Using your strength to improve your power

Whether you have improved your strength by following a strength routine similar to the one we blogged about back in November, or not, power training is a great way to use your current strength to help develop your power.

The main reason why endurance athletes are looking to improve their power is simply to be able to hold efforts for longer and become more efficient. By wasting less energy when moving at the same speeds they are more likely to maximise performance outcomes with less physiological effort. Conversely, by matching the same energy needs as previous to power training, athletes will move more quickly for that same effort.

In essence you are now looking to improve your power to weight ratio. Similar to strength training we are essentially improving your ability to recruit (innervate) more muscle fibres, whilst also increasing the speed in which we can switch them on. We are not looking to add bulk and therefore weight, indeed if done correctly, both strength and power training will illicit very little, or no muscular growth (hypertrophy).

In the next blog in middle of February we’ll take a look at plyometrics and brick sessions).

As with the strength training phase, choose a movement from each of the five groups that is challenging, aiming to move up through the exercises and add resistance as you improve over the weeks.

Perform 3 -4 reps of 5 -10 reps with a 2 minute rest period between each set. And allow at least 24 hours to recover, especially if this sort of training is new to you.

Perform the concentric phase (against gravity) as quickly as you can whilst maintaining proper form, and the eccentric phase (lowering with gravity) more slowly and controlled.

Ideally you should train power once a week, and if you are following this blog, you should already be completing your running and cycling distances that compare to April’s race distances. So now we need to look at gradually increasing the effort over these distances by incorporating some intervals. So on your rides and runs introduce sections that are at a higher pace than your normal conversational pace (think of having short bursts in zone 3 and even shorter bursts in zone 4 to complement your steady state zone 2 effort).

Level 1: Calf raise squats
Level 2: Squat jumps
Level 3: Dumbbell squat press
Level 4: Squat tuck jumps

Level 1: Plank rockers (pulses)
Level 2: Plank rollovers
Level 3: Alternate leg Toes 2 Bar
Level 4: Toes 2 Bar

Level 1: Single arm Bent Over Rows
Level 2: Bent over rows (wide)
Level 3: Reverse flyes
Level 4: Incline pull us

Level 1: Bridge (hip) thrusters
Level 2: Alternate leg bridge (hip) thrusters
Level 3: Romanian deadlifts
Level 4: Alternate leg Romanian deadlifts

Level 1: Dumbbell dip press
Level 2: Single leg calf raises
Level 3: Elevated single leg calf raises
Level 4: Elevated single leg weighted calf raises

Remember to have fun folks!!

Watch the videos on our social media at Andali Events Facebook and Andali Events Instagram

Could Strength Training Boost Your Performance

The world of strength training can be an intimidating or mystifying one for many people, including runners, cyclists, swimmers and endurance athletes.
But the crossover benefits of engaging in some sort of strength training programme to complement your chosen sport are now widely studied and publicised in many scientific papers.

So, what are the benefits, and how can we ‘do’ strength?

Unsurprisingly, proper strength training will increase your strength and power, but, probably surprisingly, need not increase your size. This is obviously important for athletes that want to improve their power to weight ratio, without becoming heavier. Reducing the chances of sustaining sports-related injuries, (especially from the repeated high stresses associated with running) is also a big benefit of following a strength programme. Muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints become more robust.

If you are new to the world of Strength & Conditioning, rather than trying to follow a specific periodisation programme why not take a look at our ‘simple to follow’ generic programme consisting of four main parts as follows:

Phase 1: General strength training (28/11/2023 – 09/01/2024)
Phase 2: General power training (10/01/2024 – 20/02/2024)
Phase 3: Sports specific training (21/02/2024 – 02/04/2024)
Phase 4: Tapering (03/04/2024 – 17/04/2024)

Each new training phase will be put onto our social media just before the new phase starts. So without further ado, lets take a look at some strength moves.

The principle here is to begin at a level / movement that you are happy with and then progress as you become more confident or stronger. Thus we will look at the exercises in the same order, from Level 1 (easiest) to level 4 (more difficult / technical / loadable).

Choose one movement from each of the groups and aim for 3 – 4 sets of 5 – 10 reps (the heavier the resistance and therefore the lower the rep range, the more strength benefits occur). So for example, 30 squats results in much less strength gains that 5 weighted back squats. The ‘once-a-week’ strength session should complement any running / cycling that you are already doing. Although true strength training elicits little or no interference effect (ie soreness), I recommend initially allowing one rest day after doing the strength session to recover. After a couple of weeks of training with proper form, heavy weights and a good 2 minutes rest between each set, you shouldn’t suffer any interference effect from the strength session. Conversely, always leave at least 24 hours after a run / ride before attempting strength, as the interference effect is much greater this way round.

During this first six week phase, keep the running / cycling to a low level of intensity (zone 2 / conversational pace) and focus on increasing the distance to that equal to your chosen race distance.

Level 1: Bodyweight squats
Level 2: Dumbbell squats
Level 3: Goblet squats
Level 4: Back squats

Level 1: Kneeling press ups
Level 2: Press ups
Level 3: Barbell bench press
Level 4: Dumbbell bench press

Level 1: Unweighted Romanian deadlifts
Level 2: Single leg Romanian deadlifts
Level 3: Weighted Romanian deadlifts
Level 4: Nordic curls

Level 1: Bench, single arm rows
Level 2: Dumbbell bent over rows
Level 3: Assisted pull ups
Level 4: Pull ups

Level 1: Bodyweight calf raises
Level 2: Single leg calf raises
Level 3: Elevated single leg calf raises
Level 4: Elevated single leg weighted calf raises

Most importantly, have fun folks

Watch the videos on our social media at Andali Events Facebook and Andali Events Instagram

© Storm The Castle Duathlon. An Andali Events race.
All information correct at time of writing. Photos used on this site are from previous events and do not necessarily represent the race. The organisers reserve the right to change any of the above due to unforeseen circumstances.

Design by Matthew Morris

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.