When to strength train

Ok so i have researched some of the topics regarding what days are best to incorporate strength work. Im probably slow, and still unclear whats best.
Im 58 years old and getting ready to start the low volume mid distance triathlon plan. Ive been strength training the past six months three days a week.
Based on that TR plan what days or day would you do your strength work?
Before or after swim ,bike or run workouts?
The strength program I have been using is Wendlers 531.
Thanks for any input and sorry if its out there already. Just couldn’t find anything specific to that TR plan.

I probably won’t be able to give you any specific advice, but others that could may need a little more information. So you are going to have 3 cycling sessions a week? 3 strength training sessions a week, but it sounds like you are or may reduce this when starting the TR plan? How many swim sessions and how many run sessions? What days do these fall on? Maybe just fill out your schedule (or desired schedule) a little more for better perspective.

I know there are a few common thoughts out there in the other threads and podcasts like:

  • make your difficult days difficult and make your easy days easy
  • make sure you have 1 full day off per week
  • prioritize your weakness or primary focus as the 1st workout/session of the day when multiple sessions are scheduled for the same day

I have also seen some conflicting opinions out there specifically around timing of strength training on the same day as another session/workout. Some say immediately after one of your tri sessions and others say 6-8 hours after to allow some recovery/adaptations to occur. Personally, as just a cyclist and not a triathlete, on my two session days I do my primary cycling session in the early morning and my strength session in the late afternoon/early evening.

Hopefully you can find an answer that works for you personally, good luck!

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On the Fast Talk podcast a few episodes back they recommended exactly this. The reasoning was:

  1. do strength on intervals days because the next day will be rest or recovery

  2. do cycling intervals first - don’t want to be fatigued by weight lifting or sacrifice interval quality.

  3. space them out if possible so the two types of training do not interfere with each other (physiologically).

@Muskiecast Maybe you want to go to one or two days per week during the main part of the season?


Ok cool
Based on that this is what my week would look like.
Monday - Rest
Tuesday- Bike in the morning ,Strength evening
Wednesday- Run, Swim
Thursday- Bike morning, Strength evening
Friday- Run,Swim
Saturday- Longer Bike
Sunday- Longer run, Swim

I’m following the Dylan Johnson model for programing and the Starting Strength program for lifting, what this means is:

  1. Offseason - 6 weeks, Lifting 3 times a week hard. Riding 3-4 h per week Z2. Plus other cross-training stuff.

  2. Base Training - 10 weeks. Lifting now only 2 times a week and shorter sessions. Bike volume goes up 6-10h per week, with 2 hours of threshold or SST and the rest Z2

  3. Build - 6 weeks. Lifting only 1 per week. And replacing 1h of SST for a Vo2max session. Volume stays the same.

As to when to do it:

I don’t think I can do heavy squats after doing a hard interval session. So I have to pick another day of the week, and time it so the recovery needed doesn’t mess up biking so much. The heavy and frequent lifting of the offseason should prepare me for the mix of lifting and intervals in the base and build period.


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