This excerpt is from the book, Developing Endurance. It’s published with permission of Human Kinetics. Purchase this book from Human Kinetics and help keep MyTriathlonTraining.com in online!
The athlete sits on the floor with the legs extended straight in front of the body; the arms are bent at 90 degrees at the sides. The athlete begins swinging the arms forward and back slowly. She gradually increases the pace, focusing on pushing the elbows back and keeping the movement in the sagittal plane (forward and back). When the arms swing very quickly, the entire body may bounce up and down. If this happens, the athlete should focus on using core strength to maintain posture and limit any twisting or cross-body swinging.
Focus points: Developing a smooth arm swing forward and back with elbows bent and hands relaxed
This is a traditional track and field drill that emphasizes the rapid hamstring pull. The athlete should allow the hips and knees to flex in order to maintain the range of motion specific to the running stride. While running slowly forward, the athlete alternately lifts the ankle vertically by quickly pulling upward with the hamstring. He begins slowly at first. The athlete can gradually increase foot speed so that he is pulling the heels up very quickly and taking a greater number of steps while moving forward very slowly (fast feet, slow body). The arms must be coordinated with the legs during this drill. The drill can also be done stationary.
Focus points: Mid-foot striking, awareness of using the hamstring to pull the heel upward, maintenance of a high stride rate, practicing the arm swing
The athlete begins by walking, running, or simply taking one or two running steps to build momentum. He pushes explosively off the ground with the back leg, driving the opposite knee up and forward to gain height and distance. The athlete keeps the heel of the driving knee under the hip, ready to land on the ball of the Continue reading →
In the last 3 years in particular, I have been working on my core strength and stretching. It helped my back problems, rehab after back surgery, swimming and stability. The core is the connector between your upper and lower body and should be thought of as a vital link for triathlon.
When you run, you swing your arms to counter to your leg movement. In the middle is the core. If you get out of your saddle while cycling, your hands grasp the handlebars while feet are in the pedals. The middle link is the core. The link between your stroke and your kick while swimming is your core.
As I increased my core strength, I noticed simple functional things in daily life also got easier like bending over, getting up and good posture. These make so much more of a difference now than when I was 18 years old.
Hopefully, you can see that core strength can be important to daily life as well as triathlon.
I used little else besides a physio ball,my body weight and the occasional medicine ball. There are a number of books available but from the ones I have read, I recommend these two:
“The Core Performance” has many exercises I do and it has training regimens for several different levels of athletes. I view the “Complete Book of Core Training” as successfully trying to be just that. It has many many pages of different core exercises with different variations to try.
Don’t forget to check out the short videos on Resources/Core page as well.