I'M AN ENDURANCE ATHLETE, WHY DO I EVEN NEED TO STRENGTH TRAIN?
We caught up with some experienced coaches from the endurance world and asked them - Why is it so important for endurance athletes to include strength training in their weekly training program?
Dougal Allan - Challenge Wanaka Champion 2016, Multisport Coach
"Every human movement is directly influenced by the general strength and mobility foundation beneath it. The more broad the strength foundation, the higher the endurance pillars that can be built upon it."
Ben Cagle - Coach at Beyond Endurance Coaching
"For a sport that demands repetitive movements and is based on efficiency, quality movement is the foundation to a successful and long-term athletic journey. Building a strong chassis to withstand the daily demands taken on by an endurance athletes body is of upmost importance to ensure long term athletic success. Strength training is the foundation to make sure this happens."
Kate Ligler - Former Pro Cyclist/ Cycling Coach & cPT at Shift SF
"Time management is difficult for endurance athletes at any level - especially those with jobs and/or families. I am asked about "shortcuts" and "magic bullets" all the time - exercises, supplements, diets, etc., and I honestly have to say that strength training is ‘IT’. Let me briefly count the ways: 1) Injury Prevention, 2) Muscle and/or Structural Imbalance Correction, 3) Improved Athleticism, Balance, and Coordination, 4) Movement Economy and Neuromuscular Efficiency, 5) Decreased Atrophy in "Aging" Athletes, 6) Benefits to all things Speed, Power, and Agility."
Dale Heaps - Owner/ Head Coach at Endure Performance Team
"Strength training is the missing piece in many endurance enthusiasts training. Properly programmed strength training should Mobilise, Activate, Pattern and Strengthen the body to allow endurance training and performance longevity. Consistency of this will bring long term performance improvements and continued enjoyment of the sport we love."
Drew Calabria - Director/ Head Trainer at Tri-Elite
"Endurance programs put the body under a huge amount of strain. If we have imbalances and weaknesses it wont be long before injury takes its toll. By strengthening we can fix these issues as well as make for a stronger, leaner, faster machine."
Brad Dixon - Director at EVERFIT Physio & Coaching
"An integral part of getting full body strong to allow your cardiovascular system to put the power where it counts. If you are not strong, you will leak your potential as the journey gets longer."
Adam Luther - Accredited Exercise Physiologist, Swim Coach at One Body Health & Fitness
"Our body remembers movements. So if an athlete continues this improper movement, then their chance of injury increases as their body remembers how to perform this incorrect movement pattern. I have found during my experience, that tailored and specific strength programs can often address these movement issues, which can help improve performance. I also believe in the importance of strength and conditioning programs in terms of getting the best out of yourself as an athlete, as well as providing variety to your program.
John Marsh - Owner/ Strength & Conditioning Coach at Workshop 3101
"As humans we are often short sighted. We want to spend our time just practicing what we think makes us better in our chosen sport. However, for our practice to be sustainable, the system needs to be strong enough not to break down. Long term consistency and sustainability are the most important factors in getting "faster." Strength training can help provide this."
Simon Bennett - Strength & Conditioning Coach at Tri Fit 4 Life
"Strength training reduces the risk of injury as well as improving performance. You can get the same performance effects from strength training in less time. eg, 2 hrs per week of strength and conditioning can improve a cyclists FTP the same way 6 hrs per week of cycling can! S&C allows endurance athletes to spend more time with their families rather than locked on a wind trainer for hrs on end. It's more than just performance, its about their lifestyle."
William Jones - Strength & Conditioning Coach, USAT Coach 4th Dimension Fitness
"Never in the history of the world has an athlete been penalised for being stronger - You can quote me on this!"