Strength Training for Triathletes


Triathlon training is a serious time commitment. You need to divide your training between three sports (swimming, biking and running), recovering from workouts, sleeping and you should also be maintaining a strength routine … “What gives?” one might say.

To help balance the workload, we caught up with triathlon expert and Equinox Personal Trainer Marissa Saint Germain. A swimmer growing up with a few half IRONMAN distance races under her belt, she knows a thing or two about approaching a sound training program and fitting in quick, efficient strength workouts to supplement all the mileage you’re putting in.

To compliment your swimming, biking and running, it’s important to incorporate strength exercises into your training that work your hips, core and shoulders. Building strength will enhance your physical endurance and avoid injury by strengthening over-worked muscles.

Marissa took me through a 30-minute strength routine that should be performed two to three days a week, in addition to your race training plan.

Strength Training For Triathletes:

Complete three rounds total; 10 reps of each exercise per round.

Resistance band shuffle: Using a resistance band around your ankles, side shuffle to the right (approximately 15 – 20 feet) and shuffle back.

Plank with leg lift: In a forearm or high plank position, lift your right leg off the floor and in line with your hip. Hold for five seconds before placing your foot back on the ground. Repeat on the left side.

Lunge with narrow row: Prepare for a reverse lunge by stepping your right leg back, left leg in front. Complete a single leg lunge while holding a cable or resistance band in each hand. As you lunge, pull the cable back for a narrow row, squeezing your shoulder blades together, hands by your sides as your elbows pull back.

Single Leg Deadlift: Standing on one leg, slowly hinge at your hips and bend forward tapping the floor in front of you with your hand (or using a light weight) while your opposite leg extends long behind you. Come back up to stand. Repeat five times on the same standing leg, then switch.

Plank with hip dips: In a forearm plank position, dip your hips from right to left, taking a slow pause in the center. This exercise targets the obliques which provide power in every movement.

Endurance Move

About Kelly Molnar

A marketing manager by day, Kelly Magnus has serious passion for keeping active. Kelly believes in making fitness fun by sweating with friends at events like #Sweatworking, or morning run meet-ups. Aside from her day job, she’s an age-group triathlete having completed sprint to half-iron distance races. She’s also a yoga instructor and you can find her teaching strength classes at Studio Three in Chicago. Kelly's hope is that her writing on aSweatLife inspires everyone, no matter their fitness level, to get moving. Kelly is from Wisconsin and attended the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities.