I think most of us can agree, time is our most valuable asset. We only have so much of it and once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Training specificity is the key to maximize your time available to train.
Below we will discuss how you can maximize your training and race readiness using the time you have available. It’s actually pretty simple.
Before we go further, it’s important FIRST to know and understand the difference between training and exercising. Once this makes sense to you, you’ll be able to appreciate today’s topic. You can learn more HERE.
Specificity within triathlon training is critical. This is applicable on a macro – season planning level and a micro – daily/weekly level.
On a micro level – every workout should have a purpose and within each workout there should be specific parameters based on the individual athlete’s physiology and current level of fitness.
This will depend on each athlete, but some parameters may include power, pace, heart rate or rate of perceived exertion. AT RTA Triathlon, we use a combination of all of these and we regularly update our athlete’s “numbers” during their season by implementing TESTS every 5-8 weeks.
On a macro level – you want your annual training plan to be broken into phases of training. Generally, each phase will have a different purpose and goal. There are no universal names for each phase – many coaches have their own names – but they all have a purpose and are implemented to achieve a specific goal.
The length of each phase is dependent on several factors. Some of these factors include the amount of time until the athlete’s goal race. The athlete’s overall strengths and weaknesses. The distance (of race) the athlete is training for… as well as the athlete’s athletic background, history of injury, age and gender.
At The End of The Day
Incorporating the correct kind of workouts (aerobic, speed, strength, tempo ect) at the correct time of year (in relation to your key race(s)) AND executing these workouts at the appropriate intensity levels WILL help maximize your results.
Each athlete will require a different “script.” And coaches may have different philosophies in regards to season planning, but ALL coaches should agree specificity within training is important.