Monday, February 13, 2012


If you're training for a race event (for example a half marathon or triathlon) familiarize yourself with the term 'Periodization.'

A training system that separates the year into distinct phases with specific training & competitive goal(s) for each phase.

Let's say you're training for a half marathon several months from now.  Instead of just running every day with only the goal of doing the race, break down your training into phases & goals to train toward with in the ultimate goal of crossing the finish line.  Think of a staircase, each step builds on the next one to reach your goal. 
Why periodization:
*Periodization helps you skip hitting plateaus.  *You run less risk of injury because you're building properly.  *It optimizes your training time.

Phases of periodization:

Phase I - Base training
Easy mileage plus weekly strides (approx 8-12 weeks)

Phase II - Strength training
Fartlek, tempo & hills (approx 4-8 weeks)

Phase III - Speed workouts
4-8 weeks (approx 4-8 weeks)

Phase IV - Racing
Add some races before the big day (4-6 weeks) 

Phase V - Rest/recovery
Take time off after the big race to allow your body to recovery (1-4 weeks)

Simple?  It really is!  It takes a bit of planning, though.  So, sit down and look at your upcoming season and start your periodization right now.  Good luck!

If you need assistance in your training plan itself or in your actual training, let us know.  It's what we do!  

Email Emily Collins, Owner of OnTrack Fitness