The Most Valuable Triathlon Cross-Training Advice

triathlon cross training

“Below is some of the most valuable cross-training advice for triathletes. Interested to know what it is? Read on.”

triathlon cross-trainingThe importance of triathlon cross-training is frequently drilled into the heads of runners, swimmers and bikers. Athletes from all three disciplines often cross over to different activities in hopes of strengthening different muscles or simply giving overworked body parts a break.

While triathlon cross-training advice is certainly valuable, it tends to be misconstrued by triathlon newbies. Often experts at one of the three big-name sports, these athletes sometimes assume that their new training schedule allows for unlimited work in all three disciplines. After all, high mileage certainly can’t be a problem if it’s split up between multiple sports… that’s called cross-training, right?

Wrong. When you add three different sports to your schedule, you need to take on a new approach. Whereas two of the three sports may have been approached casually in the past, you are now attempting to snag a decent time in these pursuits. This adds a new competitive layer to what was once a laid-back activity. And with that extra competition comes the potential for injury.

A study conducted at the University of Sydney shows that triathlons are certainly not exempt from the injuries that plague other athletes. After looking at 131 triathletes, researchers found that these competitors were every bit as likely to sustain injuries as runners. What’s more, triathletes were far more likely to get injured than athletes practicing swimming or biking alone.

How can the triathlete use cross training to improve performance? And what activities are the best to help running? Perhaps we should first look at activities that are not ideal cross-training substitutes for runners. Any high impact sports (with the ground or other people), and sports that involve a lot of lateral bounding, or stop and go movements, should be avoided. These include soccer, tennis, racquetball, handball, volleyball, rugby, and aerobic dance.


First, it’s doubtful that cyclists could improve their cycling by adding running to their training schedules. But it appears that cycling has a great impact on running. Unfortunately for triathletes swimming shows no correlation with improving running performance. To be effective, cycling should be done at a fast cadence-similar to your running cadence with the resistance being one you can handle for intense 5-20 minute workouts.

Deep-water Running (aka aquarunning)

Running in place in water can help your running. This is done with a life preserver or special belt or vest that helps keep the runner afloat. One study found that runners who did deep-water running for 6 weeks retained their racing times.

Stair Stepping

Use the Stairmaster for a no impact workout. According to one study, people who did stair-climbing workouts for 9 weeks improved their running performances. Not surprising really, as stairclimbing mimics uphill running, which consistently rates near the top in terms of improving VO2 max. The main criticism with stairclimbing is that it’s hard to set a fast step cadence on this machine.

Elliptical Fitness Trainers

The elliptical or oval movement can be used backwards or forwards, providing the opposing muscle groups some balance in the workout. It works the gluteals and hamstrings, two important muscle groups for runners. To date no research has shown this improves running performance, however common sense would indicate that if done at a high enough intensity, elliptical training certainly would not lose any running fitness.

Other Triathlon Cross-Training Advice

Try several of these recommended triathlon cross-training methods.

* Decide whether you are going to substitute any of your training runs with cross-training activities, or if you’re adding in one or two extra workouts each week.

* Cross training is best added to your training program on your easy running or rest days.

* Gradually add in your triathlon cross-training workouts, instead of adding 2-3 sessions in one week. But always allow at least one complete rest day each week.

* If you’re a semi-serious triathlete running 3-4 days each week, you can add in 1-2 days of cross training, or substitute 2-3 days with cross-training activities.

* If you’re a competitive triathlete, running 5-7 days a week, you can substitute 1-2 running workouts each week with cross training sessions.

* Make sure you maintain your long weekly run-this should never be substituted with cross training.

* If your running schedule calls for a 30 minute run, which you are trying to substitute with a cross-training workout, attempt to exercise for 30 minutes on cross-training equipment.

* It’s important that you work out at a high enough intensity to achieve improvement.

* Ask your fitness trainer to show you how to operate each piece of equipment before you use them.

* While you’re adjusting to the machines early in your workouts, you may not be able to complete a full 30-minute workout, so gradually build up your time on each machine or in the pool. Start at 10-15 minutes, and add 5 minutes on to each workout.

* As a general rule, you can substitute as much as 50% of your total volume (in minutes of exercise) from cross-training exercise in your off-season, and up to 25% in your competitive triathlon season.

* Use a heart rate monitor to ensure you get full benefit from your cross-training workout.

* Try to get your heart rate up into a similar zone to your normal running heart rate, or at least within 10 beats per minute. You probably won’t be able to get your HR right up to running levels because the cross-training exercises recommended here are non-or low weight bearing. Thus they don’t use the legs as much for anti-gravity work, and to support your body mass.

