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2013-03-31 9:13 PM

New user
4

Crosby, Texas
Subject: Newbie Workout regime

Hello everyone,

My name is Gabriel and I am a first-timer. I will be attending my first triathlon on April 27 in Kemah, Tx. It is a sprint distance triathlon. I know that you do not know anything about my body type so giving specifics is not realisitic. I am only asking for guidelines... I am able to do a 5k in 33 minutes but for the other two I am not sure because I just started training for those. Which beings up my questions. I am out of shape and was wondering if I should be including strength training or focus all of my focus on the three sports?



2013-04-01 7:34 AM
in reply to: #4681253

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Extreme Veteran
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Cypress, TX
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

Focus your efforts on swimming, biking, and running.

Strength training can do the following:

- Help improve "overall" health/fitness

- Help with muscle imbalances

- Can aid in injury prevention

 

What strength training won't do:

- Make you a better swimmer

- Make you a better cyclist

- Make you a better runner

It's the principle of specificity which in very simple terms states that in order to get better at something you need to do that something.  There is no substitute for a discipline that is better than the discipline itself.  Meaning strength training won't improve your swimming more than actually swimming or it won't improve your cycling more than actually cycling or it won't improve your running more than actually running.

In summary: swimming, cycling and running make you a better swimmer, cyclist and runner. Cool

2013-04-03 2:04 PM
in reply to: #4681253

New user
4

Crosby, Texas
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

Thanks for taking the time out to help me with my decision. I feel like I should've been more specific though. Out of the seven day week I do strength training only twice; one day upper body, and another day lower body. Broken up by bricks of running/swimming/cycling. With two days off:

Mon- Run/Swim, Tue- Upper Body, Wed- Cycle/Swim, Thu- Lower Body, Fri- Cycle/Swim, Sat- Cycle /Run, and Off Sun.

{Also, the intensity and duration of these workouts vary to allow easy(recovery) and hard days.}When I say "strength training" I do not mean to bulk up, but I want to make sure that I am doing enough different workouts to beat repetition and to avoid injury. I have never done anything like this in my life and want to make sure that all of my joints, connective tissues, and muscles are getting the proper attention.

Do you see anything missing or have any recommendations?

Thank you again for helping.

2013-04-03 2:32 PM
in reply to: #4681253

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Master
1517
1000500
Grand Prairie
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

I somewhat dissagree (respectfully).

Core strength training (planks) will make you a better swimmer, biker and runner

Lat training will make you a better swimmer

Hip raises, clamshells, etc.. will prevent you from getting running injuries and thereby make you a better runner

The point: Strength training is value add, but should be done specificly geared towards Triathlon

2013-04-03 3:22 PM
in reply to: #4681253

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Deep in the Heart of Texas
Silver member
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime
If you are talking about strength training helping you get through the tri at the end of this month, then I would say no.  I would spend your current strength training times swimming, cycling or running.  With a priority of swimming if you have any doubts about being able to complete the swim portion.
2013-04-04 8:13 AM
in reply to: #4685518

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Extreme Veteran
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Cypress, TX
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime
timf79 - 2013-04-03 2:32 PM

I somewhat dissagree (respectfully).

Core strength training (planks) will make you a better swimmer, biker and runner

Lat training will make you a better swimmer

Hip raises, clamshells, etc.. will prevent you from getting running injuries and thereby make you a better runner

The point: Strength training is value add, but should be done specificly geared towards Triathlon

Which of these choices makes you a better swimmer?

1. 1 hour of core strength training

2. 1 hour of lat pulls

3. 1 hour of swimming

Hint... the answer is not 1 or 2.

Sorry, there's no other exercise imaginable that will make you a better swimmer than actually swimming. Same goes for running and cycling.

If one does strength training as a compliment... okay I might concede some kind of benefit to S/B/R (but that's debatable at best).  If someone does strength training in lieu of a S/B/R activity then they're completely off base.

