Training volume: hours or distance?

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Let’s assume one follows training session:

60km pedal in your zone 2-3 followed intensity 15km loose race. Main objective : aerobic endurance .

So far so good right? Now let’s add to this equation two climatic factors : wind against accompanied by a lot of heat and 99% humidity.Its 60km that were easily finished in 01h and 50min were made in 2h : 30min and intensity zone was to 4.

When starting a loose race, you showed signs of dehydration due to the strong heat and this results in increased heart rate . His race is no longer loose and went on to become a martyr . But you finished the training session covering the 60km pedal and 15km race .

Goal achieved?

To speak about this issue , nothing better than to follow the methodology of the most successful Ironman athletes like Mark Allen , Dave Scott and Paula Newby Fraser. These legends of the sport that now became mastercoaches of Ironman University, knows more than anyone what your body’s behavior in a race its like.

And that’s why it bothers me the fact that most training programs were based on the distance . Because our body does not have the slightest idea if this covering 1, 10 or 150 km ( distance)!

Your body understands : STRESS LEVEL and TIME DURATION!

Much less he knows the topography of the region where you will train , weather and all the factors related to their environment . Since high elevations ( mountains ) to extreme temperatures.

Quantifying the volume of training by distance , does not consider such factors that are PRIMORDIAL in the construction of an athlete.

Now , we take the same example of the training session , but now prescribed based on hours of training. Respecting planning your periodization , this training would follow the following direction :

02hs pedal Zone 2-3 followed by 01h:15min running zone 2. However bad it is the weather conditions , the athlete will consider its intensity based on their perception of intensity already known to him. If after  02hs pedaling, he has completed 40km, but all of them within the desired area , perfect!

If your 1h:15min were made almost at a jogging almost walking , okay! For the important thing was to have achieved the main objective of the training : improved cardiovascular capacity and consequently improves your aerobic capacity !

Despite the great importance of the coach, the basis of success in triathlon training is science. Developing a basic knowledge about the functioning of our body systems that strengthen our athlete training to respond to effectively, we apply science when we plan and implement training programs for the development of our athletes.