Key Areas To Strength Train If You’re A Triathlete Or A Runner

Key Areas To Strength Train If You’re A Triathlete Or A Runner

February 26, 2024

Every year we see patients mid-season sidelined by tendon injuries or stress fractures, some which could have easily been prevented by a good strength training program. Most triathletes don’t realize how much load goes into their body for training.

The best way to mitigate risk of injury is to strength train. Strength training exposes bones, tendons, and muscles to loads similar to long course training and racing. It gives these tissues the opportunity to adapt, to build resilience, and protect your body from injury.

The biggest mistake we’ve seen triathletes make in their training is to put strength training as their lowest priority in their training schedule…they get to it if they get to it. OR, they don’t strength train heavy enough to benefit from it.

This is not to say that as soon as you jump into strength training, you should be lifting heavy. However, you should be progressively increasing your loads over time so your body can continue to adapt and get stronger over time, especially if you are increasing your training and racing distances. In short, the longer the race, the more important it is that you strength train consistently and heavy.

Here’s a good visual to give you an idea on how much you should be lifting:

The amount of force that goes into the calf muscles during running is 8-10x your bodyweight. Next would be quads which is exposed to forces 4-6x your bodyweight. Hamstrings also take on forces 2-4x your bodyweight.

These are the 3 areas you must be focused on as part of your strength training routine to mitigate risk of injury.




Here are some of our go-to strength training moves that focus of each of these areas:

Single Leg Calf Raise



Reps, Sets, Frequency: Early in the season…

Reps: Start at a weight that feels challenging enough where you have to stop at 8-10 reps Perform 3-4 sets

Frequency: Perform 3 times per week on non-running days and make sure to Increase your weight weekly or biweekly over time

If you’re looking for help to put a strength training program together or not sure what weight to start at or how your form is, please reach out to us. We can help put this together for you and coach you on how to integrate this into your training schedule. Click below to reach out to us for help.

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