For example, most (if not all of us) have finite time to devote to working out.  Let's say that number is 10 hours per week for argument's sake.  To maximize becoming a better triathlete, all 10 hours should go to swimming, biking, and running.  The Fool's Gold for many is thinking they can or should do 8 hours of S/B/R and 2 hours of strength training and that it's every bit as good.  It's not.  All that person did was take away 20% of the specific training they should be doing and replaced it with something much, much, much less effective.  So you want to compliment your S/B/R with some ST.  Great!  Using my example... now add two hours to your weekly exercise regimen.  So now it's 12 hours per week instead of the 10 you had planned.  Now that extra two hours has to come from somewhere else in your life.

If an individual has all the time in the world to train then do what you want.  If one has limited time due to having careers and families (which is most all of us), then maximizing your time and focus on triathlon specific exercises should be of paramount concern.



2013-04-04 12:40 PM
in reply to: #4681253

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Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

If you go to a physical therapist with an issue the first thing they will do is start you in muscle balance correction plan with resistance training.  If you go to a licensed personal trainer (that knows what they're doing) they will start you off in muscle balance correction plan, I know, I am one.  If you have to a sports doctor or surgeon the first thing they will try before surgery is sending you to a physical therapist for a few months, rinse and repeat.  There are muscles you will not use at all while running, biking or swimming.  These muscle become very weak in comparison and fail to do their jobs, supporting the muscles that do the work.  So, your working muscles become overworked due to lack of support, thus overuse injury.  

One hour difference a week in tri sports isn't going to make you or break you, especially if you're new to endurance sports.  "Working smarter" overtook the "working more" mentality years ago.  And, being new, you're probably not going to have issues with overuse injuries right away.  But ask yourself this, is spending 1-2 hours a week in muscle balance/correction worth the seconds you might shave off your time in exchange for risking an injury that could take you OUT of the sport for 2-3-6 months?

On another topic, as a personal trainer active in endurance sports, I disagree with about 3/4 of the exercises in the training programs that are included with the WO plans.  Very few work the muscles I've just talked about are addressed. If you have to, spend the money, go to a PT, and ask them to show you exercises for muscle balance/correction for endurance sports.

Strength through the full range of motion!

Edit:  As far as time goes.  Buy some elastic bands and do some resistance training at home.  Strength training doesn't have to mean hours a week at the gym.  I can't tell you how many times I've spent "family movie night" on the floor doing planks, bridges, crunches, supermans, stretching, yoga, clams, etc., etc....



Edited by HelmoAlkou 2013-04-04 12:48 PM
2013-04-04 5:39 PM
in reply to: #4686818

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Champion
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Frisco, TX
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime
HelmoAlkou - 2013-04-04 12:40 PM

If you go to a physical therapist with an issue the first thing they will do is start you in muscle balance correction plan with resistance training.  If you go to a licensed personal trainer (that knows what they're doing) they will start you off in muscle balance correction plan, I know, I am one.  If you have to a sports doctor or surgeon the first thing they will try before surgery is sending you to a physical therapist for a few months, rinse and repeat.  There are muscles you will not use at all while running, biking or swimming.  These muscle become very weak in comparison and fail to do their jobs, supporting the muscles that do the work.  So, your working muscles become overworked due to lack of support, thus overuse injury.  

One hour difference a week in tri sports isn't going to make you or break you, especially if you're new to endurance sports.  "Working smarter" overtook the "working more" mentality years ago.  And, being new, you're probably not going to have issues with overuse injuries right away.  But ask yourself this, is spending 1-2 hours a week in muscle balance/correction worth the seconds you might shave off your time in exchange for risking an injury that could take you OUT of the sport for 2-3-6 months?

On another topic, as a personal trainer active in endurance sports, I disagree with about 3/4 of the exercises in the training programs that are included with the WO plans.  Very few work the muscles I've just talked about are addressed. If you have to, spend the money, go to a PT, and ask them to show you exercises for muscle balance/correction for endurance sports.

