I figured it out! I figured out the “Fountain of Youth.” Yes, it is strength training. Strength training is so crucial for our bodies that honestly I don’t think I ever really realized it until I started doing CrossFit and saw such an amazing change in my body!
“Four Reasons Why Endurance Athletes should do Strength Training.”
Here is reason #1:
To Get Faster and Improve Your Final Kick!
Have you ever come up on an athlete, in YOUR age group, and you wanted to surge past them but weren’t sure you could hold that pace for 20 seconds? Guess what, this is where strength training comes in and helps you with that kick heading past someone to make it to Age Group Nationals or Ironman Kona!
This year, I worked with Bar Sensei at the NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Coaches Convention). I learned so much about Velocity Base Training (VBT), and I am truly interested in how this applies to triathletes, runners, and cyclists.
As coaches, we will give you all a rep scheme of 3 x 10 or 5 x 5, etc., for a squat. For example, what happens if you fail at the 3rd set on number 7? Do you keep knocking out 8, 9 and 10? Well, that is what the VBT will help you with. As coaches, we want to see if you are knocking out the same amount of force and speed to your squat, versus failing. What VBT is doing is showing “explosiveness” to a squat. Bar Sensei is a device that can tell you what your velocity, power, and distance are, that attaches to the bar and links up to your phone or iPad.
As triathletes, cyclists, and runners, if we are squatting with a “slow” eccentric (see below) phase, how is that helping us with running and moving our legs? Are we training our body to be slow on the squats and running?
(Eccentric is when the muscle is lengthening under load. Concentric is when the muscle is shortening under load.)
Another example of “explosiveness” for athletes is to do box jumps. I really like the article that Charles Poliquin wrote about box jumps for runners. Triathletes and runners should have explosive movements. A sprinter will be able to “bound” higher than an endurance athlete.
As athletes, we need to work on the EXPLOSIVENESS of our strength training to increase our “final kick” to cross that finish line!