Strength Gains and 11 Weeks With An Extra Foot

About this time last year, I was in the gym 3x perweek strength training my ass off. I couldn't run - I had a bout of turf toe shot at me by some intervals run with Shanahan around the IU stadium - and my surgery on my ankle was looming just a day after I planned torace the Columbus Challenge Triathlon hot turkey.

Attention - please do NOT run if you have a chipped talus bone in your foot. Over time, you're foot will adapt and over compensate on one side. Instead of slamming down at 5
:45/mi pace evenly, you will inevitably and with a high level of inconvenience, slam your all your weight on the joint of your big toe. I used to laugh at football players who couldn't 'tough it out'. Ya, no longer.

I hadn't biked, and nor had a swum. Note: Hadn't refers to 3x or less in the last month and a half.

But I could do cable squat jumps for running and cycling power, core work,
arm work (did lots of tricep things in preparation for having three
walking legs - two of them
being aluminum), and in general hope for the best. That said, I was shocked to discover that I got third Overall at the race with not a running mile in two months.

A result like that has you wondering. I felt like I had won the consumer's dream. Something for nothing. But it wasn't nothing. Strength is the key. I had 8 weeks in the tank of slinging steel. Prediginous!

The hard part - NOBODY I knew, and barely a research article conclusion out there indicated that what I did should have happened. Perusing many blogs for triathlon you read that strength training, especially for big units like myself should not be a priority.
Better your time should be spent on the bike or with your
feet in your sneaks. Hell, there's a drove of forum threads on Slowtwitch with strength/crossfit/less is more bashers. More is more? Yes, the equation follows, but really, nothing is as it seems. I'm of the opinion that you can't be strong enough for your own body. Very few are, and if you have to wonder if you are, you aren't. Just my opinion.

I strength trained more than I ever have this past winter and the injuries are very few and minor. Certainly! That's the primary reason skinnies in
triathlon weight train, for injury prevention. It's obvious they don't do so to increase performance - that assertion is left for crossfit contentious assholes. Ha.

Yeah yeah (great Sandlot character), BUT, my times on the run, bike, and swim have been much better this year, too. Was it because I strength trained? "How many licks to the center of the tootsie roll pop?" the owl asks. The world will really never know. I will say this - in implementing what was somedays, an insane weight training program for the swimmers I help coach at the high school, we had the best season the school has ever had.

In my opinion, skinnies will be skinnies and they should play that card. Odds are they already sling their weight fairly efficiently. But big units and clydes, or those heavy for their height run around with a lot of fuel hanging of the edges. No, I don't necessarily mean fat.
In order to bridge the gap to the skinnies, we've got to be heavy hitters and put that extra on the edges to good use by making it as strong as we can. It would follow then, that the skinnies who do the same with what they've got would only be that much better. Case in point: pros who weight train, Scott doing P90X last year (he won 3 races after he stopped), and the local 5k stud who is in the weight room all spring so he can gas you at the Mag 7 race series. John Heistand got second at state in the 800 2 years in a row. Frustrated, likely, I saw him in the weight room consistently the entire summer and fall before he nearly set the state record and won the 800 going away. Sometimes anecdotal evidence is all you can find.

Injuries aside, I will NOT be spending 11 weeks on crutches this year after this Saturday. I'll be racing on Sunday to break the memory. Enough reading this, shouldn't you be lifting something?