Strength through the full range of motion!

Edit:  As far as time goes.  Buy some elastic bands and do some resistance training at home.  Strength training doesn't have to mean hours a week at the gym.  I can't tell you how many times I've spent "family movie night" on the floor doing planks, bridges, crunches, supermans, stretching, yoga, clams, etc., etc....

I'll chime in here...  I am doing one day a week strength for about 30-35 minutes - full body circuit training with lighter weight / higher rep and short rest intervals (even a few supersets) since the first of the year.  I am doing mostly the basic compound moves with little isolation  i.e squat, bench, leg press, deadlift, rows, lat pull downs, etc.  I don't have any empirical data; however, I feel that my leg strength gains have helped my running and biking (running more so) and my swim stroke seems to have more power.  I still swim 3x, run 4-5x, and cycle 4-5x per week though.  I will say that if time gets tight, the strength workout will be the first to go each week....

2013-04-04 8:07 PM
in reply to: #4681253

New user
4

Crosby, Texas
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

Once I do this triathlon at the end of April I will invest more time and money on training. However, for the limited time and money now, I will keep up with my current workout routine. I keep specific notes to chart my progress and I am still seeing a positive reward with my current schedule. I know want to become more effecient with my moves so I believe that my next step will be to incorporate tri-specific moves into my workout.

2013-04-09 9:33 AM
in reply to: #4685518

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Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime
timf79 - 2013-04-03 2:32 PM

I somewhat dissagree (respectfully).

Core strength training (planks) will make you a better swimmer, biker and runner

Lat training will make you a better stronger swimmer

Hip raises, clamshells, etc.. will prevent you from getting running injuries and thereby make you a better runner

The point: Strength training is value add, but should be done specificly geared towards Triathlon

Fixed it for you, but you are pretty much nailing it. Strength training is often misunderstood in the triathlon world. However, every athlete has different needs to cater to their training programs. Some will benefit from ST and some won't. But what strength training WILL do is make your stronger. How you apply this strength is up to you, but generally it will make you stronger in the sports. i.e you can pull more water, push more watts, and run more efficiently.

Ironically I rode with a friend yesterday that rode his bike a handful of time last year but was in the gym daily (doing mostly olympic lifting). His power was much higher then 2 years ago. So without riding his bike much but incorporating strength training I would say that is one case that says you can become a stronger triathlete because of strength training. 

To the OP's post, with less then a month before your first race, you may not see many benefits of ST in such a short period of time, especially going once a week. But it will do what you mentioned, help muscle imbalances and such. The key with this is to get on a specific tailored program that is directed towards the movements specific to your sport. Without seeing you or doing an assessment I cannot offer much for ideas. However, I am currently training a triathlete as a PT and we do lots of medicine ball work on a strength/power program. I have put in some more multipoint functional lifts specific to triathlon. In their case they PR'd a 5k by 45 seconds after 2 years of not touching the record (on same course too). So I hope this gives you some thought about the incorporation of ST.

And everyone should train their back's, not just triathletes but everyone. It is amazing when I do assessments just how weak everyone's back is in this country.

2013-04-12 9:35 AM
in reply to: #4681253

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New user
11

Dallas
Subject: RE: Newbie Workout regime

Gabriel,

First off, congrats on sighing up for your first tri!  I did the sprint leg of that race last year as well and it was a fantastic one.  

The swim was challenging for me and if there is anything to focus on I would say this is it.  Make sure to spend time outside a pool and in open water. Practicing sighting so you don't zig-zag from one buoy to the other will help your time more than any strength training this close to the race.  The water swells were not terrible but I found myself in a trough between waves a couple times that I couldn't even see the buoys over! Point is, just make sure you are getting your feet wet and that you are comfortable in the water.  The bike and the run are good and flat.  Spend as much time as you can in the saddle and on the running sneakers and you will be just fine!  Of the races I have done this was by far my favorite.  Good luck!!!



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