Go Triathlete

The Benefits of Adding Yoga and Pilates To Your Triathlon Training

yoga-on-beach
If you’ve set your sights on training for a triathlon, there’s no question that you’ve been hard at work doing your running, cycling, and swimming sessions.  But, have you ever thought to add some cross-training into the mix?  Many triathletes spend so much time dong their chosen activities that they don’t even consider some of the benefits that other forms of activities could bring to their overall training plan.

While you definitely need to put in the time on the main events of the race, it’s important to also expand your horizons and create better balance in your workout routine.  Two activities that will help create this balance and help to boost your level of success are yoga and pilates.

Let’s take a quick look at some of the primary benefits that these activities will offer you.

Stress Relief

The first big benefit that yoga or pilates can bring is stress relief.  Yoga especially tends to be very focused on reducing your overall levels of stress while helping to also bring down the level of tension in the muscle tissues.

If you lead a high stress lifestyle, this could eventually cause you to risk overtraining with all those added training sessions you’re now doing, so taking care to reduce this stress is important.

As you lower your overall level of stress, you’ll find that you perform better during your cycling, running and swimming workouts and recover from them faster as well.  

Increased Flexibility

The second big benefit that you can gain from partaking in a yoga or pilates class once or twice a week is an increased level of flexibility.  Many triathletes become quite tense and stiff after so much training doing repetitive motions, so focusing on flexibility can help to loosen the muscle tissues, reducing the amount of post-workout pain you experience while also increasing your ability to move through a greater range of motion.

For swimming and cycling especially, being more flexible will help to improve your form and performance.

Improved Mind-Body Awareness

The next benefit that these activities will bring is a higher level of mind-body awareness.  What this means is that you’ll be better able to assess the exact position that your body is in at any given time and make any adjustments that are needed to help you perform better.

Those with poor mind-body awareness may not be using proper form as they go about their swimming, cycling, or running, but not know any better.  To them, they feel fine.  But, that poor form is severely limiting the speed in which they are able to sustain.

The greater awareness you have of your positioning, the better you’ll be able to self-correct.  This can also go a long way to reducing your risk of injuries as well.

Increased Strength

Finally, the last big benefit that these activities can bring is an increased level of strength.  Pilates, in particular, is very focused on building strong, long muscles, so this will lend well to the body type of triathletes.

You may shy away from weight training thinking that you don’t want to build up bigger and bulky muscles, but it is still very important to perform some form of resistance training.

So, there you have some of the key benefits that pilates and yoga can bring to your triathlon training plan.  Make sure that you think about getting involved.  All it takes is one to two sessions per week to see significant performance enhancement.