Dave Elgar joins us to impart training and nutrition tips as part of the INCUS | TRIBE expert team. Having worked for Virgin Active and Pure Gym, Dave now runs Wolfpack Fitness, being both a fully qualified PT and Nutritionist, as well as Ironman triathlete. We caught up with Dave to get him to explain the importance of improving your core strength and a workout that anyone can undertake to reach this goal.
Why train your core when training for Triathlon sports?
On the bike leg, keeping an aerodynamic position requires great core strength in a fixed position, so unlike swimming and the run, there needs to be a balanced approach to your core training to build dynamic and static strength. As well as holding a fixed body position throughout the majority of the bike leg, the power an athlete can exert in the cycle benefits from a strong and stable core. For example, as the ball of the foot drives the pedal, power should be generated from the hips instead of having this energy dissipated throughout the body with a poor technique. A weaker core, which often results in more body movement on the saddle, dissipates this energy instead of driving it through and into the pedal stroke. It’s common when fatigued that your core weakens further, there’s more movement on the saddle, and that energy is less efficiently transferred into speed
Similar to your cycle phase, during the final run phase, the core is stabilising your upper body so that you can run efficiently and in a good posture. It also helps dampen the impactful nature of running, so that your body can take the strain of the final run, creating a reduced chance of injury through the last metres or miles of exertion.
Overall the core may be something that isn’t considered as important as putting in the miles when training for endurance races, but being able to move efficiently and keep your body in good position throughout your training and races can make noticeable differences to your times and how fatiguing you find your training. This all means that when you come to the next session you will feel ready to push to the intensity you need to.
A great short core workout with a mixture of static and dynamic movements gives a balanced session:
Hollow Body Hold: 3 sets of 40 seconds+