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2015-09-29 10:14 AM

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Subject: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
I'm already thinking about next season...

I was wondering if instead of the typical 3-4 workouts per week per sport on any given plan, if anyone had tried rotating discipline-heavy weeks. So, something like:
Week 1: Bike a lot, swim a couple times, run moderately
Week 2: Run a lot, bike a couple times, swim moderately
Week 3: Swim a lot, run a couple times, bike moderately
Repeat.

I wonder if this wouldn't help with burnout (after each discipline's heavy week is an easy week). Plus, it fits the pattern of building for two weeks and taking a stepback week, but addressing each discipline separately instead of as a whole.

Assuming, of course, I'm equally bad in all three sports. Any thoughts? Has anyone tried something like this before?


2015-09-29 10:16 AM
in reply to: Miles around Midtown

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Thanks for posting this, as I was actually debating doing the same thing. I am curious what other will say.
Mary
2015-09-29 11:33 AM
in reply to: Miles around Midtown

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?

I've never heard of that exactly, but it's not uncommon to do longer single sport focuses during the off season.

Off the top of my head, the challenge that I see with it would be managing your combined training load (the total amount of metabolic fatigue from all training), plus managing the biomechanical stress (physical damage to joints, bones, muscles, and connective tissues) from more frequent changes in weekly running volume.

How does it fit the pattern of 2 weeks build/ 1 week recovery?  Are you viewing the swimming week as recovery?  If so, that does provide a bit of recovery from the greater biomechanical stresses of biking and running, but done properly, swim training doesn't provide much in the way of metabolic recovery, because you're working hard all the time.  You'd still need to manage that.

Something to consider if you want to attempt this type of schedule is that the 3:1 and 2:1 weeks of build:recovery micro cycles frequently used are mostly for the convenience of matching up with the average person's 7 day week.  It's also possible to use other micro cycles, such as 10 days on / 2 days recovery, 18 days on / 4 days recovery, etc. if that works better for the individual's life schedule.  The important thing is making sure training stress and recovery are balanced in such a way so that improvements are realized.

 

2015-09-29 11:34 AM
in reply to: Miles around Midtown

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Something like that could work, but the specifics would need to be tailored to the individual. In general, you don't want to lose run fitness as that is the hardest to get back. Swim and bike are a little easier to get back, but if you are technically challenged on the swim you dont want to shelve it to much.

Always run at least twice a week and swim 1-2x weekly when doing a bike focus.

Always run at least twice a week and bike once a week when doing a swim focus.

Always swim at least 1-2x a week and bike once per week when doing a bike focus.

It is probably a less than ideal long term strategy, BUT a big part of racing well is having confidence in your training. Lots of things work because we think they work, and when I say less than ideal, I mean slightly less.

2015-09-29 12:12 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Originally posted by TriMyBest

How does it fit the pattern of 2 weeks build/ 1 week recovery?  Are you viewing the swimming week as recovery?  If so, that does provide a bit of recovery from the greater biomechanical stresses of biking and running, but done properly, swim training doesn't provide much in the way of metabolic recovery, because you're working hard all the time.

Yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear on that -- in a three week cycle, run would build for two weeks then take one week easy; bike would build for two weeks and take one week easy (but a different week); swim would build for two weeks and take one week easy (but a different week).

This is what I sketched out:
(Disclaimer: I love to run)

Week 1: Bike x 5, run x 5, swim x 2 (bike heavy week, swim recovery week)
Week 2: Run x 5-6, swim x 3, bike x 3 (run heavy week, bike recovery week)
Week 3: Swim x 4, run x 3-4, bike x 4 (swim heavy week, run recovery week)
Repeat
Note that the week after each sport's heavy week is that sport's recovery week.

So I would have at least 2-3 workouts in each discipline per week so as not to lose fitness, even if it's not a focus week for that sport.
2015-09-29 3:31 PM
in reply to: Miles around Midtown

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?

Originally posted by Miles around Midtown
Originally posted by TriMyBest How does it fit the pattern of 2 weeks build/ 1 week recovery?  Are you viewing the swimming week as recovery?  If so, that does provide a bit of recovery from the greater biomechanical stresses of biking and running, but done properly, swim training doesn't provide much in the way of metabolic recovery, because you're working hard all the time.
Yeah, sorry if I wasn't clear on that -- in a three week cycle, run would build for two weeks then take one week easy; bike would build for two weeks and take one week easy (but a different week); swim would build for two weeks and take one week easy (but a different week). This is what I sketched out: (Disclaimer: I love to run) Week 1: Bike x 5, run x 5, swim x 2 (bike heavy week, swim recovery week) Week 2: Run x 5-6, swim x 3, bike x 3 (run heavy week, bike recovery week) Week 3: Swim x 4, run x 3-4, bike x 4 (swim heavy week, run recovery week) Repeat Note that the week after each sport's heavy week is that sport's recovery week. So I would have at least 2-3 workouts in each discipline per week so as not to lose fitness, even if it's not a focus week for that sport.

Yikes!!  That's not much of a run recovery week.

I'm curious as to how this would work out for you.  I'm often forced into "focus" weeks due to work travel where I don't have access to a decent pool or bike trainer.



2015-09-29 9:33 PM
in reply to: Miles around Midtown

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
I've never had anyone go thru that kind of rotation for an extended period of time, but definitely if we are trying to build up one of their weaknesses for their race.

For example, if an athlete is already a strong runner & swimmer, but needs some more focus on the bike before their big race. I might have them do 2-4 weeks of hard cycling, variations of running and some swimming. Then for the recovery periods will add in a little more swimming.
2015-09-30 7:58 AM
in reply to: tzcoaching

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Originally posted by tzcoaching

For example, if an athlete is already a strong runner & swimmer, but needs some more focus on the bike before their big race.

