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fit 3 Tri


Triathletes should incorporate cross-training by Stephan Schwarze | Photography by Brian Fitzsimmons


or triathletes, one of the great benefits—and one of the biggest challenges—is to reach a high level of all-around fitness. The weekly training volume for us is often higher than for athletes in other sports. Therefore, we often don’t even consider cross-training and engaging in other activities. My experience is that cross-training adds fun to the training and improves overall fitness, and swim-bike-run training benefits a lot from it. There are plenty of cross-training and outdoor activities that are beneficial for triathlon-specific fitness and training. Whenever I am active in such activities, I don’t

84 June 2012

look at it as training. Part of cross-training is also “mental recovery” and getting a break from our routine days filled with swim, bike, and run. But at the same time, I am aware that quite a bit of outdoor and cross-training action builds or maintains muscular and/or cardiovascular fitness. Back in the 1990s when I lived in Switzerland and Germany, the cold and wet winters (and lack of indoor trainers) prevented us from cycling between November and March. Instead, we did a lot of cross-country and downhill skiing. Both were challenging workouts and fabulous activities to enjoy the outdoors in the Alps. Once April came around, we were in

good shape cardiovascularly (from Nordic skiing) and muscularly (from downhill skiing) and ready to quickly jump back into cycling. And after four to five months without cycling, getting back on the bike seemed even more fun. Here in Austin, we don’t get such cold winters that prohibit cycling. But we do get hot and humid summers that make running quite unenjoyable, at least for a lot of us (including me). One option is to shift focus during those uncomfortable months a bit more towards cycling and swimming. Another option is to look for alternative outdoor activities to running. My wife and I enjoy hiking. Although not a complete

June 2012 - The Outside Issue  

The Outside Issue with #1 Cable Wakeboarder, Tom Fooshee, as the cover feature.