Periodisation of Training: Weekly Periodisation Part 2

This is the second part of the article on Weekly Periodisation: the first can be found here.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Training Training  Training Training  Training

A five day per week training plan will involve two days prior to a rest day and then three days prior to a second rest day on any given week. This example follows something resembling M, H, E, M, M, H, E sequence but could just as easily follow a M, M, H, E, M, H, E sequence.

Six days of training is very obviously six days on one day off or is it? We can do a couple of things here. We can look at the breakdown of the how the sessions line up in a week and the options available.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Easy Moderate Hard Easy Moderate Hard  Off

An easy day can still involve training, just not as much or as intense as a moderate or a hard day. Another option we can do to create a week that includes six training sessions in it is to double up on a day.

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5 Day 6 Day 7
Easy Moderate Off Easy Moderate Hard Off

A couple of moderate training sessions in a single day in most circumstances will end up being a hard day. Have a read here about an article that discusses how technology can help you determine the total Training Stress of a workout.

Tri Training NZWe can go on adding a workout per week and show examples until the internet runs out of room, but what I want to move onto looking at is how you can structure the training with actual sessions to enhance your recovery through periodisation.

Consider firstly a triathlete (now single sport athletes stick with me here as this also has relevance for you and you will see why in a minute). A triathlete needs to swim, bike and run. Three different sports.  Three different training sessions. Running is harder on the body than cycling due to the impact that the body has from pounding the ground. Because of this it takes more recovery to get the benefits from the session. Cycling is harder than swimming because swimming you are fully supported by the water.  A two hour run is harder than a one hour run (assuming intensity and terrain is the same). A bike ride that involves riding at higher intensity is harder than a ride at a lower intensity (assuming other factors are equal such as duration). So now we can start looking at how hard a workout actually is and planning around these considerations to develop a structured week for our triathletes.

Cyclists and runners only need to cycle or run don’t they? Well no…..any overall plan for a serious single sport athlete will involve training in other modalities e.g. Yoga or some sort of flexibility training, strength conditioning. For a cyclist this could be through hill riding or specific leg strength big gear intervals and/or in the gym.

Ditto for a runner both ‘in the hills’ or in ‘the weight room’ are great locations to develop specific strength that can be transferred to single sport success.

Each training session should be providing a specific aim that will assist the athlete develop to their optimal best in the time available to them, but those sessions need to be planned around each other to ensure that there is appropriate recovery to optimise the training programme and results.

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