Athletes often ask me if it’s worth doing a gym or strength and conditioning program. In a perfect world of course it is! It improves technique, performance and lessens the chance of injuries. The reality is that training for three sports and doing recovery activities such as stretching and foam rolling and adding in a gym program is just not realistic for most people.
So what is the solution? For each person the answer is different as it depends on each person’s circumstances. For example if you have a muscle imbalance and are frequently injured well then there is no point going through the frustrating cycle of getting injured having time off get back into training then getting injured again. This is where a good physio comes in. During your off season or when you have a niggle see your physio and get a triathlon screening done. This is a range of tests checking your strength and flexibility and let’s the physio know what needs to be worked on. In this case its worth sacrificing some swim/bike/run training for a S&C program. Another scenario is the athlete who just doesn’t have the time and isn’t injury prone but needs to improve strength. You can incorporate strength work into you swim/bike/run sessions which can be very effective if done correctly.
Everyone seems to think that they need to go spend an hour in the gym three times per week pumping iron, which they often do for a couple of weeks then stop or become inconsistent and doing a S&C program inconsistently will end up causing more harm then good. A S&C program could be done at home for as little as 15 to 20mins doing simple body weight exercises or work with swiss balls or therobands.
I think if you have the time and are going to do a S&C program keep it very simple and easy at the start ensuring your technique is 100% and very slowly increase the program but adding reps, sets or making the exercise more difficult.
Thank you for reading.