Women are more susceptible to osteoporosis, so they need to be robust. Strong ligaments, tendons and muscles are key to a healthy musculoskeletal system, and since triathlon is a repetitive sport, any muscle imbalances will affect alignment and potentially lead to injuries.
Muscular-strength endurance is just as important as cardiovascular endurance for triathletes, and we can all do the same S&C sessions. But before people embark on one of our training plans, we ensure that their spine and pelvis are moving freely – in most people we see, this isn’t the case – since 65% of injuries stem from these areas.
We also look at how a person activates their core and gluteal muscles, as well as the movement in their hips. If a female has had children, for example, she may need additional work to build her core before adding any impact work. The same applies if there’s a family history of osteoporosis.
Having time to do S&C training can be a problem for all of us, so smarter working is the answer. Multiple-joint exercises, such as a ‘squat, curl, press’ or ‘reverse lunge with rotation’ are ideal, as are bodyweight exercises like ‘press-up into side plank or mountain climber’ and ‘shoulder bridges’.
Matt Sanderson is a BTF Level 3 coach and has qualified for the IM 70.3 World Championships three times. Find out more about him at www.triathloncoaching.uk.com