Run Less, Lift More, Race Better…do P90X?

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For all of you triathletes out there, there is an article on P110 of the August issue of Triathlete magazine entitled “Run Less, Lift More, Race Better”. Unfortunately, the article is not available online without a subscription…but it is available at your local news stand or in digital format online with a subscription. They have had articles about strength training before but they were often in the form of a standard group of exercises that you could add to your endurance training to get some toning benefit or maybe a little improved performance. However, this article is based on the idea of actually replacing some of your swim/bike/run endurance training with strength training to see improved results beyond what you might see with swim/bike/run alone. Now, prior to my first round of P90X, I may have been intrigued by this but would have probably dismissed it. Now I base all of my personal training plans and all of the clients training plans on this very concept and it works!

The article does not specifically mention P90X as a base for strength training but here are some of the highlights of the article. Notice that all of the things that are recommended are available in the P90X program:

“While pumping iron won’t increase VO2 max, studies involving endurance runners, cyclists, and triathletes showed improved time-trial performance, increased maximal power output, enhanced movement economy and decreased fatigue when the training routine is periodically changed up.”

“The performance benefits of strength training twice a week for 30 to 45 minutes can be greater than spending the time doing aerobic activity. In a study led by Leena Paavolainen of the University of Jyvaskyla, elite distance runners substituted 32 percent of their endurance training with explosive strength exercises and significantly improved their 5K times after nine weeks.”

The article recommends some exercise types:

– Plyometrics
– Upper Body Exercises (pull-ups, push-ups, tricep work, shoulder work, etc)
– Core

Ask any B.A.S.E. Training athlete and they will tell you that each of those things is incorporated in my training plans because I discovered the same things that this article is talking about during my first round of P90X and my subsequent trial training plans. In every training plan you will see some plyo, some upper body work, and plenty of core work…the only thing I add on top is also some yoga (see my blog article on the benefits of yoga for triathletes here).

Take a look at the free 5K and sprint triathlon training plans available on my website here and you will see that this is what B.A.S.E. Training is all about. If you want to see improved performance in your endurance training, strength training is a must and P90X can help.

I guess what I am trying to say is that B.A.S.E. Training is on the cutting edge of efficient and effective triathlon training and we are using P90X to do it!

Can you do what this article is talking about without P90X? Sure…in fact, if you don’t have P90X and don’t want to get it, I can still come up with a strength training plan for you that incorporates gym work instead of P90X DVDs. I just like to use P90X because it is all there for you with no guess work. Just pop in the DVD and you’ve got it.

Want to learn more about how to incorporate strength training into your endurance training plan and see the benefits? Send me an email at for some free advice or to talk about a custom training plan for your next event.