Sarah Piampiano, pro triathlete in the gym lifting weights

'Zinc Out Loud!' Your Early Season Strength Training Tips from the Zealios Pros

Early season training can be tough. Battling the feeling that you lost fitness from last season or the lack motivation to get back in the gym because let’s be honest, all that off-season indulging was so nice.

The Team Zealios pro triathletes Heather Jackson, Rachel McBride, Sarah True, Brent McMahon, Sarah Piampiano, Haley Chura and Jen Annett give tips and advice on how they get back into season training and building strength for the season ahead.

 

Zealios 'Zinc Out Loud!' Season Training Tips from the Zealios Pros

 

What's your favorite strength workout or move?

Sarah True:
“My favorite strength workout is doing running hill repeats. There’s something really gratifying about feeling the burn in your legs and lungs after running hard up a hill.”

Sarah True, pro triathlete on a winter training running

Add it to your routine:

Hill repeat workouts from Runner’s World

 

Heather Jackson:

“I really like any form of squats; standard, one-legged box squat, Superman squat with a barbell. I've also been doing a ton of box jumps and jumping rope for that explosive push off that you need in running.” 

Add it to your routine:

Superman squat video from U Indy Athletics

 

Sarah Piampiano:

“I have 2 favorites! I really enjoy single leg squats, they are great for glute activation and balance. I also do a lot of calf raises to help with ankle and foot strength and mobility.”

Ankle mobility workouts 

Add it to your routine:

Ankle mobility exercises from Endurance Magazine

 

Jen Annett:

“Planks and side leg raises. When I’m in a pinch for time these two are my two most important. The planks build your core and stability, and side leg raises strengthen glutes and decrease the chances of IT band issues.” 

Add it to your routine:

Core exercises from Dirt Tri Magazine 

 

Haley Chura:

“I love using mini bands to do activation exercises like lateral band walks. I do these almost every day for strength maintenance and injury prevention, plus I can do them in my living room!”

Resistance band workouts 

Add it to your routine:

Resistance Band Exercises for Runners from Active.com

 

How do you know when you're ready to start back into full training mode?

 

Heather Jackson:

“I think that you just know when you know. If I am not ready to start training again, I look at my schedule of what I'm supposed to do and if my brain is saying "F this, I'm not doing that..." I know I'm just not ready yet. When I am motivated and inspired by a goal, I am ALL in but you can't force that. If you don't care about working towards something yet, then you should probably keep doing other activities that are refreshing and motivating until you want to get back to swimming, biking, and running.”

Heather Jackson cross country skiing in the off season

 

Brent McMahon:

“I usually know when I can find rhythm in my technique during warm up. Before that, warm up still feels like work and finding the right muscles to do the effort. Once I’m in a routine and strong I can lock into form quickly and be ready for harder workouts. Cardio may not be there but the form and stability is, which is the key to starting a main block.”

 

Sarah True:

"I know it’s time to get back into full training mode when my body tells me it’s time. I’ll feel a little extra bounce in my step and I find that I have to hold myself back a bit. It’s about listening to your body and letting it dictate when it’s time, not forcing the effort.”

Sarah True during a swimming training session

 

Haley Chura:

“When every closet and bathroom in my home is super clean I know I'm well rested and ready to get back to work!”

 

What part of the body do you find to be especially important to keep tuned and firing?

 

Rachel McBride:

“Core, posterior chain and glutes are super important to keep tuned and firing for optimal strength and injury prevention.”

Rachel McBride strength training session

Add it to your routine:

5 Moves For Strengthening the Posterior Chain from Triathlete Magazine

 

Sarah Piampiano:

“For me, I need to keep my glutes and my lower core muscles firing. If those are not firing I find I am just grinding on the pedals when I ride and my run stride is off. When my glutes and core are firing I feel much more fluid.”

 

Jen Annett:

“My mind. In my opinion, the mental aspect of this sport is almost more important than the physical side. Staying positive, having fun and being able to stay focused will ensure your body can take on the physical training in the best way possible!”

Jen Annett outdoors on a training run

 

Haley Chura:

“I feel like "glute activation" is a big buzzword these days, but I do think strong and active glutes are important for swim, bike, run."

 

What piece of equipment is a must to help with your strength training?

 

Brent McMahon:

“I love the ab roller because it’s been around for ages and everyone has one but no one uses it. It is such a good core exercise for run and bike stability but it works your shoulders and lats for swimming. Also, it can be easily progressed and can be done anywhere.”

Live Strong Ab roller workout

Add it to your routine:

AB Wheel Exercise Routine from LiveStrong.com

 

Heather Jackson:

“Medicine balls. I have an 8lb, 10lb, and 12lb right here in front of me. You can use them at home for so many different things.”

 

Sarah True:  

“In the pool, I think that band work is extremely helpful for body position and strength. In the gym, I can get a lot done with just a plyometric box and a kettlebell.”

 Sarah True plyometrics in the gym photo credit millimans

Photo via @millimans

Add it to your routine:

The Resurgence Of The Kettlebell from BenGreenfield.com

 

Sarah Piampiano:

“Bands. You can take them anywhere and they help a ton with activation exercises.”

 

Do you incorporate any heavy weight training?

 

Rachel McBride:

“Oh hells yeah! Every off-season this is my main focus. Start off the season built like a brick s#!t-house and you will finish strong and healthy. I think deadlift (heavy weights, low reps!) is one of the best and most full body exercises a triathlete/cyclist can do to get the biggest bang for your buck in the gym.”

Rachel McBride lifting kettle balls in the gym

Add it to your routine:

5 reasons deadlifts will make you a better runner from Triathlete Magazine

 

Sarah True:

“Yes! I do gym work twice a week and do some squats, lunges and deadlifts with fairly heavy weights. I don’t love gym work, but I find it’s helpful for staying healthy and working on range of motion.”

Add it to your routine:

Heavy lifting for endurance athletes from Training Peaks

 

Sarah Piampiano:

“I incorporate it at specific points in the season (like right now).  But during the key parts of my race season I don't do any heavy lifting.”

Sarah Piampiano lifting heavy weights in the gym

Add it to your routine:

Avoid these 7 common strength training technique mistakes from Training Peaks

 

Brent McMahon:

“Through the winter I like to build up to at least one block of heavy load power based weight training.  This is usually focused on any imbalances and weaknesses that occurred during the previous season.”

Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart