With five top pros (Chris Lieto, Rasmus Henning, Linsey Corbin, Rachel Joyce and Luke Bell - watch this video to see how Chris trained for Kona 2010) competing in Ironman Kona this weekend, Matt Dixon, head coach of purplepatch fitness, has a lot to say about how he feels the race will unfold. Dixon was recently published in Triathlete-Europe magazine discussing the crucial role that functional strength training and TRX play in training for endurance sports, and all of the athletes at purplepatch have incorporated functional strength training as an integral part of their preparation for this race. We were fortunate enough to get an exclusive preview with Matt recently so he could give us some predictions on this battle will unfold (see video above).
From a coaching standpoint, Dixon feels that it in order to yield the most from a functional strength program, athletes should first master the movement, then progress the exercise (whether that be in intensity or load). For example, if you are not able to hold a TRX Plank, what is the benefit of trying to do a TRX Body Saw? The goal should be well executed, coordinated movement, not becoming as strong as humanly possible.
Dixon advocates maintaining a progressive functional strength program throughout the year, alongside swimming, biking and running. Now, as most amateur triathletes are ending their competitive season, Dixon suggests that this is an ideal time to focus some energy on developing their functional strength programming to get their bodies (and minds) off of swimming, biking and running for a little while.