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How to Step Up Your Training with the Correct Periodization

by RunnersConnect: Coaching Community, Running Experts, Inspiring Runners, No Fluff Blog
February 17th 2023
Hello fellow runners, I'm your host, Finn Melanson and this is the run to the top podcast, the podcast dedicated to making you a better runner with each and every episode, we are created and produced by the expert team of coaches at runners connect dot net where you can find the best running information on the internet as well as training plans to fit every runner and every budget period. Ization is one of the most important training concepts that helps runners break through plateaus. If you haven't heard of the term before, it's basically a way of structuring your training to specific periods that all build off each other to guide you towards a specific goal. Many newer runners and even grizzled vets often neglect the concept of period Ization as it's easy to keep focusing on the next race and then the next race etcetera. But once you stop training race to race and focus on how all your seasons fit together, huge breakthroughs can happen in today's show.

Coach Rory and Coach Dillon are going to help define what Pureed Ization is and go over two of the most popular approaches so you can learn how it can benefit you at any race distance. And if you've been stuck in a plateau with your training and racing, this will be an awesome listen, I promise you finding the right supplements at the right dosage is specifically for your needs isn't easy. That's why we love L. O. Health. L. O. Uses a combination of at home blood biomarker testing apple health data and dietician support to determine exactly the right supplements just for you, I'll tell you more about how it works and how you can get a free biomarker test later in the episode. If you're someone who struggles to relax and get sleep at night, I cannot wait to tell you more about one of our favorite brands, ned and their new shuteye chai, it's a mellow super blend latte for sleep that combines adaptive jin's caminos, functional mushrooms and magnesium to help calm your central nervous system and improve your sleep.

I'll tell you more about them later in this episode. But if you want to learn more now head to hello ned dot com backslash. R. T T T. Hi guys welcome back to the podcast or the video. If you're watching on Youtube. Thanks everyone so much for joining in with us today. This is uptempo talks brought to you by runners connect I am coach Nolin Bella's. I'm Coach Roy Morning an and today we are going to be talking about period Ization and how that applies to our training. So you want to kick us off with what exactly is period ization? Yeah, don't fall asleep yet because we're gonna talk about why this is a really important to your training I guess put simply pureed ization is how you break up your training and preparation for target race. So you may focus on different things such as speed speed, endurance, long runs and such and it's gonna vary depending on your goal Race. Yeah, exactly. So a lot of times people like to say, Hey, I'm gonna be training for a 5K and I had 12 weeks to do so.

And the beginning mindset is all right. I'm gonna do every workout at five K specificity. Um, so I might just go around my five K pace for 12 by 400 or eventually six by 803 by one mile, whatever it is naturally, that seems like the course of action to go right. If you want to make it as specific as possible, you run race pace, but tell us why exactly why exactly we don't want to do this. And you know, when we talk about breaking things into a paradise program, ultimately that's gonna help us come to a peak. So what would you tell a beginning runner who is going into a plan of just saying, hey, I wanna run five K base and that's all I want to do? Yeah. So let me go back to, I wanted to add on to the term because if, depending on your ability, if you're a new runner, that may be a new term for you. If you hear coach is a training blocks. I think that, that's another catch phrase, that means the same thing, Right? Uh, generally it implies it's period ization. It means you're getting into the specific work for race and as you reference, you don't want to do that right off the bat, especially if you're a new runner or novice runner.

You really kind of need to build your foundation and work up to those paces. And then even for advanced runners, you can't, if you have a specific goal and you say you wanna, we'll use the five K for today. You want to run, you know, a sub 18 minute five K. You can't just start off running those paces and you wouldn't even want to do it for every workout, say two workouts a week because you need to work on different, you know, strengths and systems because it's more than one system used for the five K. Good. I think you hit it right on the head and a lot of people will actually find a lot of benefit from that. At first. At first you may see results to any, any novice runner would, would generally find a lot of results at first, but eventually those results run out and you find yourself either overtraining or hitting a training plateau. Um, and at the worst case scenario injury. So let's break down what we'll call linear period ization. So if you're familiar, there was, uh, one of the forefathers of our philosophy when it comes to training was Arthur lingered and lingered, created a lot of the programming, which is still seen in some places today.

Many coaches, yes, many coaches learned from, from Ledyard and applied his tactics over the years and I think a lot of people have taken that and slowly manipulated it two ways that it would help them. So I'm gonna break down kind of what led yards Training looked like. Typically in a, in a linear phase, you had a long base of tons of volume. So his guys, maybe they're running 100 miles a week, 1, 21 40 whatever it is. And then that would slowly transition into doing hills or doing speed and eventually getting ready for the race day. So it's this nice funnel actually, funnels probably not the best word since we we're gonna go into funnel period ization in a minute. But ultimately it would, it would work to race race day where you're right before the couple of weeks, you're just hitting a lot of high intensity training, very little volume, so high volume at the beginning and slowly building your way up to speed. And so this is was incredible for so many runners mostly because that aerobic foundation.

