Welcome to winter. Dark days, cold air and the next race is months away for most. For athletes who have strength as a weakness or athletes over 35, winter strength training is critical. That said, for runners there are countless miles they want to do and for triathletes there are three sports already so mixing in even more sounds crazy. This leaves the question: How do I incorporate strength training into my over all training plan?
First, let’s talk about how to do strength work. Endurance sports athletes aren’t meat heads. They tend to not be comfortable in the gym. They hope by simply going and rubbing the gym all over themselves they will be fine. Nope. You got to do work. So make sure you come to do work. Own the space and make strength work this time of year your key workouts for the week. Play some slipknot and get up to get down.
Now with that said leaving the gym after a hard gym session is going to leave you hobbled. Within 20 minutes of finishing have protein to aid muscle recovery and building back better what you just tore down. I use www.purefitbars.com. Vegan, gluten free, no gmos, and 18 frames of protein and taste as a bar it travels well and is waiting for me in my gym bag.
The next few days you won’t be doing high effort work because your hobbled. But unless your a winter hero there is no reason to be doing super high intensity work right now. If you do you won’t last to the last race late next fall. Plus your doing high intensity work in the gym; if you wear a heart rate monitor you will see really high output in the gym if you go there to really hit it hard and limit rest while also doing a circuit style workout.
This means you need to polarize your training making the rest of the stuff easy. For swimming focus on drills and form. Same with running. Lots of drills and zone 2 stuff. Same with cycling. Focus on building strength and power in the gym and base outside it.
Like traditional speed/base polarization; strength/base polarization ensures your focused and able to crush the early season strength work when that’s what matters most.