Free Downloadable Guide & Training Templates

The Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Endurance Sports

Endurance sports, including triathlons, Ironman events, marathons, and ultra-marathons, inherently demand extensive, repetitive exertion. This intensity, while crucial for endurance, significantly heightens the risk of injuries, particularly for athletes who are unprepared in terms of strength conditioning.

A common yet critical misstep among many endurance athletes is the underestimation of sports-specific strength training. The prevalent belief is that strength work detracts from core endurance training, with fears of unnecessary muscle gain, increased body weight, and reduced mobility often dominating their training choices.

However, these concerns stem from misconceptions. Appropriate sports-specific strength and conditioning, contrary to these fears, actually propels athletes towards greater efficiency and speed, reduces energy expenditure, minimises injury risk, and hastens recovery when injuries do occur.

This guide cuts through the myths, offering clarity on how strength and conditioning, when correctly integrated, becomes not a hindrance but a powerful ally in endurance sports.

What’s In The Guide?

  • The 6 Pillars of effective Strength & Conditioning for endurance athletes
  • 7 Practical tips for integrating strength training into your training plan
  • 2 example training plan templates for demonstrating low and high volume strategies
  • A sneak-peak into the training plan of a world record holder and internationally renowned athlete
  • Free 1:1 implementation call with an expert coach (limited availability, cannot guarantee spaces will be available. Offered on a first come, first served basis.)

Meet Your Coach

Ian Laird

Health & FItness Coach

Meet Ian, an endurance athlete with over two decades of experience tackling distances up to Ironman & Ultra Marathon. His journey in Health and Fitness began in 2004, shifting from a dissatisfying career in construction to become a certified personal trainer and sports therapist, driven by the desire to positively impact people's lives.

After grappling with several injuries that disrupted his running, Ian realised that addressing pain wasn't solely about the affected area; it was about holistic body care. He embarked on a journey of understanding the intricate connections within the body, developing tailored strength programmes that not only targeted muscle imbalances caused by modern lifestyles but significantly enhanced his running efficiency and recovery time between runs.

Ian's programmes, born from personal experience, are designed for achievability, seamlessly integrating into the demanding routine of an endurance athlete balancing work and family commitments. As a father to an 18-month-old daughter, Ian recognises the importance of balance and comprehends firsthand how strength training not only complements but dramatically improves run efficiency and recovery times for endurance pursuits. Ian directly attributes his strength training to completing the Chester 50 mile Ultra on limited run time.

Join Ian on a journey that harmonises strength, endurance, and life's commitments. Experience his specialised programmes crafted for the modern-day endurance athlete, optimising performance while honouring life's multifaceted demands.

Success Stories

Feared his running days were over

Before I started working with Optimum Heath Coaching, I could only just about 5km but I would be in agony for two days after that so could only run twice a week
I feared was I would never get back into competitive running and that there was something more seriously wrong.

Ian Showed me what I needed to do to continue running. Now running three days a week with the longest run 7 miles.

I would highly recommend Optimum Health Coaching for any specific issues you may have that need addressing for whatever activity you participate in.

Graham Nellist. 62 yr old from Chester

Lower back and foot pain gone in 4 weeks

Following a disastrous bike/run at the IM 70.3 Mallorca, due to the effort and hills on the bike I suffered with pain in my lower back during the bike that then transferred to the arches of my feet on the run, cause severe pain.

This had had happened before, and I couldn’t carry on with the pain in my feet during either training or races anymore.
After a full analysis, I was provided with a specific set of correctional/mobility/stretch exercise to perform 2-3 times a week from mid May.  By my next 70.3 (Staffordshire - 4 weeks later), my bike leg was successful and I was delighted to have run where I only walked the feed stations compared to Mallorca (which saw me nearly DNF).

Louise Plevin 39yr old HR manager from Chester

Struggling to run to GB age group qualification

I had a pain to both of my glutes at the top of my hamstrings and it was getting to the point where I could hardly run. I had rested for a couple of weeks hopping it would go away. I was concerned that the pain was getting worse and it was going to stop me Running.

Ian assessed me  and  discovered that I was suffering from hamstring tendonopathy. With mixture of massage strength and conditioning I was able to get back running and this season what’s my best to date. Resulting in completing my first ultra marathon and qualifying to race for GB Age Group Triathlon

I would recommend Optimum Health Coaching as they take a whole body approach  and don’t just look at the one area. They look for long-term resolution so injuries don’t repeat.

Cat Oakes 40yr old Lawyer Chester

If you’d like to find out how to smash through your personal bests, and dramatically reduce your chances of injury download our 19 Page Ultimate Guide to Strength Training for Endurance Sports absolutely free