A strength and conditioning training plan is not something you do to just to get in six-pack shape or something that you add to your training plan when you have the time. It should be the foundation of your training plan, especially during the off season. If you think of your training and racing year as a house, the foundation of the house is the core and strength training that you do to gain strength, improve on your weaknesses, adjust muscle imbalances and prevent injuries. Without a good foundation, you won’t be able to put in the bricks on your house and your house might fall down in the middle of the house season like a house of cards. A training plan should also be specific to you because it should firstly address your weaknesses and then improve on your strength.
This year I will be working with Yannik Morin, who is a strength and conditioning coach. He competed in bobsleigh in the Salt-Lake City Olympic games and he also competed internationally in track cycling. From his evaluation, he established a training plan that would allow me to improve my biggest weakness, which is pure speed. As an Ironman athlete, it might seem weird to be working on speed. However, every time your feet touches the ground when you run, your feet needs to react quickly to propel you forward. A fast and quick ground contact translates into a faster turn over, a more efficient running technique and a reduced risk of injuries.
So whether you have a coach or not, you should find out what are your biggest weaknesses and how you can work on them. Now is the time to build your foundation. Now is the time to decide whether you want a house of card or a house built with bricks!