by Marilyn McDonald
In place of a workout this month and in conjunction with AC's article last week, I’d like to share my ideas on strength training. It’s a good idea to get in the gym in the off season, and for some people, it may be a good idea year round.
In our off season I think it’s beneficial to add in the gym and make it a priority for a few months. It can help rehab any imbalances you may have and build new strength. Building your strength in the off season can be as key as building your base for making improvements to handle the key sessions and racing later in the year.
You’ll hear the ladies often say they are afraid of bulking up and some will say that it makes them too tired to hit key sessions. As well, some people are time restricted and the gym is the first thing to go.
For us endurance athletes this doesn’t mean hitting the bench and aiming for "World's Most Plates." Next to the mega meat dudes, our gym routines will look pretty slim. It’s okay to put the ego aside and just focus on a few key exercises that I think will really make a difference in your next year's season.
Plyometrics - Only after three months of successful lifting; no weight ever with these!
As you adapt to that you may go into a power block of 2 x 6-8 reps of heavier lifting (this is left for experienced athletes only and must be done properly and carefully). If done, heavy lifting should be the very last block of lifting before going into maintenance for your race season.
Each block can last from three to five weeks before changing and moving to the next block. Every third time you lift you can slightly increase the weight if you feel up to it.