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6355 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Aug 4, 2010 3:18 PM by Eric Kenney
johnstoc2008 Rookie 2 posts since
Mar 16, 2010
Currently Being Moderated

Apr 21, 2010 3:52 PM

Strength Training

I have completed marathons and sprints and am looking to complete an IM in the next year or so.  I have been able to complete the other races with a minimal to no strength training program.  I do not think I can get away with doing this much longer.  Does anyone have a strength training program that they use or that they would recommend?  Thank you for your help.

  • HWKICVO Pro 51 posts since
    Nov 21, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Apr 23, 2010 7:24 AM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    I'm a big believer that strength training can seriously improve performance and also prevent injury in any sport.  It doesn't have to be anything real intense or include crazy exercises but it does need to be well thought out and timed right.  There's a decent amount of info in the articles on but check out the book Strength Training for Triathletes by Patrick Hagerman too.  I personally haven't bought this one yet but I've heard some good things about it and it might be worth a look to get you started.  There are other more general training plan books for tris that will have strength guidelines/workouts in them too, if you haven't gotten one of these yet then give that a shot as well.

  • vanessaruns1 Expert 40 posts since
    Mar 19, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    2. Apr 23, 2010 8:03 AM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    Hi John,


    I am currently training for a marathon and strength training is an absolute vital component of my training. I have recently dropped five pounds of fat and seven pounds of muscle (you can see my fit test results and pictures here:


    The difference in my running has been unbelievable. I gained most of my muscle mass in my core and in my legs. The muscles in my legs support my knees and prevent injuries. And a strong core supports my back and spine and allows me to run longer distances.


    I actually found a trainer who will assess and personalize a running plan online to incorporate strength training and speed intervals for runners. He even trains in barefoot running for those who are interested in that. He does this for a fraction of the price of a personal trainer and he incorporates a nutritional component. If you're interested in something like that, send me an email and I will pass the info along.


    If not, I have blogged about my progress in marathon training and you can find tons of tips, as well as my nutrition and training plans at Use the category search button in the top left to isolate the posts specific to strength training.


    Good luck!!

    Vanessa Rodriguez

  • Lyle65 Amateur 16 posts since
    Apr 22, 2010
    Currently Being Moderated
    3. Apr 23, 2010 8:58 AM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    I also had problems with incorporating strength training into my tri-athalon workouts, but now I lift weights and try to eat more nutritious meals. I eat alot of red meat and make protein shakes with vita coco in it for potassium and electrolytes.

  • pacificfit Legend 147 posts since
    Jan 9, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    4. Apr 23, 2010 10:19 AM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    I'm slightly biased, but would be a very good place to start.

    My blog is at

    Also, I'm giving away a free 7-part series on "How To Become Superhuman" at

  • TriBri71 Amateur 8 posts since
    Aug 11, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    5. Apr 23, 2010 11:42 AM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    It’s a controversial subject in general, with advocates on both sides.

    Many "experts" believe that while strength training won’t hurt performance, it will not help as much as spending an equal amount of time swimming, biking, and running. In short, you will gain greater sport specific strength (or more importantly, improve your finish times) by modifying your rides or runs to require a more intense effort.

    On the other hand, some "experts" say the gain one might realize by strength training isn’t worth it when considering the possibility of injury that it invites. (Note this is unlike most other sports, where weight training is actually safer and less jarring on the joints than the actual sport is, e.g. football, boxing, baseball, etc.)

  • Eric Kenney Amateur 32 posts since
    Oct 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    6. Apr 25, 2010 9:06 AM (in response to TriBri71)
    Re: Strength Training

    strength training can help prevent injury.

    however recent studies and my own experience shows that strength training (with weighs in the gym) will NOT make you any faster in triathlon.


    I'm not saying it is not useful, however, when you consider the amount of time you will invest for little to no performance gain you may want to

    look into a beter use of time...


    Gale Bernhardt wrote a good article about an athlete (a cyclist) that did only on the bike strength work.

    the results were interesting...

    if your going to lift i would recommend lots of stability type stuff. consult a personal trainer.


  • Moriates Legend 292 posts since
    Jul 19, 2008
    Currently Being Moderated
    7. Aug 4, 2010 12:17 PM (in response to johnstoc2008)
    Re: Strength Training

    Strength training is very very important and becomes more important as we got older and also looking for a little extra.


    Concentration on your large muscle groups and 1-2 x a week with 3 sets of 10-15 reps.  As you get in to you build period and taper, cut weights out.  Polymetrics are also awesome for performance.



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  • Eric Kenney Amateur 32 posts since
    Oct 14, 2007
    Currently Being Moderated
    8. Aug 4, 2010 3:18 PM (in response to Moriates)
    Re: Strength Training

    more thoughts and experiences on the issue.


    this is still a largely debated topic.

    It has been my experience, some tested, that for most of us. triathletes in particular lifting weights will not improve performance.

    particularly when our methods are applied.


    but see what works for you.

    there is more than one way to do this thing, and we are all different people. different athletes


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