And so when we're talking about linear privatization, essentially what we're talking about is you're building a base to begin and then maybe reintroduce a string phase, redo tempos, hills, whatnot. And then you break it into speed and then your race and ultimately that gets as close to the race specificity as possible by the end. So there are some positives as well as some negatives to this. Um, you want to walk us through some of the positives. Yeah. So I wanted to reference if you did perhaps high school or even college cross country, I'd say it's still pretty predominant training philosophy, especially for me in high school, um, both as an athlete and an even coach. I mean, you really, I want to push the summer base mileage and you kind of get more specific. So as coming at it from a coaching perspective, I'd say it can work pretty well, especially if you're you're kind of working towards that championship race towards the end of the season. Really, everything is targeted towards those races.

And I remember my previous coaches would even, you know, kind of encourage us as we're doing these harder workouts early on that we don't really care about this race. Like if we don't place as well, you don't run your best time doesn't matter. It's all about state, where it's all about conference or it's all about sectionals and so on. So I'd say that's that's one of the strengths that, you know, jumps out. And then this the second one would be again, as we've already referenced, if you're a new runner, this is gonna work. I mean, it's tried and true, you're really gonna improve significantly because I mean, if you're starting at zero, you have to build up and it makes sense that each week you want to get progressively harder increase in intensity and so on. Absolutely. No, I think you, I think you said that really well. So yeah, most people will benefit from this type of programming, especially when they're first starting out and even some advanced runners still at this point, still followed by the same approach and it works. We've been doing it for so long.

We understand that this is a mechanism for which improvement can be made. So I like those positives. I'm going to add to that with maybe some of the drawbacks. Let's do it. So there's a couple of different types of linear polarization depending on how you define it. Right? We can talk about where you heading with a nice solid base and you work up, you work down on the volume over time and you work up the specificity or the speed over time. But there's also another type of where you're going into those blocks. So you're just completely chopping down certain blocks of training. So you, like I said, we focus on easy mileage, we focus on strength, volume, we focus on speed. We focus on race specificity. So one of the drawbacks in my opinion is that when you transition between these phases, you completely phase out the item before it and while this works and you slowly carry on some things to the race day and eventually we will all find ourselves in some type of linear funnel at some point. But with with these phases you are neglecting those other systems.

The other engagement priorities that must happen when you're training for something else. So I was running great volume. Now I'm doing a ton of speed, well, I'm lacking the volume now to support that. And now the tempo of work, you might be, you might benefit from it a lot, but then going from that strength phase to that speed phase. Now, you're completely neglecting the threshold work, the tempo work those steady long runs for higher intensity speed. And so you're just not, you're not working on all your systems, you're completely breaking it down. And as we know, the body doesn't always work like this. So, you know, the body doesn't just just doesn't work in that in that linear fashion. And, you know, when we neglect something, we lose it. So I see a lot of marathoners, for example, who go straight threshold tempo and that's all they do and they find that it takes a very long time to get that speed back right. If you say the same for five K, you can you can hit the anaerobic work as much as you want, but then you go out for a long run or you go for a long tempo and it is grueling.

So that's one of the major, right? Um and the other drawback I would say was is also not accounting for recovery and adaptation. And so if you're progressively just adding on workouts in the fashion that you were talking about, that you worked with your athletes and that you've you've understood If you just continuously throw on, throw on, throw on, throw on more work, more volume, more intensity, what ends up happening is that your body can no longer adapt to that and it doesn't do it in a very efficient manner either. And so that's when you start seeing overtraining. That's when you start seeing plateaus, that's when you start seeing injuries. So a good way to combat this combat this would be to to insert weeks of recovery and in a traditional linear fashion. If we're just taking it from the roots of it, we're not allowing for that. When it comes to supplements, it can sometimes feel overwhelming when you look at the myriad options available and try to figure out exactly what you need and what is going to help you the most enter Ello.

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That's E L O dot health and enter code R. T. T. T for a free blood biomarker test. Thanks. Hello. We've talked a lot about the importance of sleep over the last few years when it comes to both recovery from your workouts and your overall health. Unfortunately, it's still an area where many people struggle, luckily one of our favorite brands ned is here to help you with their incredible new product. Should I chai, it's a mellow super blend latte for sleep that combines adaptive jin's amine owes functional mushrooms and magnesium wrapped in a heavenly masala chai inspired spiced body specifically ingredients such as Chaka ray. She and ash. Lagonda help calm your central nervous system which we know is always elevated from training family and work stress and too much screen time adding shuteye chai to my daily pre bed routine, especially in the cold winter months has really helped me relax and get my brain ready to sleep. Something. I know a lot of runners struggle with, It's resulted in feeling much more relaxed at night falling asleep faster and getting more restful sleep throughout the night as well.

