Okay, this isn’t formal case for weight training . . . like everything else in my repertoire, I’m going by gut feeling.
The last couple of weeks I have been following my coach’s leg training plan. Lunges, squats, calf raises, hamstrings, quads, box steps, etc . . . and I can honestly say it feels like it’s making a major difference in, not only my strength, but my attitude.
I don’t understand physiology, but have read enough to know that it’s important to stimulate muscles on a deeper level. I fear that simply swimming, biking, and running just sort of scratches the surface. After three weeks, it is quite obvious to me that spending a bit of time pushing your muscles harder with weights is critical to building speed and endurance.
Before getting into Ironman I was always miffed by how people could go these distances. Early in my training, I thought it was all about cardio, but now I know skeletal and muscle strength is a much bigger issue for most.
Don’t get me wrong, excellent cardio shape plays in a big way, but for most people running the end of an Ironman at 10-14 minute miles doesn’t seem to have much to do with cardio. It was never my breathing and always my legs. They hurt, a lot.
If I’m gonna push my muscles to go faster, doesn’t it make sense that they should be well-rounded and stronger? I’m pretty sure that’s what got me in trouble last year. Trying to train fast on “weak” legs created all kinds of nagging injuries that never recovered.
I plan to run often this winter, but mainly to keep my legs familiar with the motions. Nothing too hard or fast. And in the process I’ll lifting heavier and heavier weights. Maybe even doing these Turkish Get Ups like I saw some guy at the gym doing last night.