Every year after Ironman I go into “retirement”. I try to do absolutely nothing for at least a month or longer. When I say “nothing”, it truly means nothing. No swimming, biking or running. I trade it in for a chilled Land Shark Lager.
This is the “off season”, right?
2 years ago I began something new during my retirement time after Ironman – weight training. I am one for change. I admit though, I am skeptical. I will question it through and through. Is this right? Will it work? Does it really matter? On and on and on. This doesn’t mean that I won’t do it, I’ll just question it.
This weight training was suggested by a very good friend of mine, Dr. Thomas Brown, DC. He recommended a whole body workout that is very “sport specific”. As a triathlete, time is of the essence. Adding yet another piece to my already busy schedule can be very overwhelming, almost daunting and sometimes impossible to do.
Thus, I begin.
There are many benefits to using a “sport specific” weight training program…minimal time in the gym, quicker gains in strength because the focus of each workout is specific to the muscle groups I use in each leg of the triathlon, and the fact that I can use this program year round and incorporate it into any periodization program. I find that I spend roughly 40-50 minutes in the gym, 3x per week, depending on the number of others using the equipment I use for my workouts. The workouts I do work the legs (quads, hamstrings and glutes), abs, upper back, shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps. All of which are the main muscles I use during a triathlon. I do 5 sets of 10 reps with weights that at the end of each set, is tough to finish.
The past 2 Ironman events I have seen significant improvement in my finishing times, how I felt during the race and immediately afterward. My 2012 Ironman was 29 minutes faster that my 2010 finish. My 2013 Ironman was 35+ minutes faster that my 2012 finish. This year I was 20 minutes faster on the bike and 15+ minutes faster on the run. Can I say it’s all from weight training? Probably not. However, as with any athlete, when something works, you keep with it.
All this being said, I would recommend weight training to everyone. There are significant benefits regardless of age or athletic ability or endeavor, even in retirement
Thanks for reading…