing less running to give yourself more energy for other training. You will also want to include some core and upper body strength training to assist the swim and cycle.
TIP 4: Get used to doubling up on workouts. Try a bike-run ‘brick’ session where you ride for 60 minutes then run for half an hour. You will need to get used to the transitions. People who train their running, swimming and cycling separately get better at running, swimming and cycling separately. If you want to be able to combine the three on race day then train for it.
So for a motivational kick that does wonders for you physically, get on a bike and into a pool
(Just not at the same time…)