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Periodization is an idea that has been around since the middle of the 20th century. If you listen to any other endurance-themed podcasts like this one, I’m sure you have come across it before. The basic concept revolves around structuring your annual training in such a way as to have you “peak” for a specific event or series of events. In order to achieve this, many great coaches have adopted styles of training that involve focusing on specific areas of fitness at different times. Over the years, different methods of periodization have evolved, you may have heard about linear, traditional, non-linear, block and other methods of periodization.
Is Periodization actually applicable?
Personally, I’ve read quite a bit about these methods over the years in a quest to improve my own training. I wanted to bring my guest on the show today to discuss these methods and how we could implement them as self-coached athletes. However, what emerged was an interesting discussion on the practical application of these training philosophies when applied to the real-world recreational athlete.
Craig Schmitt is a Physiotherapist, Triathlon Coach and Kona-qualifying Ironman triathlete. Said another way, Craig is a lot like me, only better, by every metric. However, I tried to set my jealousy aside for the interview and I hope you’ll agree that it was well worth the effort. Craig is a wealth of practical information for the recreational endurance athlete. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.
In this interview, I asked Craig
- What are your thoughts on formal periodization methods?
- Do you use a formal periodization approach with your athletes?
- How do you approach annual training planning?
- How should athletes decide how to structure their annual training?
- What should athletes work on during the fall and winter? Does it depend on when they intend to race?
- How should they work back from their goal race to make a plan?
- How many races is it sensible to schedule? How far apart do they need to be?