”I need specific strength to gain muscle endurance which is important to an endurance athlete.”
The muscle training of an endurance athlete includes all sorts of strength training – basic strength, speed strength, and above all else, muscle endurance. What does a long-standing endurance athlete gain from strength training, and what does she think about muscle tone? We talked about these questions with triathlon and adventure athlete Maija Oravamäki.
Maija has been doing endurance sports since her youth years. She has competed on the track and in cross-country skiing, and she has represented Finland in marathon at World and European championships. After retiring from competitive sport in 2009, Maija has been doing all kinds of adventure sports and triathlon.
“After participating in a half distance triathlon in 2011, I have competed in many other endurance sports. In 2014, I participated in an Ironman race, and next summer I’ll be competing in the full distance race again,” Maija says.
Maija aims at exercising and spending time outdoors every day. At times she trains a lot, while at others she may rest several days in a row. But even then Maija tries to do as much incidental exercise as possible.
“At the moment I’m not following any training program, but exercise more based on how I feel and what my schedule is. When a race draws closer, I pay more attention to scheduling my exercises,” Maija says.
Maija has also worked for ten years as a group exercise instructor, on that front focusing more on strength training. Currently she wants to do more sport-specific muscle training by doing uphill spurts or cycling with heavy resistance, for example.
“I need specific strength to gain muscle endurance which is important to an endurance athlete. However, the muscle also needs different stimuli, which is why I do a basic training or speed strength exercise at the gym about once a week, depending on the training period,” Maija says.
Maija believes she will still gain a lot from her solid basic condition, having been doing endurance sports for such a long time. However, she’s aware of the fact that with age you will lose some of your strength, and gaining it may be more difficult. She considers muscle training important also in preventing injuries and maintaining your technique.
What interests Maija about the Mpower product is getting more specific data about the muscles to know if your exercise is affecting the right ones. The exercise library may be of help in getting the technique right. Particularly someone who’s training alone may unknowingly repeat the same mistake. This could be avoided using Mpower. Maija also believes that the data produced by Mpower would help in sequencing the training right, to avoid overdoing it.