Fitness / Wellness

The Importance of Cross Training

Over the last year I have trained clients for half and full marathons as well as triathlons. It has been a great experience for me as well as my clients. It is exciting to see time shaved off and more energy during their races. 

While everyone is familiar with the swim, bike and run of a triathlon, many tri-athletes don’t realize it’s just as important to practice and train outside those three disciplines. To help reach your peak performance and full potential on race day, athletes should consider incorporating cross and weight training into their weekly routine. 

Weight training will build and strengthen your muscles, and will help throughout all phases of the race. The goal is to strengthen and create endurance in your muscles for the long race.                                                          

Here are some weight training exercises to consider: 

Squats, which will strengthen your quadriceps and hip flexors, both of which play a large role in all aspects of a triathlon. 

Hamstring raises, will help build the hamstrings and glutes, which are often some of the weakest muscles in the body. 

Lateral pull-downs will focus on your lateral muscles (lats) – upper back, biceps and triceps – which will be particularly helpful during the swim.                                                                                           

Cross-training is great preparation for a triathlon because of the variation it brings to your workout and the confusion it creates in your muscles. When muscles adapt to certain exercises and routines, it becomes easier and less effective. Cross training will constantly keep your muscles guessing, creating a more effective workout and stronger body.  

Here a few more cross-training activities to consider:

Elliptical is a great running simulator without the extra stress on the knees of pounding the pavement.

Yoga will not only strengthen a variety of your core muscles, but it will also help you stretch out and relax your entire body. As well as the added zen you will feel after!

What helps you prepare for a big race?