A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Trainer Tip: Specificity Training



Specificity Training: The principle that states that what you do in the gym should be specific to your sport and the outcome you desire. 

To put it simply, a runner should run, a swimmer should swim, and a cyclist should cycle. But we're not idiots and we know that. So let's take it a step further.

I know many runners who like to train on the treadmill. But if you are training for an outdoor race, it makes sense to take your workouts outside, too.

Get out in the terrain you plan to race on. If the course has hills, run some hills. If it's on the trail, get your cutie patootie out on the trail!

Do you dream of one day being able to perform pull ups? Then you better practice them. And you should also have a strength training plan that includes plenty of exercises to strengthen your back and shoulders. Grab some dumbbells, hit up the cable machine, and get to work. Those lats aren't going to get swole themselves.
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Are there any areas in your training in which you would benefit from more specificity?

10 comments:

  1. I have been thinking about this a lot the last 2-3 weeks. I was watching a video with Dwyane Wade's personal trainer and he said, "I'm building a basketball player not a weight lifter so this is what we do." and that has really stuck with me. I mean, it's so obvious but I hadn't really thought about it before.

    I'm making progress on the pullups! I thought it might take me all year to get to do one, but now I think it's going to be much sooner than that! I won't say anymore now because I do not want to jinx myself!

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    1. That is AWESOME Kristina I am proud of you! I know you are really strong and you stick to your goals like nobody's business, so it does not surprise me that you are seeing quicker progress!

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  2. I know that part of my problem with completing a 50 on the trail is the fact that I don't train on the trail (or much on the road).

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    1. Do you enjoy running trails? I bet treadmill ultras exist! I once ran a race on an underwater treadmill... so if they have underwater treadmill races they must have normal treadmill races.

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  3. I would definitely benefit from more hills.

    My sister stopped running for awhile and became a crossfit addict. Her 5k times were phenomenal during that time...that was the only time I conceded that maybe specificity training isn't the only way to succeed haha.

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    1. Good point! BUT cross fit/lifting is anaerobic... something a 5k PR would definitely benefit from, so in a waaaaay it kind of is specificity training.

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  4. For me it's hills. Hills have always been hard for me (seriously, how do some people find them easy?!). I try to incorporate some rolling hills into my routes but it doesn't seem to be helping. So maybe I should do more hill repeats. BUT, I've done that and I don't know how much that helps either - most races don't involve nothing but sprinting up and down hills over and over again.

    The best compromise I've found is to practice by planning a route with a hard hill at the very end, to simulate having to tackle a hill on tired legs. This seems to be the best specificity training I've found so far.

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    1. That is a great idea to plan your hill at the end. When I used to run hills ALL THE TIME they were easy for me. I don't run hills anymore and now they are hard. Go figure.

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  5. I have the pull up dream - and a dream it is lol I am still only able to pull my self a few inches, so I finally started using the assisted machine. I just need to keep at it.

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    1. Do it! The asst. pull up machine will give you beautiful shoulders!!

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