To provide more examples for you and others to understand these rather advanced concepts, I’ll share my ride from this morning! Here is the workout I completed this morning - the classic Ronnestad workout:
The workout had a Focus of 5:20 - Breakaway Specialist. This means that the combination of Low to High to Peak XSS would be similar to the Low/High/Peak XSS I would accumulate if I were to ride right at my 5:20 min power. That’s what Focus helps us understand.
Taking things to the next level, we want to know how we arrived at that distribution of Low, High, & Peak XSS. Were there efforts at 2 min power mixed in with lots of low intensity riding? Or were the intervals actually completed at my 5:20 power? Specificity helps answer this. For this ride, most of those red intervals were completed slightly above my 5:00 power, so a large portion of the total strain for the activity was accumulated very near the actual focus duration, which resulted in a Specificity of 73% (PURE specificity rating).
Compare this to another ride that has a nearly identical focus, but a completely different ride profile:
This group ride that I did had a focus of 5:28 - Breakaway Specialist. So, the overall distribution of Low/High/Peak XSS is similar to the Ronnestad, but clearly there weren’t many efforts spent specifically at my 5(ish) minute power.
This is where Specificity comes into play. The specificity for this ride was only 21.5% (POLAR specificity rating). Such a low specificity rating indicates that I didn’t spent much time at my 5:28 power. Despite a focus rating that was relatively low, the polar specificity rating indicates that the ride was still mostly endurance based.
Long-winded example, but hopefully it makes sense and explains that Focus goes hand-in-hand with specificity. Cheers!