Glossary of Triathlon Terms
Listed below are a collection of triathlon and endurance sports training terms you will encounter on your trainingpeaks.com training plan, discussions with your coach or other athletes, etc. we will continue to add to this, but if you have a term to include, let us know.
- Aerobic Threshold. These are the easiest workouts you will do and are the backbone of training to build endurance. The key to these workouts is to keep the H/R at or below your aerobic threshold. During these workouts the athlete can exercise “how they feel”; if you are feeling strong you can exercise right at the AeT. If the athlete´s legs are feeling tired the intensity level should be dropped to an easier effort.
- Contest. Origin: Greek.
- Cool Down. The CD segment, like the RI will mostly be focused in HR/Z 1 or RPE 1 or 6 (depending upon which RPE scale your coach uses. Duration of the CD segment will always be included in the workout description. The CD is equally as important as the W-up and MS segments of the workout. This is a time to allow your muscles to slowly cool and your H/R to settle back to near normal while continuing to force your blood to circulate.
- Critical Power. Referencing intensity levels of a workout for those who use a bike power meter. For those using a power meter there are power tests and power zones used to determine your training intensity and effort.
- Dynamic Warm-up Exercises
- Approximately 10 min in duration and should be included in the warm-up phase of a workout. Dynamic warm-ups prepare the body for the demands of a work out, practice or race; increase heart rate, respiratory rate and blood flow to the muscles; increase core body temperature and enhances muscle elasticity. Following Dynamic warm-up exercises one´s muscles should be warm and one should have worked up a sweat. View more on dynamic warm-up exercises.
- Functional Threshold Heart Rate (FTHR). Also referred to as Max Functional Heart Rate and is similar to Lactic Threshold. Your FTHR is the maximum heart rate your body can maintain for a measured 20 minutes.
- Functional Threshold Power. Functional threshold power or pace (FTP) is the highest average power or pace you can maintain for one hour. That’s quite precise, clear and logical.
- H/R Test
- Heart Rate Test. These are not fun and can vary based upon physical condition and race distances. H/R Tests can be done in a lab where they can be fairly expensive or they supervised by your coach and as "Field Tests" in a controlled or semi-controlled environment and are much more affordable. Each h/r test takes about an hour. The goal of each H/R Test is to determine the athletes maximum heart rate, threshold heart rate, the distance and/or maximum applicable workload for each specific sport. H/R´s vary by sport due to larger or smaller muscle involvement, gravity, etc.
- H/R Zone (H/R Z)
- Heart Rate Zone. There are many different Heart Rate Zones. Swim, Bike and Run tests are done to determine your sport specific Maximum H/R (highest h/r attainable). There are also many different H/R Zone calculations. We tend to use the Joe Friel 1 – 5C h/r zone calculations. Once your personalized H/R Test has been completed your h/r zones will be posted under the "Zones" tab of your individual Training Peaks Account.
- Main Set. The MS is the body of the workout – the primary focus of the workout. The MS workout description will include duration of the efforts with assigned intensity, RI or S/R if needed between sets, the number of sets with a goal pace for a effort, goal cadence, speed, rpm´s T-pace, as well as notes detailing the goal of the workout.
- Rest Interval. This can be referenced in swimming, biking, running, strength training, etc. simply put, it´s the amount of suggested rest before starting the next set.
- The Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is a way of measuring physical activity intensity level. It can be used both in training and in competition. There are several Borg Scales, but the most common are the 15-point scale, ranging from 5 (20% effort) to 20 (100% effort) and the 10-point scale ranging from 0 (nothing) to 10 (very, very hard). There is a correlation between an athlete's RPE and their heart rate, VO2 max, lactate levels and breathing rates.
- Seconds Rest. Interchangeable with RI. This can be referenced in swimming, biking, running, strength training, etc. simply put, it´s the amount of suggested rest before starting the next set.
- T-pace Test
- Threshold Testing to determine swim pace.
- a combining form meaning "three," used in the formation of compound words: triacid; triatomic. Origin: Middle English < Latin, combining form representing Latin tres, tria, Greek treîs, tría.
- n. an athletic contest in which each athlete competes in three different events: swimming, cycling, and running. Origin: 1970–75; tri- + (dec)athlon, [from tri- + Greek athlon contest]
- participant in a triathlon.
- Time Trial
- Abbreviation for
Warm up. The initial step in each workout. Describes the time to be used for initial stretching and loosening up of the muscles which may include "Dynamic Warm-up" exercises.