The Importance of Weight Training

Since the time I was 12 or 13, I’ve lifted weights of some sort. My Dad had a nice little set up in our basement and he would let us come down and lift some light weights once in a while. I’ve maintained a steady weight lifting routine ever since then, including a “weight lifting class” in high school (it was the only one of the only electives that fit my schedule). Over the years I’ve lifted with various goals in mind. Sometimes it was to get stronger, once or twice it was to get “swole”. Yes, that’s a word.

When I started training for triathlons, I still maintained my weight lifting, although it went from being the focus of my workout to being a small part of it. When I decided a few months ago to train for a half-ironman distance, the required volume of training went up so much that I had to eliminate the weight lifting altogether. I figured that my muscles (especially my legs) were getting stronger based on my training…I should have known better!

Turns out that weak leg muscles contributed to my recent knee injury. Weakness of the quadriceps muscles and hip abductors were the culprits. Quadricep muscles play a significant role in patellar (knee cap) movement. Hip, hamstring, calf and iliotibial band (IT Band) stretching is also important. So over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing lots of strengthening and stretching….which will continue even when my knee is back to normal.

The moral of the story is to make weight training part of your routine. Even if you run 30-40 miles a week…you still need to strengthen your leg muscles.

Swim – 11 minutes of warm-up and drills
Followed by 89 lengths (1869 yd = 1.06 miles) in 37:29
5 minute cool down
Total workout: 2352 yd in 55:51

I feel like I should explain the reason I swam 89 lengths. A few minutes into my swim I decided that instead of swimming a mile, I would do 1.2 miles (the distance of the swim portion of a half-ironman). So while swimming, I started trying to do the math in my head and figure out how many lengths 1.2 miles would be. I knew that a mile was 74 lengths, so I figured if I added 20% to that, it would be 1.2 miles….which works out to be 88.8 lengths. Problem is, a mile is 84 lengths, not 74! Not sure why I goofed this up, but I quickly realized that I didn’t swim 1.2 miles when I saw my time was around 37 minutes.

One Response to “The Importance of Weight Training”

  1. Linda K. Hibbard February 13, 2010 at 12:55 AM #

    Have you seen or heard about “The Burn Machines?” They are hand-held weighted units designed with 360-degree rotating grips. Some have an “asymmetrical sliding counterweight” to allow for total control and versatility during your workouts. 6 different styles & weights are available; “Speed Bags,” “Cross Trainers,” and “The Ultimate Burn Machine.” Check out all the videos on The Burn Machines on You can purchase any of the 6 Burn Machine models now, during our Holiday Celebration Sale at 10% off at:

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