If you're looking for a delicious way to feel more relaxed and calm before you go to bed and get more quality sleep, discover how shuteye shy can revolutionize your sleep and get 15% off with code RTT. T. Just go to hello ned dot com backslash. R T T T. Or enter code R T T T at checkout. That's H E L L O N E D dot com slash R T T T to get 15% off. Sweet dreams. That's a good point. Because when you look at just a stripped down linear purity ization, right? And you look at the ground, we're going to reference these church that we put up on the screen. Uh, yeah, it doesn't look like there's rest built in, but you can still be a coach who, you know, believes philosophy by lydia heard. And you know, kind of work in the, you know, very common is like three weeks up one week back and step down. So of course you can modify these as needed. But like a reference. We're just going to present both sides, you know, linear and non linear.

And I think afterwards we might want to talk about areas they overlap and of course we'll continue giving specific examples. So, um, if you think it's a good time, I think we should get into what the nonlinear pureed ization is like. And if you want to look at the root of it, like you did with linear, I would say this would come from the great coach Canova, from my understanding and then maybe a more modern equivalent, we've referenced him on a few podcasts would be brad Hudson. So they follow this idea that you're basically touching up on all these areas of different types of speed work and strengths throughout the training phase. So that way you, you have more flexibility. You're going to be able to shift to a lot of distances. And I mean, I think that'd be really useful, especially if you're like 2020 if you're racist, keep changing. You won't experience what you might in a linear training phase where you just feel like, oh man, I'm not ready to do a five K because you're constantly touching up on hills speed, you know, the tempos throughout.

Exactly. You never let one thing fall by the wayside, Right? That's that's the goal here. And I like it a lot because personally, my own, my own training that I received from my coach is very similar to this. It's like you, you stay in touch with a little bit of everything and then you get an idea of what do I need to work on now and that gets a little bit more emphasized within the smaller frame to work your way up into the bigger picture of it, the macro cycle, if you will and uh real quick, I think since we're putting both charts up, would you want to describe why this one and how it looks different? Yes. Okay. So I can definitely do so. So I'll break through the linear just really quick. So in the linear funnel you can see you start, the volume at the beginning is very high. So you can see that by our dotted representation of the volume starts high. And as the season progresses forward, it slowly becomes less and less of an emphasis and the intensity starts low. So you start high volume, low intensity. And that will gradually increase throughout the program to where you get to that point in the competition phase, where low volume, high intensity race readiness in the linear fashion and maybe more severe taper perhaps.

Yeah, absolutely. Okay, if we're looking at the final period ization, I'm gonna try to explain this as best as possible. So as you'll see on the right side of our graph, you have general speed specific and general endurance. So specific is going to be race pace. General speed is going to be faster than race pace. And then general endurance is gonna be slower than race pace. So they all support each other in Canova and Brad Hudson's examples, they tend to stay within 10% either way. So over 10% of marathon pace ends up being relatively steady effort. Right? So it's actually, you know, 10% seems small, but it's actually relatively big. Okay, so at the beginning of the period ization, you have a a high volume of general speed and a lower volume of general endurance. And that's kind of what we're looking through that that base face. So good representation on like strides, hill sprints or whatnot. And then as that funnels into the specific phase, you slowly get less journal speed and then you start working towards that marathon pace.

So, um so you might start with doing 200 m at roughly mile to five K. Race pace and then maybe that slowly transitions into okay, doing five K work, maybe do some 10-K work doing some threshold work and eventually that's gonna become into that specific phase things all faster than race pace. And the other end that's that's going to increase as you're getting into race day. So the volume of is relatively low and then you'll slowly build that general endurance where it gets a specific race phase. So that means that the beginning you might be running a lot of your long runs relatively easy, um maybe a little bit quicker to support marathon pace. But as those long runs progress on maybe those become longer tempos and support marathon pace. So that um you get both those running right into the specific phase of things and those six weeks before your training, you're doing a ton of specific work, but you're also doing, you know, that 5 to 10% up or down?

Yeah, well said Coach Dylan, I think that kind of reinforces some of the pros of this strategy that we mentioned early on. I guess we can talk about some cons because you know, neither system is gonna be perfect like anything. So I'd say one risk is um, that a lot of athletes are kind of cherry picking these workouts and it's like a recipe. They're like, oh, I need a little bit of this every week, I need this and they kind of keep adding it in or just make sure it's there and then they can almost risk like over doing it. You know, there's of course a chance for injury there or that also you're just not, you're just kind of like just shooting out random workouts and not being really properly prepared for anything. I think the, the lack of truly specific work early on scares people a lot of time, people get into these, these points of, you know, an idea, we're like, hey, I have to do a tempo every week and if I don't do a tempo every week, then I'm not gonna be ready for race day.

Uh, I talked to people who think this all the time and I think this approach is really interesting because it does touch upon a little bit of everything. Um, and it slowly funnels you in and what I really like about it more specifically is that you can extend it over the course of 69, I've done it over a year and it keeps you fresh, er you know, you're not when you go to the linear route that works for, I know I have a race and I'm preparing for this specific date, but we're in the point right now where hey, we don't know what's going on, We don't know where the races are gonna be. So let's touch a little bit of everything. Let's kind of take a approach that combines both of them. Maybe an undulating approach where you build up three weeks, build, you know, build up three weeks, come down one or maybe alternate intensities. So, you know, we, we have high volume, have lower intensity and then you alternate that with a lower volume week with a little higher intensity and you kind of go and flow that keeps us fresh air, keeps the body guessing. It adds a bit of variability to training that I think is overall very healthy.

So, you know, it seems on paper that, you know this the nonlinear is, is better than linear, but I think it's important to know that its place in time and they can both be worked together in a blended formation. Yeah, agreed. I'd say the main purpose of this podcast episode, the video is just to introduce you to these terms. So if you ever hear a coach talking about it or you're reading a running article, it'll just be more informed on both approaches. And I hope you didn't take away that we're proposing one or the other. Yes, they each have their, their place and purpose. And often, I mean depending on your coach, you might not even be able to tell which one they're doing because there could be a blend. Absolutely. So that leads us into our programs that we write personally at runners connect. So within our programs, especially right now where a lot of us do not have these media races in mind and we're looking, you know, down the road, actually sent an email out to everybody on my string training email that I sent out every monday and Wednesday and today we talked about the process and emphasizing the process over the outcome.

So if we're just outcome oriented, then it's really easy to, to fall off the wagon to get really down when that race doesn't happen or when we achieve that pr it's kind of like, okay, what's the next thing? But instead we're going to focus more on the process, you know, every single day doing what we can today, this week, this month to be ready for that time that comes even if it's the next fall. So where I'm going with this is that everyone is connect, we want to make sure that, you know, Coach Roy and I both agree that training should be year long and it should have its place and it needs to be able to, we need to understand that we can still make progress every single week every single month, even if we don't have something to prove that. So now is the time. I think that for many of those who are not following a plan to request one from us at runners connect and we can build in a more non linear approach to help you make sure that you're making progress and that when something pops up, you're ready to go.

I like that. Yeah, I say we don't really, you know, talk about or brag too much on this podcast. Maybe the listeners think otherwise. But our athletes have been putting up some stellar performances and making do in a lot of cake with time trials and I'd say overall, you know, the athletes we've coached seem like they're they're staying healthy and motivated despite what's happening. So if you are an athlete listening, perhaps you can get a friend on board to join us and we can help them towards their goals or just create a way to stay healthy and prepared for when races do come back into play. Absolutely. Beginning through advanced runners were there too to make sure that you're getting the proper plan that's based on our coaching philosophy also on the science and your current situation and what you want out of your running. All right, well that wraps up everything today. We really appreciate everybody taking the time to listen to us and hear what we have to say. If you have any questions, do feel free to hop on the Youtube channel and send us a comment.

If you are, if you can or send us an email directly to be more than happy to answer any questions before you decide to join our community, our runners connect and yeah, I'll be sure. Just a quick comment to. I've added our like instagram handles and emails both for runners connect and otherwise. And I've had a few messages coming in that way. So if you go to the video on Youtube, I think we'll have the most information there for reaching out to us. Absolutely awesome For those of you listen to the podcast, make sure that you jump on the Youtube channel so you can understand that long uh, conversation, the point that I made about our graphs that we, so that you can understand that a little bit better and in depth. And um, I think that'll make more sense. Visuals do help. But until then, thank you everybody for listening. This is coach and you're listening to up tempo talks have a great run today. So there you have it great info from Coach Rory and Coach Dylan, do you have a better understanding of Pure Ization now, which was your favorite approach.

What were your biggest takeaways? Help us get the conversation started by leaving a question or comment on the facebook and instagram posts for this episode. Thanks for listening to the run to the top podcast. I'm your host, Finn Melanson. As always, our mission here is to help you become a better runner with every episode. Please consider connecting with me on instagram at Wasatch, Finn and the rest of our team at runners connect. Also consider supporting our show for free with a rating on the Spotify and Apple podcast players. And lastly, if you love the show and want bonus content behind the scenes experiences with our guests and premier access to contests and giveaways. Then subscribe to our newsletter by going to runners connect dot net back slash podcast. Until next time. Happy training.

How to Step Up Your Training with the Correct Periodization
How to Step Up Your Training with the Correct Periodization
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