Of the studies done on cross-training most indicate it’s possible to improve your running and thus your triathlon running performance by incorporating or substituting other aerobic activities into your training program.

In addition, you may be able to squeeze one or two high intensity workouts in, on top of your regular running workouts, without the added impact trauma to muscles and joints. This should lead to reduced injury rates. But the devil’s in the details. Make sure you do high intensity cross training, rather than just “junk” time on the cross-training equipment.

More valuable triathlon cross-training tips on this video:


More at New Triathletes: Don’t Overdo Mileage in Training – Yahoo! Sports

More Reading on Triathlon Cross-Training:

Renegade Triathlete Psychology System Review

“The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System Differs From All The Other Sports Psychology Products On The Market Today.  Here’s How!”

Renegade Triathlete Psychology Intro

Renegade Triathlete PsychologyAs a triathlete that is always looking to improve my training, nutrition and ultimately, my PRs, I can become overwhelmed with the volume of information that is available from the Internet, books, magazines, etc. I’m sure you feel the same way; there is no shortage of training and nutrition advice out there (for better or worse).

It’s a completely different story, however, when it comes to the mental training protocols for triathletes. This information is scarce, and often what you can find is just the general sports psychology paradigms that have been around decades. As six time Ironman Champion Dave Scott puts it “There’s no question, the component of triathlon training that is lagging behind is the mental component. We haven’t done a very good job of integrating psychology into training programs.”

Renegade Triathlete Psychology Solves Challenges

The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System was created by a team of alternative psychology coaches and elite triathlon coaches and competitors, to specifically address the most common challenges that we face in our training and racing, such as:

  • Pre-Race Nerves
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Losing Focus – not sticking to the game plan
  • Pain: fatigue, cramps, nausea, etc.
  • Accelerated Healing from Injuries
  • Strong Training… but Lack-Luster Racing
  • Worry and Anxiety over the “Uncontrol-ables”
  • Learning to Trust your Training and Abilities

The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System differs from all of the other sports psychology products out there in two ways:

It’s specific to triathletes. There is no doubt that the creators of this system went to great lengths to cover as many aspects of triathlon training and racing as possible. They drew upon their own experiences, but also consulted with elite coaches and their triathletes for insights and feedback.

It utilizes alternative sports psychology. The three main tools are hypnosis, NLP, and Energy Mechanics (a form of acupuncture).

These guys and this system are results-oriented. They admit up-front that they are intentionally short on theory, and only care about results. All of their techniques are outside of mainstream, but as you will see from the testimonials on the website, so are the results.

One of the great things about the Renegade Triathlete Psychology System is a valuable resource for any triathlete that believes that he/she can improve upon their mental training and preparation for this system is that it gives you several different techniques to test out for any of the areas you need to improve. My personal favorites are the hypnosis sessions. I was a little skeptical at first, because all I could think about was my brother doing funny things up on stage at a comedy show when he was hypnotized. But these audio sessions are nothing like that! It just feels like 20 minutes of relaxation, with the coach taking you through any of the three segments of a race, or building confidence, or recovering faster from training. I felt great after each session, and within a couple of weeks started noticing improvements in several aspects of my training… without any conscious effort on my part.

The NLP and Energy Mechanics techniques are very interesting and have become a staple of my training and racing. Both of these are performed in-the-moment and have proved to work well for any negative feelings that crop up, especially late in a race. They are also very subtle, so you never have to feel self-conscious about using them.

The one drawback I had in learning these last two techniques is that I’m a visual learner. Although the descriptions are quite detailed and there are photos, I really would have done better with some video tutorials. Maybe they will add this feature to the product in the future.

Renegade Triathlete Psychology System Conclusion

The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System is a valuable resource for any triathlete that believes that he/she can improve upon their mental training and preparation for racing.   Although some of the psychological challenges can differ from the rank beginner to the elite professional, these techniques can be adapted and used by all of us to finally start “training our brains”.

At the time of this writing the price is $57 US. Which seems to be quite a bargain, as that just one session around here with a sports hypnotist (who may know nothing specific to triathletes) is a whopping $125. Another nice feature is that these guys offer free email coaching for sixty days, as well as a solid money-back guarantee.

To test the system out for yourself CLICK HERE

Download Your 17 Top Questions Report


Thank you for purchasing the 17 Top Questions For Preparing, Training, And Succeeding As A New Or Emerging Triathlete!

You can download your report here: 17 Top Questions

If you have any questions, you can catch me and the entire Training For Triathlons With Mike community back on the fan page.

Special Offer: You can pick up The Renegade Triathlete Psychology System, one of the best guides on dominating your next triathlon on sale right now for just $57 (instead of $77).

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