Periodisation of Training

7 Dec

Just some notes from a talk I just did for TFN Tri Club. I’m getting more into block training now, but I think this still works fine for novice and intermediate athletes as well as working AG athletes.

We talked about some ways of planning a year. If you just want to train all year round then that’s great too. Basically periodisation is planning to peak at one race or for a short period of time. You could aim for a double peak if you wanted to qualify for an event or fancied having a really good crack at a couple of races in a year.

We then all had a go at filling in a planner. We worked backwards from our goal race to see when we need to start structured tri training. Until the onset of structured training Coach Chris has some really good advice on winter training above.

TFN_Season_Planner <—– Download this excel file and you can fill it in too.

There are many ways of doing it. Lets talk about the similarities.
• Consistency is key.
• Involves some sort of progression
• Made up from various cycles
o Macrocycles – Yearly Training Plan.
o Mesocycles – A block of training (2-8 weeks). Often a calender month.
o Microcycles – A repeated segment of a mesocycle. Typically a calendar week.
o Some intensity all year round

Lets talk about the differences and issues
• Many Periodisation plans come from strength and power sports and are then adapted for endurance sports…
• What works for a pro may not work for an age grouper. Especially with ones that work full time, have a partner and/or a family.

So where do we start?

Macrocycle. On your planner identify 1 or 2 key races! These are your A races and ones you will taper and work towards. You can also have B races that you will rest a bit for and C races that you will train through.

Mesocycle. What do we do with our year plan?

• Sprint/Standard
o 7-10 days
• Middle to Iron distance
o 10-14 days
• Reduction in volume to allow the body to rest and refuel. 50 – 75% of your normal, remember to include your race!
• do short sharp sessions at race pace.
• No Weights

• 8 Weeks
• Overall volume remains constant
• Introduce some sessions at race pace, can steadily increase duration/reps
• Maintenance weights, once a week
• great time for cycle Time Trials/ Park Runs / short road races

• Sprint 1 x 4 week block
• Standard 2 x 4 week blocks
• Iron and middle distance 3 x 4 week blocks.
• Steady and gradual increase in volume to a sustainable level.
• Most sessions done steady or easy.
• Some intensity
• after the first four week include 2 x 4 week block of hills!
• technique and efficiency focus
• Strength work! Especially older men, most women. If you come from a strength/power background then maybe not.
• Good time to loose a bit of weight

IM and novice athletes can happily do base all year round!

Microcycles – What to do with your week?

First thing to ask is do you need to use a calendar week?
• 7 day (3 weeks on, 1 week easy)
• 10 days rolling, many pros use this (rest built in)
• 11 days on 3 days off (built in rest every microcycle) – really good for AG’rs

• Date night!
• Playing with your kids
• Staying employed

• Build it round the core.
o Long Ride
o Long Run
o Race pace Brick
• Then the stuff you can’t move.
oClub swim sessions
o OW sessions
o Track sessions.
• Everything else is gravy!ß


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