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Periodization in training

Periodization in training is the key to take you to the next level. Regardless of if your goal is just to stay healthy or to win a world championship, some type of periodized training plan will help you reach this goal. Here we look at what is periodization and how you should use it for your training.

What is Periodization?

Periodization in training is the process of methodically splitting up your training into specific micro- meso- and macro cycles of endurance, intensity, and recovery. A completely untrained individual makes progress initially when they just start training randomly. But if you want to continue making progress past a plateau or consistently maintain a good fitness level, a periodized training plan is the best solution.

The reason this works so well is that it optimizes adaption. The goal in training is adaption. Adaption occurs when you expose your body to a stimulus and then recover. A periodized training plan optimizes this adaption by correctly balancing stimulus and recovery with hard training and rest. This ensures that you continuously make progress.

When you dive deeper in to periodization you realize there are multiple periodization methods. The main ones you will see are linier or traditional periodization and block periodization. 2PEAK training plans use different types of periodization for different athletes based on their goals and experience. These plans always adapt dynamically, which you can read more about in our training philosophy.

Traditional periodization

Traditional (also known as linier) periodization is the classic training method. This type of periodization stretches over a long time period. It has large macro cycles that build a base, followed by shorter cycles of specific training and eventually peaking.

Traditional periodization is often best for beginners. It is easy to follow and just having a well thought out training schedule produces large gains. It has some downsides for athletes who want to peak multiple times throughout the year and or have shorter time frames. For these athletes, block periodization is likely better.

Block Periodization

Block periodization has shorter, more concentrated mesocycles compared to traditional periodization. This allows more customization in an athlete’s calendar and the ability peak multiple times. It has more variation and can help athletes stay motivated over time. For most modern athletes, this is the better method.

The downside is that this system is incredibly complex. Intense phases are very intense, but you are able to do this only because it is balanced with the proper amount of rest. It takes an incredible amount of research to design a plan that structures micro- meso- and macro- cycles that you can optimize your performance through block periodization. This is why it is best to have a coach or use a plan like 2PEAK.

block periodization cycle
2PEAK block periodization schedule example: Grey blocks are recovery phase, green is focused on endurance, and orange has intense race specific training.

If you want to build your own periodized training plan, you can create a 21 day free trial at 2PEAK. If you already have an account, your annual periodization schedule can be viewed under on your plan. Of course, all 2PEAK plans are dynamic so the future training can change based on your goals, training, and recovery.