Question for Justin

Discussion in 'Fitness Health and Exercise' started by lydia150970, 16 July 2009 Social URL.

  1. lydia150970

    lydia150970 Gold Member

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    Hi Justin

    I have been reading your posts with great interest. I am hoping to compete in my first triathlon next year, my swimming is coming on great, Ive just learnt to ride a bike (yes really!!), but I had glandular fever last year and was quite ill and off work to 2 months so my physical/muscle strength is very much depleted. Any advice for me to help but up my strength, or are there any specific excercises you would recommend for a would be triathlete (obviously I'm acutely aware of the fact that losing weight will help)!!

    Thanks very much.
     
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  3. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Okay Lydia I'm happy to help. The first thing I'd need to know however, is whether your goal is to complete the triathlon in the best possible time, competing against others, or if you want to just be able to get through it as a personal achievement, regardless of what place you finish.

    This may seem a bit odd but it will actually change the way in which I'd train athletes for the event!


    Also are you planning to train for it at the gym or at home? If at home, what equipment do you have available overall?
     
  4. lydia150970

    lydia150970 Gold Member

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    Hi, thanks for getting back to me.

    Initially the aim is to just complete the Triathlon in one piece, then if I like doing them I would want to compete on a more competitive basis, but initially - just to finish.

    The swimming obviously I do in my local pool, the cycling is currently a combo of cycling outside and using the indoor bike in the gym, once I start running (which I haven't as yet - feel I need to lose a little bit of weight first - that will be outside mainly unless its raining/snowing etc then treadmill in the gym), the rest I want to do in the gym.

    I do have some light weights at a home as well (1.5kg, 2 & 2.5kg dumbbells) but not a lot of space.

    Hope that answers all your questions, thanks for the help.
     
  5. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Okay, and when exactly is the triathlon next year? How long do you have to prepare in other words?
     
  6. lydia150970

    lydia150970 Gold Member

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    Its may 2010 so I have 10 months.
     
  7. Justin

    Justin Banned

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    Firstly, here is a quick list of tips to help your overall training regime:

    1. Perform a lot of Single-leg Strength exercise
    (This will help relieve muscle imbalances and prevent injuries, which are too common in endurance athletes)

    2. Increase your Core strength, stabilization and endurance:
    (Your core is vital in any sport and it transfers all force from your lower extremities to your upper extremities. Basically, you don't want your core to run out of energy. Can you imagine trying to swim, run or cycle when your lower back and abdominals are exhausted?)

    3. Consume a high-protein diet:
    (Endurance exercise at a high volume will likely cause you to lose muscle tissue, lowering your metabolism. Eating enough protein will help slow this process, but won't stop it. Also remember that losing muscle mass isn't just bad for fat loss, but it'll also worsen your triathlon performance, so get that protein in.)

    4. Get plenty of recovery:
    (Endurance exercise also takes its toll on your joints, and endurance athletes are frequently injured more than any other sports person. Stretch often after long workouts and get massages, or at least plenty of sleep every night to fully recover)

    5. Dedicate a lot of your exercise toward increasing strength and power with resistance training:
    (This may seem counter-intuitive to an endurance event, but the stronger your muscles are, the higher your endurance will automatically be, and you will be far less prone to injury.)


    The first thing you should work on, based on what you've told me, is leg strength.

    The most effective and quickest way to build this strength is through single-leg exercises.

    Include this mini-strength program in to your workout time twice a week:

    1a. Heel-Elevated Split Squat 3 x 5-8 each leg
    (Put one foot up on a bench or anything about knee / hip height, and squat the front leg down until you are below parallel with the hips)
    Video: YouTube - Bulgarian Split Squat!!!!!!!!!

    1b. Step Up 3 x 5-8 each leg (add dumbells if too easy)

    Perform the reps of 1a. then go immediately into the reps for 1b.

    Then rest 60seconds, and repeat for two more sets each.

    Then go onto the next exercise:


    2. Plank
    YouTube - Prone Plank

    To increase Core Strength and Endurance the plank is a great exercise. Firstly, hold it for as long as possible (unti lyour form breaks, or you feel any sharp pain in your back).

    Then perform 3 sets of 50% of your max time.

    So, if you could hold it for 30seconds maximum, then you would peform 3 sets of 15 seconds, resting 15 seconds between each set.


    This is only a small strength workout, there is far more to it than this. However, I'd like you to incorporate the new elements one piece at a time, not to overwhelm you. Add the above workout to the beginning of your exercise session ASAP and get back to me when you've tried it and feel comfortable with it.

    We can then go through the next step from there.

    Any questions, please feel free to ask.


    Justin
     
  8. lydia150970

    lydia150970 Gold Member

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    WOW that sounds fantastic thank you very much, I am going to the gym Tuesday night so I will do the above and let you know how I got on, thanks again.
     
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