One of the differentiating factors between talented and less talented athletes is the size of energy system.
- The faster the athlete, the greater the anaerobic capacity.
- The better distance athletes have greater aerobic capacities.
- More talented athletes use a greater percent of their energy from the aerobic energy system.
- More talented athletes use energy at a faster rate than lesser talented athletes.
Benchmark testing can help to determine capacities. A total work over 30-45s (all-out effort) can measure the anaerobic capacity (development) of an athlete. Or, a longer TT testing can indicate aerobic developments (for example: the lower the wattage loss from start to finish, the greater the endurance capacity).
Biomechanial variables differentiate in talented and less talented athletes, too.
- (Swim) Stroke rate is higher in the skilled group of athletes
- (Swim) Stroke length was shorter in the skilled group of athletes
- (Swim) Skilled athletes emphazise the last part of the underwater stroke than the entry.
- (Swim) Skilled athletes minimise excessive stretching and gliding under water after the entry to reduce deceleration between individual arm cycles.
- (Run) Stride rate is higher in the skill group of athletes
- (Run) Ground contact time is shorter in the skilled group of athletes
- (Run) Skilled athletes “float” over the ground and minimise excessive vertical bounding
- (Bike) Skilled athletes pedal with a higher cadence (85-100rpm), minimise “mashing” big gears and avoid “dead” spots to reduce “deceleration” between individual pedal cycles.
- (Bike) Skilled athletes emphazise the down-stroke of the pedal stroke.
Having a good aerobic capacity is one of the basic requirments in long distance athletes performances alongside other factors such as a reduced anaerobic capacity, a favorable power to weight ratio (bodycomposition) as well as refined biomechanical skills to improve performances.