This post is a clarification of my earlier post on the same topic. I’ll get back to describing advanced-athlete training once I’ve cleared up an obvious matter I overlooked earlier.
After part 1 of this series was posted several readers here and on Twitter asked a question I should have addressed: What’s an “advanced” athlete. I’m sure we could get some heated discussions going on this one, but let me just simply say that I see this as someone who is well-experienced in the sport, highly fit for the sport and competitive within their race category. That probably will still leave many readers wanting for an even more tightly defined reply. But I’m not going to keep digging deeper on this as we would soon eliminate everyone except the most recent winners of the Tour, the Ironman and the Boston Marathon.
I’d like to emphasize that this definition does not eliminate athletes based on age. One of my athletes is 67 years old and he fits nicely into this definition in my book. Two years ago he won the state time trial championship for his age category. I train him in much the same way as my other and younger advanced athletes. There are, however, variations on what I’ll describe here that are based on age. These are mostly related to rest since older athletes tend to recover more slowly.
On the other hand, I coach a 30-something triathlete who is relatively new to the sport, now in his third season, and has many work-related restrictions on his training time. He’s got the potential to become highly fit and competitive but he’s not there yet. I do not train him as an advanced athlete.
I hope this helps a bit in trying to explain who I am writing about here. You’ll have to decide for yourself if you are well-experienced, highly fit and competitive in your sport.