In Part IV of this article series, I covered warm-up and flexibility considerations for endurance athletes. In Part V, I will discuss a few closing points in regards to resistance training for resistance athletes.
A well-designed resistance training program can provide the endurance sport athlete a number of benefits that will enhance one’s health, fitness, and competitiveness. But this requires that the athlete show the same dedication to resistance training as to the endurance training portion of the overall training program. There are a few closing points I wish to make that should be considered by the reader.
First, while there are a number of books available on the topic of resistance training, I recommend that those individuals without a resistance training background seek the coaching and counsel of a qualified strength and conditioning professional. A qualified coach, such as one certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (http://www.nsca.com/Home/) as a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, can design a resistance training program that is both safe and effective.
Next, self-myofascial release, a form of self-administered massage that uses tools such as foam rollers and lacrosse or tennis balls, can be performed prior to your dynamic warm-up and subsequent resistance training session. Alternately, you could perform self-myofascial release work after your training sessions. Moreover, if you can afford to do so, regular soft tissue work from a trained professional (e.g., massage therapist) can be helpful in your recovery from the demands of training.
Finally, pain is a signal that something is wrong or needs correcting. If you experience pain when performing an exercise, stop the exercise. In some cases, it is simply a matter of needing to correct your form. In other cases, it may be an undiagnosed injury. Don’t hesitate to seek out the services of a sports medicine professional for pain that interferes with your training or your activities of daily living. A brief break or alteration in your training schedule is better than pushing through an injury only to suffer a more serious setback that interferes with your training for a longer period of time.
This concludes the five-part article series on resistance training for endurance athletes. I hope that you have found it informative. Moreover, if you are an endurance athlete that does not currently resistance train, I hope that it leads you to implementing a resistance training program of your own.