Organising speed, strength, power, endurance and skill work into a focussed plan!
Organised training = maximised results
The concept of periodisation is one which considers the result to be optimal performance. By analysing an event and defining clear areas for physiological and technical improvements we can separate specific training areas
In the simplest form of periodisation, we break down to a PREPARATORY PHASE, COMPETITIVE PHASE AND TRANSITION. There are differing opinions on the structure of a periodised plan but what is consistent is that each period has specific aims as the name suggests. The aim of each period is to be ready for the start of the next period, building gradually to achieve peak preparedness and eventually readiness.
How we achieve this is with a systematic and measured approach to zone-specific training. Through undulating loads of volume and intensity we create a preparedness to move to the next period of training. In doing so we also create confidence in our ability, maintain motivation and reduce the risk of injury by avoiding boom-and-bust training.
After a prolonged period of training and racing at intensity there is a proportionate amount of mental and physical downtime needed for every rider to allow the body to be ready to start a new improvement phase. The transition phase is one where the structure is less tight and physical exertion is based on fun, not competition or targets.
Sample week in transition phase
The preparatory phase is normally split into a series of mesocycles (3-4 week training cycles) punctuated by adaptation weeks which allow the body to grow stronger from the stimulus of the mesocycle. The initial table on this page gives an example of phase focus, and this is when we look at the areas where we need to make the biggest improvements.
Sample week in early preparatoty phase
As the preparatory phase gets closer to the competitive phase it's important to start to build in some event- specific intensities and interval durations. Recovery intervals in sessions will start to mimic the nature of racing and or your goal event.
Sample week in late preparatoty phase
The competition phase will generally have less focus on building strength and endurance and more on maintenance and event-specific endurance. To create a readiness for racing we must allow more recovery rides in the weekly programme, where previously it had been adaptive sessions. Only with the correct freshness can we maximise our gains and turn them into peak performances in races!