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    Can lifting weights replace mileage when it comes to marathon training?

    Can lifting weights replace mileage when it comes to marathon training?

    As marathon season fast approaches and more and more people start to pound the pavements we question whether lifting weights can replace mileage when it comes to marathon training?

    People often think that lifting weights gets you big and bulky however with an effective plan and the right workouts it would be an anomaly for you to turn into a body builder. A high intensity running and S&C programme can be one of the most effective ways of ensuring that you remain injury free. With long slow distance running, dysfunction can creep up on you, and it can be difficult to get rid of that ingrained pattern of movement you have become accustomed to. A lot of people are running with a limited range of motion, and then sitting at their desks in a limited range of motion. Therefore, they’re neglecting all these other things that S&C largely deals with. When squatting for example you have to get into the full hip range of motion, then if you are running for an hour it is going to be much easier to recover from the activity.

    The majority of the time when you finish a marathon you are not out of breathe but you are in pain. You are usually in that pain because your body is broken down. A good S&C programme will mean you don’t break down as quickly, and that you recover quicker at the end.

    We would say the minimum times you should be doing a weight lifting session is twice a week. The maximum is probably four times a week. But it depends a lot on the individual, and what their history is. One thing we would say, is that once a week is probably not enough. In every endurance sport, there are people who think doing S&C/yoga/mobility work is something that can happen once a week and that’s like eating healthily once a week.

    If you don’t have access to a gym or weights then there are workouts that you can do at home. Most people when training for a marathon prefer to run multiple times a week and negate any strength training and we are not saying that your running won’t improve from this, however thinking long term about the impact on the body and the benefits in recovery we would certainly recommend adding in a few well structured and relevant strength sessions.

    The Best UK Triathlons

    The Best UK Triathlons

    If you are looking to compete in a triathlon between May and October in the UK, well look no further. We have put together a list of some of the best triathlons in each month from May to October covering England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. 

    May

    THE SLATEMAN

    Location: Llanberis, Snowdonia  

    Distance: 1km | 51km | 11km

    A swim surrounded with mountains, a bike course in the hearty of Snowdonia National Park and a run through an awesome slate quarry. As if this one couldn’t get any better…. Well the crowd is one of the most supportive of any races. There are a few race options available here. The sprint, classic, savage and Legend all available. 

    June 

     LLANDUDNO SEA TRIATHLON

    Location: Llandudno, Conwy County

    Distance: 750m | 19km | 5km

    With a thrilling sea swim, a pretty challenging cycle section around the Great Orme with magnificent views of the coastline and a run along the Victorian Promenade to Penrhyn and back this race delivers a truly scenic yet challenging race. One to put in the racing schedule for sure. 

    July

     CASTLE HOWARD TRIATHLON

    Location: Castle Howard, Yorkshire 

    Distance: 1.5km | 40km | 10km

    In its tenth year now, the Castle Howard Triathlon features a whole weekend of racing on the southern border of the North York Moors. A course with something for every level of triathlete, starting with the swim in the Great Lake before transitioning into the technical bike route through the glorious rural idyll of Yorkshire and the Howardian Hills. The run leg passes through the countryside of the estate before a sprint finish right into the front doors of the house. 

    August

     ELY MONSTER MIDDLE 

    Location: Ely, Cambridgeshire 

    Distance: 1.9km | 92.8km | 21km

    The Monster Standard gives you an iconic river swim, fast and scenic bike leg and fast city run course with brilliant volunteers, support and a fun-filled atmosphere. Not as serious as some of the other but a great and fun day out racing. 

    September

     BELFAST TRIATHLON

    Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland 

    Distance: 1.5km | 38.6km | 10km

    The Belfast Titanic Triathlon is by far one of the best in Northern Ireland! You’re surrounded by iconic buildings and features, with the swim in the shadow of the famous Shipyard Cranes and transition by the beautiful Customs House. The bike and run are pancake flat and there’s definitely a big chance of a PB.

    October

    CRAGGY ISLAND TRI

    Location: Argyll & Bute, Scotland

    Distance: 550m | 14km | 8km

    “Craggy Island stands out as a unique event. The swim starts on the mainland at Oban across to the gorgeous isle of Kerrera, with an off-road bike and run following. This format set amidst a spectacular location is hard to beat.

     

    If you are looking for the perfect triathlon gear to take on any of these or other events then take a look at some of our suits here.. MENS / WOMENS 

    The 300 Workout

    The 300 Workout

    Actors an actresses can go through brutal workouts and training plans when developing for a role in a movie or TV show, dependent on their character they are playing. Take Gerard Butler in 300, Chris Evans in Captain America or Michael B Jordan in Black Panther. They all went through huge body transformations which take serious discipline and dedication in training and also with their diet. 

    Here is the workout Gerard Butler and his fellow cast members took on during their training for the film "300". 

    1) Pull-ups – 25 reps


    2) Deadlifts with 135lbs – 50 reps


    3) Push-ups – 50 reps


    4) 24" box jumps – 50 reps


    5) Floor wipers – 50 reps

    6) Clean-and-press with 36lbs kettlebell – 50 reps

    7) Pull-ups – 25 reps

    All exercises are done without scheduled rest between moves. Obviously this is an advanced workout... you shouldn't do it unless you are already in moderate shape. If not you can scale this workout down to 150 reps or even take away some of the more complex exercises for easier ones. 

    Give it a go and let us know if you can conquer the 300 workout. 

    How Do Cyclists Get Big Legs?

    How Do Cyclists Get Big Legs?

    One of the most frequent asked questions around cyclists on google is “How do cyclists get big legs?”

    First thing to take note of is that cyclists can come from different disciplines and can have different goals which means they have to train in a completely opposite manner. Just like NFL players, the offensive linemen will train completely different to a wide receiver. A track sprinter versus a grand tour general will have different goals and objectives and thus will have completely different training programmes.

    Track sprinters need to be able to produce optimal power very quickly on a flat surface so the power to weight ratio is crucial whereas a GC contender needs to be able to climb and race longer distances with as little fatigue as possible so weight is crucial. Therefore bigger legs as a GC contender would perhaps be a disadvantage. 

    But if you did want to get legs like Fostermann then you need to spend some serious time in the gym..

     

    Weight training for cyclists

    The focus shouldn’t be on getting bigger it should be on getting stronger and more powerful. They key to building that strength is to use heavier weights with lower reps. Your main aim is to get the neural benefits of strength training; essentially working on the way muscle fibres are recruited, so in using heavier weights at lower rep counts will help increase your ceiling of strength.

    For cyclists who focus on long rides and climbing then strength training in moderation will help them to maintain a better position on the bike and can help reduce fatigue. The best exercises to focus on are squats, deadlifts, lunges hip thrusts and step ups not venturing past 5 reps for improving strength.

    Strength training on the bike

    Strength training on the bike is also crucial as it will recruit the exact muscles that you need in the sport. Big gear efforts are obviously the first port of call here focussing on standing starts. For absolutely out and out strength go for one 20 second sprint every 3 minutes or so. For practising multiple attacks practice 20 second sprints with 40 seconds rest for 5 or 6 minutes.

    Supplements to consider

    Supplements are not essential however if you are looking for training assistance it may be worth looking into Beta Alanine which raises concentration of carnosine which reduces fatigue during explosive efforts. Creatine is another supplement to consider. This helps to fuel muscles during intense activity. Foods high in protein and carbohydrates will also play a fundamental role.

    If you haven't already then check out some of our training gear - perfect for building that leg strength in the gym ;)