5 Off-Season Rules

  • By Jené Shaw
  • Published Nov 19, 2013
  • Updated Feb 9, 2014 at 10:06 PM UTC

Rule No. 5: Hit the gym–but not for the elliptical

If your goal is just to burn calories, you’re fine to jump on the elliptical machine for some cardio. Just don’t expect it to make you a better runner. The best triathlon training will always be swimming, biking or running. But the most beneficial non-SBR workout? Try more strength training.

Numerous studies have shown that weight lifting can help improve running and cycling economy. A recent study out of Norway showed that eight weeks of strength training improved work efficiency in cyclists by 1.4 percent. And a 2009 study in Brazil found that heavy weight training improved efficiency better than explosive strength training.

“You’ve spent the season breaking down your house; now you have to repair it,” says Bryan Hill, physical therapist and owner of Rehab United in San Diego. “In the winter you can increase lifting volume and intensity and not worry how it’s affecting your training, whereas during the season if you smash yourself at the gym, you’ll pay for it on your next ride.”

RELATED: Building Strength In The Preseason

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Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw

Jené Shaw is a senior editor at Triathlete magazine, a five-time Ironman finisher and a USAT Level 1 certified coach

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