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Pleased to hear that Nicole has a strength training plan! Since we aren’t getting a lot of conversation around Hope’s question, I am going to jump in.
So I proposed the question…what is the purpose of routine strength training while IM training? Yes, it’s always nice and helpful to get stronger. However this really isn’t the #1 reason.
The #1 reason is to minimize your risk for injury. The hardest part of IM training AND racing is actually getting to the start line uninjured. And since swimming, biking and running all WEAKEN your glut muscles (not strengthen them), if you are not staying on top of core and glut focused exercises, you drastically increase your risk for injury and therefore challenge your ability to even be able to train and race.
These strength training classes are a helpful way to get in functional strength training. My only recommendation here is that you are also doing a regular (daily) 10-15 minutes of glut activation exercises. This document can be found under the ‘Handout & Resource’ tab.
What do I mean by glut activation exercises? Your gluts can be strong from doing classes or even exercises on your own. However this doesn’t mean that your gluts will engage when you need them to (like when you run). Thus you need to be doing glut focused exercises that require you to ‘think’ about squeezing those glut muscles to engage the neuromuscular system (and not just the muscular system). Also focus on the core will protect your back and keep your back and pelvis in proper alignment.
So, yes, strength training is a must (particularly for IM athletes)! Great question Hope!