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The Missing Component

squat function

The Missing Component – A blog from Crawford.

I’m writing this off the back of delivering a very successful triathlon training camp, focusing primarily on strength and technical application. Incorporating strength work into your programme with the correct balance and intensity can take your performance to the next level.

Our camp had 2 main strength sessions, with a different focus for each session. The first focused predominantly on functional ability; which can be more simply described as flexibility, balance and control of movement. The second session was a higher intensity circuit session that used a blend of functional movements as well as explosive strength and power exercises.

Getting a balance of both of these elements into your programme can really benefit all 3 sports, and getting the correct balance for your level, as well as for your goals could be the missing component in your training.

All too often athletes ignore strength work- until it’s too late. Building up the strength and flexibility in your shoulder could stop that rotator cuff niggle, learning to squat with great technique could give you a few more watts on the bike, but probably more importantly help reduce the likelihood of knee pain, the list of running injuries that can be reduced by some basic strength and conditioning work is huge! It should not be ignored!  The photo demonstrates common basic flaws in people’s control of movement that lead to inefficient use of energy and risk of injury.

The biggest issues with adding strength work into a training schedule is the impact on sessions on the same day or sessions on the following days. This can be countered by being consistent with your strength work, and building the duration and intensity gradually. Consistency in doing strength work will result in better conditioning for the strength work resulting in lower levels of fatigue and less impact on following sessions. Adding it into your programme early in your winter training will therefore have less impact on your build up to race season.

Become conditioned to do your strength work now, and in 4-6 months you will see big gains in your performance and your resistance to injury will be better; meaning you can push that bit harder when you get to the final preparations towards race season!