I’m a geek, and this geek will speak.  Also, I’ll introduce you to other geeks, their geeky tools, and their geeky methods.  Don’t worry though, I will translate.  I’ve actually made a career of translation of geeky ideas into stuff that other clinicians, trainers, and athletes can use. Crazy job huh?  

And, I’ve done a good enough job of it that I’ve had the priviledge to work with all of these types of athletes (click the link), and I’ve also been lucky enough to be paid to teach these types of science geeks (click the link).  Cool right?  Well, the reason that I can do all that is that i have the gift of kissing.  No, not the big smootcherola, but the K.I.S.S. Principle (aka – keep it simple stupid principle). And I felt, what better place to apply the kiss principle than on triathlon beginners.

So here’s my first simple insight… You ready?  Here it comes … The law of Specificity of Training.  Surprised?  I bet that you didn’t know that there was such a law, but there is.  The law states essentially that your body will adapt specifically to the training stresses that you give it.  Simply stated, if you train by climbing stairs, you will get good at… You guessed it, climbing stairs.  



... How do you train specifically for this??



Unlike other laws, it is not possible for this law to be broken, but what happens if we ignore this law?  Don’t all laws have consequences?  Absolutely!  If you ignore this law in your program design then you end up putting in all of the hard work, but not getting the outcome that you’re looking for, whether that is speed, stamina, health, body composition or whatever… You pay the price but don’t get the goodies.  That rips, doesn’t it!  

We need to apply this law to your starts, your transitions, your swimming, your biking, and your run.  We should consider things specific to the race we are going to compete in like distance, slope of terrain, surface that you are running on, temperature of the water and the air (as well as the temperature differential), humidity, altitude, skill demanded on the bicycle, and more.  All of these variables can be trained for. Sometimes something like the time of the day that the race is held at throws people off on race day and taints the experienced.

Have you really thought about the next race that you will compete in and what you need to be prepared for?

Also, I plan to share some good old fashioned exercise science about training for the race demands and the transitions. But this post is getting a little long… We’ll have to unwrap that over time.

So, as a triathlon beginner, remember the law of specificity of training and think about the different things (skills and athletic attributes) that play into a successful triathlon race.  Spend a few minutes with it, and feel free to write some stuff down, maybe we can discuss your ideas down the road.  Obey the law (of specificity of training), and dont waste your workouts!