If we want to become better in something, it feels just naturally to do more of it. Right? Of course! We want to improve our performance on the bicycle? Well, what do we do? Right! We we ride our bike even more! Instead of doing two hours a week we do four! 50% more! God, we will improve so much!
And honestly, this works pretty good! Just do more of something until you get better! The magical formula to success!? It could be it!
But once you hit a certain level, well, the situation seems to change! The difference between spending 22 hours a week on the racing simulator or 24 hours becomes marginally small. In fact, you might not even notice a difference!
Once we have reached a certain plateau, it seems like just doing more of something doesn’t help any longer! Our training becomes ineffective!
But what gets you out of there? What will help you to move on? To take the next step in line?
SPECIFIC VS. UNSPECIFIC TRAINING
If you are a cyclist, the moment you sit on the bike, this can be called a specific training. You use your body in the exact way, you need to use it in a competition or a race. Therefore, riding a bike is a specific training for a cyclist! OK! But what would be an unspecific training? What about squash, or swimming, or running! Exactly! These are all things that will help your endurance capabilities, but in a completely different way than on the bike.
In the world of racing, this becomes something important as well! The moment you sit in the car, or in a simulator, you practice the art of racing. But racing is not all about turning a wheel and hitting the pedals every now and again. There are a lot of other things to consider! A lot of other things you need to master in order to be successful.
If I would try to spend even more time on the simulator, well, that wouldn’t change anything! What I needed to do is to enter the unspecific practice zone. The place where I work on my driving skills somehow, for sure! But not primarily through racing. Things I currently do are reaction training, workouts, stretching, understanding the psychology of the mind, driving tracks with closed eyes in my head, meditating and many more.
When is it ok to focus on unspecific training techniques?
A very difficult question to answer. In the beginning, doing a specific training is always better. You get used to the movements and can improve your skills directly. Therefore, you should definitely focus on the specific training, especially in the beginning. Sure, a bit of unspecific training might not harm, but the main focus should always be on your sport at hand.
Only after reaching a certain plateau, it will become more interesting for you to also spend your time in the unspecific field. Because this will help you to get even better by experiencing new challenges and sensations.
See you next time!