Strength Training for Triathletes
Author: Patrick Hagerman, EdD
Review Copy Provided by Publisher
Most traditional weight lifting programs are too general to benefit triathletes. This illustrated guide offers 60 exercises that build strength for swimming, biking, and running by replicating the muscle usage patterns specific to triathlon events. The exercises are organized by sport and muscle group, allowing triathletes to quickly find the best exercise for their unique training needs. Included are sample seasonal plans for each race distance, along with instructions on adapting training plans to individual needs that make it easy to develop a personal strength training program.
Most of the time on my blog, as you have no doubt noticed, I review genre fiction type books (mainly in the romance genre) – but occasionally, I’ll review a book that is something completely different. Maybe it was because there was something about it that caught my eye, or because I used the book as part of my athletic training (as is the case with this book). So I like to mix it up a bit. Anyways, while I was browsing Edelweiss one day (and with some nudging from a reading friend – Naomi), I came across a review copy of Strength Training for Triathletes. Now, while not suffering through my evil day job, blogging or being a manic PhD student, I’m a age group triathlete and completed my first Ironman in 2014 (yes, I am slightly insane). One of things, when I look back on my last year of training, was that I neglected not only my strength training, but also flexibility training, in favor of event specific (either swimming, riding or running) and it came back to bite me in the butt. Cardiowise, I may be stronger than I was previously, but I feel more inflexible and weak/muscle imbalance in places due to that focus. So when I picked up Strength Training, I was hoping for a book that could provide me some direction in creating a program that I could use and to an extent it did.
While I was provided a review copy in Kindle format, I quickly realized that it was a book that was better read/reviewed in print due to the amount of tables of data that didn’t render well into an ebook format, and the exercise images in the later chapters. But it is a book that has been added to my permanent library and I see myself taking it with me to the gym, as needed, for a reference guide.
One of the things I took away from the book, aside from all the different strength training exercises there are out there (many of which I’d never heard of) – was the different ways that you could develop a strength program based on your goals. It even goes on to outline several potential programs that triathletes at the Sprint and Olympic distance could use to train. That being said, I do wish that the author had devoted a little bit more time to the longer races. While I know they are much more customized in terms of training plans, I know that personally, I struggled to figure out how to tackle strength training on top of my other 12-15 hours of week (at peak training).
The most valuable part of the book to me was the sections towards the end that outlines all the different exercises. I really liked the way that it was organized – into swimming upper body; swimming lower body; Cycling – upper and lower and then runner – upper and lower. So I could easily look at see how the various exercises worked with each other. There was also a really good table at the back of the book which outlined all of the exercises used and cross-referenced between the three sports.
I’m looking forward to using this book and working exercises into my training program and will be sure to report back on it down the road. But until that time, its a hard book to rate, so I’m going to hold off doing that until I get a chance to implement some of the recommendations in the book.