Glossary of Terms

Ever wonder what someone is talking about when they refer to, the volume of a week during a microscale peak period in an ATP? If that sentence seemed like another language, below are definitions to common terms used in the sport of triathlon.

  • Aerobic -
In the presence of oxygen; aerobic metabolism utilizes oxygen. Below the anaerobic-intensity level.
  • Anaerobic -
Literally, "without oxygen." Exercise that demands more oxygen than the heart and lungs can supply. the intensity of exercise performed above the lactate threshold.
  • Anaerobic-endurance-
The ability resulting from the combination of speed and endurance allowing the athlete to maintain a high speed for an extended period of time while anaerobic.
  • Annual Training Plan/ATP-
The purpose of an annual training plan is to develop a useful and dynamic guide for your training which will allow you to reach your fitness goals. The ATP includes: season goals, supporting objectives, annual training hours, races and events prioritized (A, B, C), training periods, weekly hours, weekly abilities to be emphasized.
  • Base Period-
The period during which the basic abilities of endurance, speed and force are emphasized.
  • BT/BreakThrough workout-
A workout intended to cause a significant, positive, adaptive response. These workouts can take 24+ hours to recover from. Take extra caution with these workouts.
  • Build Period-
The specific preparation mesocycle during which high-intensity training in the form of muscular-endurance, anaerobic-endurance and power are emphasized, force and speed are maintained.
  • Cadence-
Revolutions or cycles per minute of the swim stroke, pedal stroke or running stride.
  • Critical Power/CP-
The average power a cyclist can maintain for any given duration of time. Critical power can be used as a parameter for training intensity once a rider's CP zones are determined by completing CP field tests. CP zones are expressed as CP followed by the time duration in minutes. Typical CP durations are CP.2 (12-seconds), CP1 (one-minute), CP6, CP12, CP30, CP60, CP90, and CP180.
  • Cross Training-
Training for more than one sport during the same period of time.
  • Endurance-
The ability to persist, to resist fatigue.
  • Force-
The strength evident in a muscle or muscle group while exerting against a resistance.
  • Form Sprints-
Sprints meant for form not for absolute speed. Do these with a tail wind or slight downhill. Each sprint lasts about 15 seconds with five-minute recoveries. heart rate is not an accurate gauge. Stand for 10 seconds smooth on the pedals building leg strength followed by 5 seconds seated maintaining a high cadence.
  • Frequency-
The number of times per week that one trains.
  • Heart Rate Training Zones-
The Heart rate training zones used on are based on the athlete's lactate threshold heart rate (LTHR). Once the LTHR is determined the five zones can be created by using the "HR & Power Zones" page calculator found under the Home page. Here is a short description of each zone:
2-Extensive endurance
3-Intensive endurance/muscular endurance
5b-Anaerobic endurance
  • Hoods-
On drop handelbars, the covers of the brake handles.
  • Intensity-
The qualitative element of training referring to effort, velocity, maximum strength and power.
  • Interval training-
A system of high-intensity work marked by short, but regularly repeated periods of hard exercise interspersed with periods of recovery.
  • Isolated Leg Training (ILT)-
Pedaling with one leg to improve technique.
  • Lactate threshold (LT)-
The point during exercise of increasing intensity at which blood lactate begins to accumulate above resting levels. Also known as anaerobic threshold.
  • Lactate-
Formed when lactic acid from the muscles enters the blood stream.
  • Lactic Acid-
A by-product of the lactic acid system resulting from the incomplete breakdown of glucose (sugar) in the production of energy.
  • Macronutrient-
The large category of food, which can be broken down into carbohydrates, fat, protein, and fiber.
  • Mash-
To push a big gear.
  • Mesocycle-
A period of training generally two to six weeks long.
  • Microcycle-
A period of training of approximately one week.
  • Overreaching-
Training above the work load that would produce overtraining if continued long enough.
  • Overtraining-
Extreme fatigue, both physical and mental, caused by extensively training at a work load higher than that to which the body can readily adapt.
  • Peak Period-
The mesocycle during which volume of training is reduced and intensity is proportionally increased allowing the athlete to reach high levels of fitness.
  • Periodization-
The process of structuring training into periods (Preparation, Base, Build, Race and Transition).
  • Power-
The ability resulting from force and speed.
  • Power Endurance/ PE-
The purpose of this strength phase is to develop the capacity to quickly recruit most of the fibers for a movement, and to sustain their use at a high power output.
  • Preparation (Prep) Period-
The mesocycle during which the athlete begins to train for the oncoming season; usually marked by the use of cross-training and low loads.
  • Race Period-
The mesocycle during which the work load is greatly decreased allowing the athlete to compete in high-priority races.
  • Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)-
A subjective assessment of how hard one is working.
  • Recovery Interval (RI)-
The relief period between work intervals within an interval workout.
  • Recovery-
A period of training when rest is emphasized.
  • Repetition Maximum (RM)-
The maximum load that a muscle group can lift in one attempt. Also called "one-repetition maximum" (1RM).
  • Repetition-
The number of times a task, such as a work interval or lifting of a weight, is repeated.
  • Set-
A group of repetitions.
  • Specificity, principle of-
The theory that training must stress the systems critical for optimal performance in order to achieve the desired training adaptations.
  • Speed-
Within the context of this site, the ability to move the body in ways that produce optimum performance. For example, the ability to turn the cranks quickly on the bike.
  • Strides-
Counting your strides to ensure a certain stride count during a speed/skill development workout is quite common to develop better running posture and economy. A workout may say to count your strides (right or left foot) for a count of 20 seconds and have a goal of 30 strides within the 20 seconds.
  • Swim Pace Zones-
Monitoring swim heart rate is not simple. Counting beats at the end of a set is not very helpful either since the heart rate drops so fast in fit swimmers. Studies have also shown this to be a very inaccurate gauge of effort. The best way to gauge effort in swimming is by pace. Record swim pace zones based on a 1000m/y time trial.
  • Tapering-
A reduction in training volume prior to a major competition.
  • Tops-
The portion of the handelbar closest to the stem.
  • Training Zone-
A level of intensity based on a percentage of some measure, such as heart rate or power, of the individual's capacity for work.
  • Transition Period-
The mesocycle during which the work load and structure of training are greatly reduced allowing physical and psychological recovery from training and racing.
  • Ventilatory Threshold (VT)-
The point during increasing exertion at which breathing first becomes labored. Closely corresponds with lactate threshold.
  • VO2max-
The capacity for oxygen consumption by the body during maximal exertion, also known as aerobic capacity and maximal oxygen consumption. Usually expressed as liters of oxygen consumed per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml/kg/min).
  • Volume-
A quantitative element of training, such as miles or hours of training within a given time. The combination of duration and frequency.
  • Warm up (WU)-
The period of gradually increasing intensity of exercise at the start of a training session.
  • Workload-
Measured stress applied in training through the combination of frequency, intensity, and duration.

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