The toughest part of training for a triathlon is finding the time to master each discipline.

With swimming, biking and running each requiring a fairly sizable time commitment every week, especially when training for the longer distance events, there is not a whole lot of time left over for anything else.

Even if there was additional time at your disposal, having already set aside anywhere from 8 to 24 hours of training for the week to your training, the question is whether you would actually want to add another hour of activity in your program.

When it comes to resistance training, the benefits are certainly clear, and for a pretty small time investment, you stand to receive a number of benefits.

I accept that to be able to complete and Iron distance race (or any endurance event for that matter), the primary focus of your training has got to be swimming, biking and running. No amount of core work and joint stabilization exercises will provide the fitness required to successfully complete the event.

However, a small amount of resistance training, an hour or 2 each week, has the potential to have a significant impact on your bodies resilience to injury, increasing your ability to perform thousands of swim strokes, pedal strokes and leg turn overs, efficiently and economically, and provide the mind with a change of pace and scenery.

So as we move deeper into race season, and the body begins to feel the effects of the hours and hours of S-B-R training, our first impulse is to cut the "non-essential activities" from the program.

And so the resistance training falls by the way side. Forgotten, perhaps until the fall or winter, when the weather begins to turn.

Sure we can all get away without performing resistance training, and most of us do. But as soon as we feel that niggle creep into the knee or shoulder, perhaps a full blown injury develops, or our body just does not cope with the rigors of the racing as well as we might have liked, the first words we utter are,"I need to get stronger".

Becoming stronger, becoming more resilient does not necessarily require more running, cycling or swim training. On the contrary, it might actually require a little less!

It does however require you to look at what elements are missing from your training program, and with the benefit of hindsight, perhaps you will not be so quick to drop the resistance training next time around.

James Greenwood is a competitive tri and multisport athlete currently training for Ironman Canada 2009. A level 1 Triathlon Coach, he holds a post graduate degree in Exercise Science, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the NSCA. James is also currently the resident health and fitness programs expert at, and has starred in a number of multisport specific fitness videos.