Time trial type racing such as triathlon and marathon running has a very different physical demand than races such as road cycling where race dynamics play a big role in determining success.
Triathlon and marathon running generally require athletes to maintain their highest sustainable effort for as long as possible with very little fluctuation in intensity.
As a result, training is able to be very controlled where the training purely aims to:
- Build aerobic capacity: “the size of the athlete’s engine”
- Increase the athlete’s ability to maintain a higher steady state intensity: “increase the strength of the athlete’s engine”
A common issue with training programs is being able to identify what physiological adaptation the training program is trying to achieve.