If you’re into exercising, you should know about VeloPress. If it’s a sport in the triathlon (or associated topics like nutrition), they’ve got you covered. Here’s a short review of Strength Training for Triathletes, 2nd Edition, by Patrick Hagerman.
I have barely seen this book since it arrived, since it has been my spouse’s constant companion for her triathlon training. She doesn’t usually travel with (or need) books for exercise, but this one has gone with her to the gym or pool regularly. That’s a good sign.
Here’s the publisher’s description:
Certified USA Triathlon coach and NSCA Personal Trainer of the Year Patrick Hagerman, EdD, reveals a focused, triathlon-specific strength training program that will enable triathletes to push harder during training and on the racecourse when the effort is hardest. Triathletes who master this progressive strength training program will also become more resistant to injury, meaning fewer missed workouts.
Strength Training for Triathletes features 75 of the most effective strength training exercises for triathlon swimming, cycling, and running plus core strength and general conditioning. Full-color photographs illustrate each simple exercise, and exercises are grouped so athletes can focus on their own individual performance limiters. Hagerman simplifies the science underlying strength training, offering easy-to-follow guidelines on resistance and reps that will make triathletes stronger through every phase of the season.
The exercises themselves are split into seven chapters: one for “core conditioning,” and then one each for upper and lower body for swimming, cycling, and running.
The author asks right away: why train for strength when the triathlon is an endurance sport? Why train muscles and not just cardiovascular?
The short answer is that strength training makes muscles stronger, and stronger muscles can perform longer at higher intensities before they fatigue.
Or, in other words, “When you have more muscle to rely on, it takes longer to wear it out.”
As a runner I found compelling the science behind this that Hagerman unpacks. When I think about working out, I only ever want to run (more miles!), but he makes a convincing case for the value of strength training—not just as its own end, but also as a means to the end of better race endurance (and speed).
As for the exercises themselves, the descriptions are short, easy to follow, and accompanied by pictures so you are clear on what to do.
There’s a great accompanying Website for the book, with more exercises and excerpts here.
And if you sign up for VeloPress’s newsletter, you get $10 off an order through their site.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy, offered without expectation as to the content of this review.