I went to a triathlon clinic a couple weeks ago. They had athletes talking about each of the three sports; swim, bike, run. After each athlete, they had a sports medicine person talk about common injuries and how to fix them. One of the prevailing opinions was that if you think of training as a bank account, swimming, biking and running are all withdrawals and strength training is a deposit. The advice was to do it. Do it regularly. Do it often.
I had occasionally been doing some weight lifting but it fell off and was dropped from the weekly schedule as I started to focus more on swimming. I was pretty concerned with the swimming for awhile. But the last few weeks as I’ve actually pushed myself to hit some distance and speed goals have proven that I probably didn’t need to feel as weak as I did. I was probably swimming regularly 3 times a week doing anything from 800 to 1400 yards. Until the last couple weeks I hadn’t pushed the distance thinking I needed to go slow and 50 yards here and 50 yards there. But, I jumped up to 700 yards without stopping then jumped to 1000 yards.
So, I’m feeling really good about my first triathlon. It’s two weeks out and I expect it to go really well. I’m not going to be fast of course. I expect to be just as middle of the pack as I always have been in running.
But to go with that confidence and strength, I’ve also noticed some increased tightness in my left hip and hip flexor area. And then there’s the ever present tight hamstrings. Running and biking do not help these things.
So, with the reminder that cross-training means more than swimming, biking and running, I need to make sure to get yoga and weight lifting back into the schedule.