Periodization

An athlete cannot be in top form all year round. This fact leads to a periodization of the training rhythm, otherwise there is a risk that the overall anabolic situation will turn into a catabolic one. In the context of training control, long-term building up, stabilizing and reducing load periods are used.

Through this system of periodization, load overloads can be avoided and, on the other hand, higher load peaks can be achieved at certain times.

On a small scale, this is based on individual training blocks. For trained athletes, a 3-1 ratio has become established. This means training on three consecutive days and then a rest day. For especially young or not yet so trained athletes and beginners in the sport, a 2-1 ratio can also be used. Since recovery phases are already scheduled after every two days of stress, this helps to avoid overtraining and injuries as a result of chronically high stress (and lack of regeneration).

In addition, you often increase the training volume in a periodization over weeks. That is, two or three weeks of increasing training stress (volume and/or intensity) are accompanied by a week of rest (again, you train in a 3-1 or 2-1 ratio).

In the course of the season, periodization describes the course of the individual training phases. For an endurance athlete, this includes the off-season, the preparation, especially the development of basic endurance, and finally the specialization and competition phases. A classic approach would be to train with a particularly high training volume but low intensity during preparation. In specialization, the volume is then reduced and one focuses, for example, on specific interval units in EB or SB.

Some coaches are also said to use seasonal periodization in the training management of their athletes. This is especially common in Olympic disciplines where a four-year Olympic cycle is followed. Because these sports often have less money and media exposure, it’s especially important to perform at your best during the Olympics. Thus, after a (strenuous) Olympic season, a somewhat quieter year follows with fewer competitions and a total training volume that is perhaps rather in the lower range for a professional athlete, before one increases again over the following years and constantly tries to build up top form.

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