Preparing to Win Your Triathlon
Congratulations triathlon warriors! You’ve made it to week 6 of your training, which is the end of this series, but not the end of your journey. You’ll need to continue to put in the work until two weeks before your first competition, when most people taper off to avoid overuse injuries, maximize recovery and save energy. Use the Total Gym exercises we’ve highlighted to increase strength so you can power through each event, and log the hours on the road and in the water so you’re guaranteed to endure race day with calm.
It’s very important to be familiar with the racecourse, the rules of the race, and your equipment. Shoes, clothing, helmet, water bottles, sunglasses, goggles and wetsuit should all be broken in. Practice your transitions from swim to bike and bike to run. Know what it feels like to be wet and then try to quickly get dressed in biking gear. Come up with a system for organizing your gear that works for you; e.g. glide body lubricant goes in the outside pocket of your wetsuit bag with goggles; socks go inside shoes so they don’t get lost in the depths of your bag, etc. Know what fuels you: taste test gels, bars and drinks to avoid such disasters as melted chocolate mess or stomach cramps.
Train Strong On The Total Gym
Now, for the final set of conditioning exercises, keep your motivation high by focusing on super core training combined with leg strengthening. Since both the bike and run portions of the triathlon depend on the lower body, spending time on your lower extremity workout to gain power and speed will pay off. Improving strength in your core, both front and back, will allow you to achieve better swimming form. Aim to complete three or four sets of 12-20 reps in 30 minutes.
Toe Out Squat with Incline AbCrunch
Unhook the pulley cable and install the squat stand for the first three exercises.
- Lie back on the glideboard with your head toward the column and place your hands under your head. Feet are slightly wider than shoulder width apart on the squat stand with the heels together and the toes out. First perform a crunch by contracting your abdominal muscles so that your head and shoulders come off the glideboard. Return to start position. Next bend your knees and bring the glideboard toward the bottom of the rails. Keep your lower back and hips pressed into the glideboard. As you return to start position, focus on tightening your inner thighs and buttocks.
- The glideboard is at the bottom of the rails. Place your feet on the sides of the squat stand. Sit up straight and raise your arms to shoulder height. Next, roll down onto your back as you reach your arms over your head. Roll up with the arms reaching toward the ceiling, starting with the head and shoulders, then peeling the middle and lower back off the glideboard. Articulate through the spine on the way down and on the way up.
- Lie on your right side with your head resting on your bicep and your hips stacked, extend your left leg to stand on the squat stand. The right leg is bent at the knee. Your body and standing leg form a straight line with no bend at the hip. As you bend your left standing leg, the glideboard will slide toward the bottom of the rails. Slowly return to start position. To make this more challenging, you can extend the right leg straight out in front of you as you perform the squat. Switch sides upon completion of your set.
Inner Thigh Pull
- Unhook the pulley cable, remove the squat stand and install the leg-pull accessory. Secure your left foot into the foot harness. Lie on your right side with your head toward the column. Rest your head on your right bicep. Extend and abduct your left leg. Then adduct and pull your left leg in toward your right thigh. Switch sides upon completion of your set.
Inverted Crunch with Rotation
- Unhook the pulley cable, and install the wing attachment to the top of the machine on top of the rails. Place your feet into the wing attachment and lie back with legs extended. Place your hands behind your head. Lift your head and shoulders off the glideboard, then twist your torso to one side and then back to face-up before returning to starting position.
CycloTrainer For Leg Strength Training
The purpose of this workout is to strength train while cycling. This involves increasing the resistance to simulate hill climbs and raising the incline of the glideboard so you can push a greater percentage of your body weight against gravity. The higher the incline, the more similar it will be to standing while pedaling.
You can choose to pedal in the suspended position with your back supported by the glideboard or you can pedal with the hips lifted completely off the glideboard. Just beware that whichever position you pedal in must be sustainable for more than a few seconds at your designated level of resistance. Work your way up to 20 seconds of hard work, 10 seconds of rest, and repeat this cycle for a total of 10 minutes.
Incorporate a 5-minute cool down/stretch at the end of your conditioning period. Concentrate on stretching the quads, hamstrings and torso.
Triathlon Words from the Wise
Check out what experienced triathletes are telling newbies at Tri-Newbies (link to www.trinewbies.com) or on Active.com (link to active.com) under triathlon training. Other terrific sites packed with race info, training tips, product reviews, and networking opportunities include: