I like to think of a trial as a small test. A test that will end. And something with which we will gain new knowledge and understanding. There are periods of rest between trials, but those times might be short or long depending upon our goals.
When training for a race, it is recommended that an athlete complete regular time trials on the bike, swim and run. Here are some suggested time trials that should be scheduled monthly during the base season:
1 fast mile at the track
1500 meters in the pool
40K bike on a flat course
Make it a goal to complete and record your paces for each of these trials every four weeks. They're the best way to be honest with yourself in how much you are improving, maintaining or losing your fitness level.
All trials, especially those personal or physical ones, have a purpose. They push us to new limits. And teach us that there are things we didn't think we could do that, in fact, we can.