Training Variables

What are the training variables and how do we know if our training is being effective?

That sport is contagious we all know. That the human being is a highly competitive being is also not new. But this degree of importance that some give to the training varies greatly among athletes.But anyway, everyone should agree on one point: people who seek to improve their times in competitions, know that they must train more to make it happen. Is that right?
But the big question is:
What should we be watching so that we know we are on the right track?

There is no better definition of Training Variables than my mentor Joe Friel, coach of coaches and co-founder of the TrainingPeaks platform, does in his lectures around the world. I will try to explain them here for you.

Observation and Measurements

Whenever we want to know the situation of something in our lives, we need to have as reference some measure. For example, if we are poor or rich. Our measure for this is the amount of money we have right? To know the weather: observe the temperature!

In a 40km cycling competition: how do we know who will win the race before it happens? If we could only ask a question for the athletes to find out who the likely champion would be, what would that be?


What is your maximum heart rate?
Who is the toughest person in the competition?
Or who drives more miles a week?


How about this: How fast can you do 40km pedaling? Surely the fastest cyclist in this distance will have great chances to win!

Now speaking in training: what should we be measuring?

A coach has 3 variables to work on when he sets out to set up training. I will present each of the 03 variables and where each athlete profile fits in that context ok?


Everything has a start in life. And in training, that start is in leaving home and going to practice!
So, for all the rest to happen, we must first of all leave home and start practicing our sport. And for that to happen, the only thing we need is a calendar! Thing that anyone has in your house!

And it is in this variable that the vast majority of novice athletes are found. This is the most important factor you should take into account. Look for a consistent training frequency so that it gains body and space in their lives.


As our workouts become more frequent, the next step is to increase the length of our training sessions. We want to become more resistant to training and more ambitious to reach new horizons. What do we need for this?
A stopwatch. The vast majority of watches and cell phones have this function.

This is where we find intermediate athletes. This is where training groups start at weekends. Where we begin to perceive a certain ambition for great distances!

But unfortunately, for the vast majority of these athletes, thats the end of road. Intermediate athletes even go so far as to flirt with the third variable of training, but they can not take great advantage of it.
And why this happens? That’s what we’re going to talk now!


Completing the last variable needed to set up the trainings: the intensity. As much as the vast majority of athletes think that they also dominate this variable, we know that it is not quite so. For this is where most of the doubts arise from athletes and even some coaches.   Intensity is the variable most worked by advanced / elite athletes. If you fall into this category, you probably already have a coach to assist you in your training. Because to master the measures of intensity in our sport, we need a broad knowledge in the physiological, technical and tactical aspects of the training.

And then we come back to the point: how to measure the intensity of the training? Next Chapter…

Part #2

Check out the Complete Sequence on Learning Category

Part #01

Training Variables

Part #02

Intensity in Training and its Measures

Part #03

How to Determine an Athlete’s Fitness Level

Part #04

Training Stress Score

Part #05

Performance Management Chart

Part #06

Advanced Metrics on Training Peaks


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