The key to tri training


As our training moves up a notch, our trainer delves into the key components of a successful programme

So training is underway and admittedly it’s taken a few weeks to get into the habit of getting up at 6am to train. Add a holiday into the mix and I was off to a rough start.

But I’ve managed to get back on track and am getting comfortable with the three disciplines. Granted, I enjoy running and swimming, so have to push myself more to get on the bike.

A tri programme is about more than just hitting the pavement, pool and cycling tracks. Starting any new training programme can be challenging and it’s important to train efficiently and effectively to optimise performance and prevent injuries.

So now that we’re comfortable in each of the disciplines, Jack McAllister, our trainer from Advantage Sports UAE, is taking us to the next level.


Key exercises

Jack explains: “Now that you’re comfortable in all three disciplines, the next phase is to devise a strength programme that will allow your body to handle the stress better, prevent injury and allow more movement efficiently. Let’s unlock some of the keys.”

Safe start

A great place to start is getting all the muscles to fire properly. The body moves in a habitual manner and we want to train our body to move intentionally.

The key? A well-planned warm-up and proper technique

Correcting imbalances

Given the nature of triathlons, almost all triathletes have a unilateral imbalance because of the large amount of time spent on the bike and running.

The key? Add unilateral and single leg exercises into your programme.

Upper body

Your upper body, namely the back and shoulders, will help you achieve a faster swimming time. While the pectorals do have a part to play, strengthening the back and shoulders will reap the biggest reward. Not to mention the vastly improved posture and structural stability of the body on the bike.

The key? Exercises like unilateral rows, lat pull downs and kettlebells


Legging it

On the day, most energy expended is going to be through the legs. More powerful legs are going to translate into a faster time and a more efficient movement in all three stages.

The key? Squats, deadlifts and lunges

Core strength

A strong core is hugely beneficial in all disciplines; stabilising the spine and maintaining perfect posture are absolutely essential for a faster time. By core, Jack stresses that it’s not just about the abs, but all the muscles that support us.

The key? Exercises like plank variations, kettlebell windmills and Turkish get-ups


Jack and Rachael do the Turkish get-up

Super sets

When planning your programme it can be hard to get the balance: you don’t want to be lifting a heavy weight for fewer reps, but you also don’t want to be lifting lighter weights for higher reps.

The key? Super sets – a set of exercises performed back to back – are great for overall body strength

WORDS Rachael Perrett
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