5 Running Specific Exercises for Triathlon

We all — new or veterans of the sports- want to improve, be the best we can be during the races we strive in. But for sports like triathlon, 3 WHOLE different disciplines can be a workout, and I mean a workout.

Places are mainly made up in the run leg (last discipline in the race), which means you need to be your fastest if you want any chance of being higher up in the places. While the swim and cycle legs are also important, running time should be the main focus of your training.

So let's get into it. Below you will find 5 specific exercises that will be sure to train your lower body (calves, quads and hamstrings). These can be done in any order, reps and sets; depending on your training plan, could be more or less. Dumbbells/Kettlebells could be sued in some of these exercises but Bodyweight is also great (especially if you're new to these!!)

Photo by Filip Mroz on Unsplash

NO 1: Squat, Squat, Squat

Doing squats activates a lot of your lower body. These muscles that are working hard include:

  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps quad)
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals (Ab Muscles)

Doing different variations of bodyweight as well as weighted squats is sure to mix your workout up, as well as targeting more specific areas while doing so. Squat types like jump squats can help improve your aerobic fitness (but it sure does take it out of you). A blog about all the different variations would come soon — trust me, it will be a lot.

A squat is fairly basic so you most likely know how to do one. If not, then Places like Youtube have plenty of different variations too! Any type would go great within a workout/ training plans that work all your lower body.

For a rule of thumb, go for 10–15 reps with either another exercise after or a rest. Aim to complete at least 5 reps altogether.

NO 2: Planks

Having a strong core is needed for proper run form, endurance and can reduce the likely hood of injury — which is a must if you're training constantly. A strong core also has many other benefits in day-to-day tasks like reaching high or low and having a healthy back going into your later years.

Again, there are different style/types of planks (side planks, elbow, etc..). They all work a specific part of your core muscles better than just a standard plank.

The plank works different parts of your abs but the standard exercise works these below. These muscles that are working hard include:

  • Transversus Abdominis
  • Rectus Abdominis
  • Internal Oblique
  • External oblique muscles

DONT PANIC, you don't need to know what all those different types of muscles are. As long as you feel them working as you complete the exercise and have good form while doing so, you'll be fine.

Since this exercise isometric (maintaining a position for a prolonged time), you go on time instead of reps. If you are new, try 30 seconds and do 3 sets after a short break. For people who already have a relatively strong core, do 1–2 minutes then a break. Aim for 5 sets of this as it is sure to work your core muscles.

Photo by Sergio Pedemonte on Unsplash

NO 3: Russian Twists

This exercise works your core, again. But from the benefits above, it is only natural to make sure it's as strong as it can be. Right?

The Russian twist works all of your core, including your obliques.

How to do a Russian Twist:

Sit with bent knees and your feet pressing firmly into the floor. Sit back slightly, keeping your spine straight. Exhale as you twist to the left, punching your right arm over to the left side. Inhale back to center, and then do the opposite side. (Healthline)

NO 4: Pushups

While this exercise is still core-based , more of your upper-body is used including:

  • Pectorals (Chest muscles)
  • Deltoids (Shoulders)
  • Triceps (Back of your arms)
  • Abdominals (core)

Running requaies a strong core, it is ESSENTIAL, hence why most of these exercises look at youre abs and making them stronger. But pushups will also help with the build-up of muscles in your arms. For an enduance athelete (such as ironman), having massive arms wouldn’t be that helpful as it’s extra weight.

However, for “sprint” triathlons, having a larger amount of energy can help within your swim — propelling through the water along with your feet.

NO 5: Overhead Lunges

This is a perfect muscle targeting move that burns multiple muscles aroud your body, including:

  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Shoulders
  • Core Muscles

This type of exercise does require some sort of weight to hold in your hands. Whether that be 2 tins of food or the latest set of polished Dumbbells, you can do this exerise no matter what the weight you decide.

All in all, have fun with your workouts — make yourself better than your last race — and improve how fast you can run (or your distance). Make sure you don’t overdo the amount of reps as you never want to get injuried as that can put your fitness back.

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