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Active Expert: Gale Bernhardt

2 Posts tagged with the specificity tag

As I continue the blog series on training principles, today’s post is on workout duration. So far, I’ve covered overload, volume, duration and specificity.


“Depending on each individual's current fitness, race goals, the sport and training time available, the frequency of workouts scheduled will vary. Some athletes will workout only once per day while others workout twice or more times per day.”


As athletes get more competitive and gain more fitness, they move from doing workouts three times per week to six or seven times per week. Beyond that, athletes move to multiple workouts per day.


A few tips for workout frequency:


  • It is typical for competitive triathletes to do two workouts per day, several days per week. Some will answer an early morning alarm and complete one workout on an indoor trainer or treadmill to optimize time.
  • Cyclists will often commute to and/or from work to add additional workout frequency to their training.
  • Sometimes a short workout at an easy intensity can aid recovery. Don’t overlook steady walking as an option. A lunch time walk is perfect.
  • As you eagerly increase workout frequency, pay close attention to your overall training volume and be aware of overload.



These training plans have helped thousands of people succeed, they can help you too.

648 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: volume, specificity, duration, overload, training_principles

This blog continues the series on training principles. The last post was on duration. Today’s post is on specificity.


In one of my many past lives, I taught alpine skiing. That was a loooooong time ago. When I got hooked on triathlon, I drifted away from alpine skiing. I’m not blaming triathlon for my lack of skiing, there were lots of reasons why I quit skiing.


First came the dry spell of skiing only once or twice per year. Then was the complete lack of downhill skiing for about 12 years (+/-). In the past three or so years, I did take up Nordic skiing. I still do more Nordic than Alpine skiing, but I’m getting the itch to do more Alpine skiing. Not only is it a blast, but I think it helps my mountain biking skills.


The same balance and weighting issues that are present in skiing are present in mountain biking. For examle, my right turns are weaker than left turns in both sports. I’ve done more skiing, both Alpine and Nordic, in the last couple of years and I’ve found that skiing helps my mountain biking. Nordic skiing does lend more to endurance than downhill skiing. However, alpine skiing helps with balance, skills, power development and the ability to pick a line down the mountain at high speed.


While I believe skiing helps my cycling in the off-season, it is not cycling. As the race season approaches, in order to be a better mountain bike rider – I need to ride the mountain bike. This training principle is known as the principle of specificity:


“The mode of training becomes more important, as event day approaches. Training that is specific to the sport becomes more important than generalized training. In other words, the specificity of training becomes more important.”


These training plans have helped thousands of people succeed, they can help you too.

780 Views 0 Comments Permalink Tags: mountain_biking, skiing, specificity, alpine, nordic