Like I said, assume I'm equally bad in all three disciplines.

I might give it a whirl this winter -- maybe having a different focus every week will help avoid burnout and shake things up a bit.
2015-10-02 12:16 AM
in reply to: #5143773

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Yes. We call this sport focus blocks. We should have a few plans like this up on BT by Dec.
2015-10-02 6:15 AM
in reply to: jmhpsu93

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Originally posted by jmhpsu93
I'm curious as to how this would work out for you.  I'm often forced into "focus" weeks due to work travel where I don't have access to a decent pool or bike trainer.




I did this for 2 years. I was living in 5 cities on a 4 week rotation but it came down to 3 setups.

Germany : Great pool - Lots of good running - crappy gym bikes
Poland : OK pool - Lots of running - no bike
Canada&US : PITA pool schedules - Lots of snow - lots of bikes/computrainer.....

Every week had an "A" sport, a "B" sport and a "C" sport.
I was happy with my results.
2015-10-02 6:52 AM
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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
I would suggest a longer block for each sport focus (maybe 4-6 weeks including recovery week or weeks) where you sustain the focus long enough to see real progress. Particularly true for swimming, since it's so technique-based--changes take a while to take hold and sometimes you can even get slower temporarily if you need to slow down to incorporate better technique.

As I recall, in the BT beginner HIM plan there is a period when you do a week's focus on each sport, then a recovery week. It was okay. I liked the swim week because it was an excuse to keep cool for a while.

Edited by Hot Runner 2015-10-02 6:54 AM


2015-10-02 7:12 AM
in reply to: mikericci

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?
Originally posted by mikericciYes. We call this sport focus blocks. We should have a few plans like this up on BT by Dec.
I'm curious to see how you do this, Mike, because I've never tried repeating focuses for only 1 week at a time. How are total training stress and recovery balanced? Are you building necessary recovery into every week, reducing volume every 4th week for all 3 disciplines, or addressing it in another way?
2015-10-02 10:32 AM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?

I first did it in 1992 or so and it's been relatively easy to figure out - the one true statement about endurance sports is that it's easier to maintain fitness than it is to get fitness.

So, if you have the fitness at the end of a season, it's best to work on the weakest sport first - for 8 weeks. Then you'll focus on the next sport for 8 weeks, and lastly, ether repeat the first phase again, or work on the 3rd weakest (or strongest sport) again. I mix it up depending on the athlete. It's truly a 24 week cycle, when done properly. Yes, you can cut corners, and you can not do all 8 weeks, etc. And for most people that's fine. But for those of you who really want to make an impact I highly recommend doing it the right way. 

1 focus week at a time isn't going to make any permanent changes, but doing something for 8 weeks will.

How are total stress and recovery balanced? How do you balance them during a normal cycle? Same thing. You have to make sure there isn't too much intensity that it's hurting what the focus is.

Recovery weeks - depends on the athlete and what the athletes needs. I've never believed there's a one size fits all type of approach.

 

2015-10-02 1:09 PM
in reply to: mikericci

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?

Originally posted by mikericci

I first did it in 1992 or so and it's been relatively easy to figure out - the one true statement about endurance sports is that it's easier to maintain fitness than it is to get fitness.

So, if you have the fitness at the end of a season, it's best to work on the weakest sport first - for 8 weeks. Then you'll focus on the next sport for 8 weeks, and lastly, ether repeat the first phase again, or work on the 3rd weakest (or strongest sport) again. I mix it up depending on the athlete. It's truly a 24 week cycle, when done properly. Yes, you can cut corners, and you can not do all 8 weeks, etc. And for most people that's fine. But for those of you who really want to make an impact I highly recommend doing it the right way. 

1 focus week at a time isn't going to make any permanent changes, but doing something for 8 weeks will.

How are total stress and recovery balanced? How do you balance them during a normal cycle? Same thing. You have to make sure there isn't too much intensity that it's hurting what the focus is.

Recovery weeks - depends on the athlete and what the athletes needs. I've never believed there's a one size fits all type of approach.

 

I understand how to do a single sport focus while maintaining fitness in the other two.  What you're talking about is how I do it too.  I thought you were saying that you were going to offer a plan that changed focus weekly like the OP asked about.  That's what I was asking how that would work.

 

2015-10-02 4:42 PM
in reply to: TriMyBest

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Subject: RE: Anyone tried rotating periodization weeks?

Originally posted by TriMyBest

Originally posted by mikericci

I first did it in 1992 or so and it's been relatively easy to figure out - the one true statement about endurance sports is that it's easier to maintain fitness than it is to get fitness.

So, if you have the fitness at the end of a season, it's best to work on the weakest sport first - for 8 weeks. Then you'll focus on the next sport for 8 weeks, and lastly, ether repeat the first phase again, or work on the 3rd weakest (or strongest sport) again. I mix it up depending on the athlete. It's truly a 24 week cycle, when done properly. Yes, you can cut corners, and you can not do all 8 weeks, etc. And for most people that's fine. But for those of you who really want to make an impact I highly recommend doing it the right way. 

1 focus week at a time isn't going to make any permanent changes, but doing something for 8 weeks will.

How are total stress and recovery balanced? How do you balance them during a normal cycle? Same thing. You have to make sure there isn't too much intensity that it's hurting what the focus is.

Recovery weeks - depends on the athlete and what the athletes needs. I've never believed there's a one size fits all type of approach.

 

I understand how to do a single sport focus while maintaining fitness in the other two.  What you're talking about is how I do it too.  I thought you were saying that you were going to offer a plan that changed focus weekly like the OP asked about.  That's what I was asking how that would work.

 

Gotcha - I read that too fast.Changing every week would be pointless unless absolutely necessary for some reason (travel / work).

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