breaking away....

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Training for Triathlon is not just swim bike run

My program is set up to address the whole athlete, not just the parts that swim, bike and run. Most people strike out in this sport swimming, biking and running 2 to 3 times each per week and there you have it a training program. Add some variety, some hills for strength, some intervals for speed and some long slow for endurance, it all sounds wonderful, so why isn't that enough.

If we approach swim, as swim long, swim fast and swim with resistance that should make us a great swimmer, but as an athlete what does it do. We are working muscles that do one repetitive movement, we are lifting the arm up over the water reaching above our head, catching water and pulling it down along our bodies, that is internal rotation of the shoulder. We are dominant in the front, we are constantly working in front of our bodies at a desk and at home with regular chores of carrying and doing tasks with our hands where we can see them. As we continue to add more more swim we will start to shorten through the front through our pecs, into the pec minor. This tightness is going to pull our shoulder forward more. To have a proper functioning shoulder, you need a balance in your rotator cuff. If there is an imbalance in the muscles you will start to see tracking problems and impingement.

Knowing this is an eventual process, it is usually 3 years into the sport that people start talking about their IT issue, their arch or achilles problem, their running knee or their swimmers shoulder. Why is it so common, because in our busy day we do what we enjoy that gives us an immediate fix, we love to swim, bike and run.

In my program plan I drag individuals away from the sport they love to train and get them to do rotator strengthening exercises for the hips, and shoulders. We work on core and hips for proper posture. The weights with core and hips becomes as important as the training they want to do, this is the training that keeps their body healthy.

So before you start a training program in Triathlon look at the muscles you are using and look at their antagonist (opposite) muscle. If you shorten one, you lengthen the other. If one muscle is short and one is long, then work the long one and stretch the short one to try to get some balance in all of the muscles. Look at your form, is your posture perfect when you execute your exercises, are your shoulders back, chest out and core engaged? Can you remember to hold this posture when you do your daily chores as well?

Once you have decided what you plan to do for working out try to balance it with the same amount of work for the antagonist muscles. They may not be the ones doing the sport you choose, but they will be involved in supporting the joint doing the sport.

I love weights they give you so much control over your physique, it is important to use them wisely and for Triathlon it is important to include this in your daily workouts.

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