Strength Training for Senior Endurance Athletes

I recently spoke with Senior Triathletes coach Tony Washington about strength training and its importance to senior triathletes and other multi-sport endurance athletes. According to Tony, strength training should be looked at as the fourth discipline in triathlon, especially for senior athletes.

Strength Training for Senior Multisport Endurance Athletes

Since publishing my experience with triathlon icon Mark Allen’s strength training program, the post has consistently ranked among the top three most read on

This is not surprising given the intrinsic loss of strength with age, beginning around age 40. There is plenty of evidence to show that we may not stop this decline, but we can absolutely slow it down through consistent strength training. This includes some strength training everyday, according to Tony Washington.

For a sedate person, starting at about age 40, they can lose as much as a percent of strength per year.

Tony Washington

Before you leave thinking you don’t have time to go to the gym seven days a week, listen to Tony’s approach to strength training and how you can supplement visits to the gym or weight room with strength training while going about your day.

My Conversation with Tony Washington

Recording of my conversation with triathlon coach and senior triathlete Tony Washington

Milestones in our Conversation

If you don’t have time to listen to the entire conversation now, you can download it for later listening. You can also jump to a specific point within the conversation. Just remember, points later in the conversation often build on those Tony made earlier in it.

  • 1:11 – Strength training is underappreciated in triathlon
  • 3:07 – Key goal for strength training
  • 5:15 – Ways strength training for seniors differs from that for our younger selves
  • 8:25 – Three targets for strength training
  • 13:37 – Changes in strength training for seniors as we age
  • 18:41 – Differences in strength training between men and women
  • 21:30 – Approaching strength training when transitioning from a single endurance sport to triathlon
  • 24:55 – Influence of race distance on strength training
  • 27:11 – Reader question about preventing injury when strength training for the bike
  • 30:30 – Final advice: “Do some strength training every day.”

My Main Takeaway About Strength Training for Senior Triathletes

Strength training that improves stability, mobility, and strength is key to healthy aging and preventing injuries in triathlon. Fortunately, we can all find ways to include some strength training throughout our day.

Related post: Better Balance Makes A Stronger Triathlete

What Do You Think?

How has your idea of strength training been changed by Tony’s perspective? What did you find most interesting or thought provoking?

Post your comments below. You may also contact Tony Washington directly using the email address on his profile page.

Comments: Please note that I review all comments before they are posted. You will be notified by email when your comment is approved. Even if you do not submit a comment, you may subscribe to be notified when a comment is published.

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