Training endless for triathlons can be such a bore, that’s why it is important to spice up your workout routine. CrossFit is a great way to change up your boring routine, while adding some extra benefits that will help you improve your triathlon.
The Weakest Link
CrossFit helps triathletes by finding their weakest link in training and helping to correct it, so that you can improve that section of the race. It’s safe to say you will probably endure some push-ups and planks in the CrossFit setting. What your elbows do in this setting can tell a lot about how your body is doing. If your body isn’t stable and your elbows become wobbly, it’s a sign that your core may need some more focus. If your squat form needs work, it’s probably a sign that your hips need work also. Targeting your weak areas in CrossFit can help you focus your training to your specific needs, which will give you a faster time.
The Same Route
Training with the same routine makes you only mediocre in that area. Adding different workouts will improve the muscles that get ignored in your normal routine. CrossFit is beneficial, because it aims to workout all your muscles in one workout. Incorporating flexibility, jumping, and lifting into your routine, CrossFit helps you strengthen your muscles with high intensity workouts, which translates to you having quicker times with more energy.
But It’s Cold Outside
CrossFit is an indoor workout that remains intense, which gives you results. In the off-season this can be crucial when the temperatures and conditions outside prevent you from keeping up your pace. CrossFit workouts improve your strength while still maintaining aerobic workouts. This means that your heart won’t lose its strength, while your muscles are building strength, which is hard to achieve during the off-season.
picture courtesy of batches.com
Train with Your Brain
CrossFit requires you to do as many reps as possible while the time is ticking down. In your head you have to count your reps all while striving to complete your goal in a matter of seconds. The workout isn’t just pushing your body to its limits, but it’s pushing your brain to it’s limits. Multitasking while maintaining high intensity focus gives your brain a bit of a workout. Why is that important? It’s important because on the last leg of the run portion when your mind is giving out and adapting a defeatist attitude, you’ll be trained to overcome the mental blockade from training in time constraints.
A Sense of Community
Often times training for triathlon type events are done in solitude, but is it always best to be alone? Working out and training with people around you provides benefits. Firstly, training around people gives a little sense of competition. You can compete with the person next to you over a small set. This pushes your drive through the roof and can give you a better more intense workout by putting your brain in the competitive mood. Secondly, people support each other’s goals in group settings. CrossFit is an area where everyone is there to workout and everyone wants to achieve a fit lifestyle, regardless of competing in triathlons or trying to stay in shape. The most important benefit of the community aspect is the help and critique you receive. People can see what your form looks like and can help you correct it; conversely, you can help correct other peoples form and make new friends.
A Word of Caution
CrossFit has a prejudice that it creates many injuries. When doing CrossFit, make sure that while you are pushing yourself, you are maintaining proper form. If you have to go slow to maintain proper form, by all means go slow, you will still achieve a beneficial workout by going slow and reduce the risk of injury. Don’t push yourself too hard. You may be looking over at your friend who is in beast mode and you want to compete with them, but remember your goals and don’t push yourself too hard. Being stuck on the couch recovering because of over-training is not something you want to do.
Find an amazing coach and you will benefit from CrossFit. A great coach can help you by teaching you body mechanics and therefore improve your form in all sports.
Happy CrossFit Training!