The majority of athletes sit a lot.
We sit eating all our meals, sit in the office, sit while commuting, sit when watching TV, driving, meeting friends for coffee, we sit when we ride our bikes.
Sitting is not good for our physiology or performance
Think about this
I bet you’re sitting reading this so take a moment and just think how your backside and hamstrings feel under your own body weight
Sitting cuts off or downgrades the blood supply to your glutes and hamstrings. This means that in their inactivity they get very little oxygen and nutrients and..well start to die.
Sitting also adaptively shortens your hip flexors. (The tendons at the front and top of your hip that help flex your leg toward your belly button).
So what I hear you say
It’s actually a BIG what
When this happens it limits full extension though the hip joint, pulls your hips forward putting more demand on the quads, less on the glutes and over activating the hamstrings.
What that really means is tight hip flexors which can crate drag in the water (sinky feet anyone), reduces power output on the bike and funds poor running economy.
And all of this stems from sitting!?
Well not quite, because triathlon is very anteriorly/front of body dominant
Swimming primarily focuses on the muscles at the front of the body as does cycling.
Ok I’ll admit that running may re-address that balance a little but, given everything I’ve just pointed out earlier, unless you’re consciously aware and working on these imbalances on a daily basis, training for triathlon can just compound the problem.
What’s needed is balance,
You can create this by strength training and mobility work.
Triathlon is not just swim, bike and run.
Thanks for reading
Simon de Burgh
2 X Winner of Gym Based PT
Level 2 British Triathlon Coach
Performance & Nutrition Director