Preparation can be a deciding factor in whether an athlete is ready to perform well. This makes preparation one of the important keys to realizing their potential. Sometimes a match is won even before it starts due to an athlete’s high level of preparation.
A periodization training program can help an athlete optimize their preparation. It can also help minimize overtraining and enable athletes to achieve peak performance at the ideal time. Periodization is an organized approach to training that cycles different aspects of a season. It involves sequencing different training variables such as intensity, volume, frequency, recovery and exercises at a predetermined period. For an Olympic athlete, a training plan can be up to 4 years called a macrocycle. This can be broken down to a mesocycle, which is used to develop or improve specific aspects of functional indicators of an athlete. This training block can be between 2 to 6 weeks. Within the mesocycle is the microcycle. The microcycles are specific training sessions. Periodization training takes the long term and short-term goals in to account to best prepare the athlete whether it’s an annual plan or a 4-year plan.
Periodization Phases (Macrocycle)
Phase 1 - Preparation Phase (Mesocycle)
- Challenge aerobic system
- High volume and low intensity
- Technical and tactical training
- Challenge strength system
- Challenge anaerobic systems
- Challenge speed and power systems
- Low volume and high intensity
- High sports specificity
- Peak Performance Phase
- Rest from your sport; Participate in other sports activities
References Available from the SIRC Collection:
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