We had this post up a long time ago but it’s still very important to get used to the idea of incorporating more core strength workouts into your routine – especially once the race season is upon us! So get used to the idea early in the season! Put your mind to it!
Mid/Late-Season Core Strength Training
Most of us know the benefits of strength training. Not only does this contribute to over all strength, it improves joint stability by increasing the strength of the tendons, ligaments and smaller muscles around the joint. Strength training can also improve performance and movement efficiency and aids you by supporting longer work intervals, which can translate to faster times.
In endurance training, there are three stages of strength training: a 8-10 week phase focusing on flexibility and stability that lays the foundation for all the training to come; a slightly longer 10-12 week strength and power phase; and a maintenance phase supporting sport specific training and competition that usually lasts about 20 weeks or through your competitive season
Because of the time demands of mid-season training and racing, many of us begin to neglect the maintenance phase of strength training later in our seasons. This can result in a de-training effect. Coupled with the affects of the repetitive sport specific movements of competition (degenerative posture, injuries and loss of range of movement), you could be experiencing poorer performance.
To combat this mid-season phenomenon with an eye to the demands on a mid-season schedule, re-focus on your core. By adding a few core exercises back into your routine you can reverse the negative de-training effect. 2-3 workouts of 20-30 minutes a week is all it takes. Here are a few exercises you can do:
• Standard Crunches
• Knee-up Crunches
• Hip Lifts
• Oblique Crunches
• Side Plank Dips
• Oblique Leg Extensions
• Bridged Leg Lifts
• Heel Touches
• Bicycle Crunches
• Half-up twists
Here’s a link to a website that has a series of photos that demonstrate each of these exercises http://www.beginnertriathlete.com/cms/Article-detail.asp?Articleid=486.