Are you training specifically?
Training specifically, is training with a purpose. If you want to sprint faster, you need to train sprints and other 'training stimuli' like strength (weights in the gym for example) or power (plyometrics). Likewise, if endurance is your thing there are a number of training stimuli to improve your performance specific
to that activity.
When choosing your sporting objectives, people often just do something because they like it, or like the idea of doing it. However, they might become disillusioned when they find they're not good at it (like me and football!).
Imagine a cyclist, you're very light, have a high power to weight ratio, not good at sprinting, has a poor recovery. You tell me you want to win a certain stage race, say the 'Tour of Normandy' (the Tour of Normandy is usually very cold, no long climb, many short drags and suites for 'baroudeurs'. 'puncheurs', or 'rouleurs' and sprinters, or cyclists that go well on the flat). What can I do as a coach?
Tour du Normadie
Firstly get some idea of 'engine size', i.e. the athlete's capabilities across a range of training zones
then choose which one to improve (I believe in training to our strengths personally, with the bare minimum training of out weaknesses to be viable in other race setting). Measure that capability and train it.
I'd tell the cyclist he'd have a better chance in some one day climbing race (not man of those!) like Vuelta a Rioja, Klassica Primavra, Subida ao Naranco. And hopefully he'd agree and I'd coach him according to his strengths.
video of Subida ao Naranco... a very different race.
How does it all come together?
Our athlete in the first paragraph will get a schedule with the precise values and sensations to train for in order to go well in those hilly one day races. In his case he he'll be working most lactic tolerance, with some lactic power in the weeks coming up to the races, and with rest periods obviously. Time is important and the training will be developed in such a manner that he will only start fine tuning his capabilities on that terrain close to the time, so as to ensure he doesn't over do it and arrive there stale.
Hopefully the cyclist will be right up there in those hilly races doing his best and with a chance to win!