How To Structure Your Training

HOW TO STRUCTURE YOUR TRAINING (22 weeks)

An easy way to help you plan your training is to do the following. Split your training time into the following parts to build fitness to prepare you for race specific work outs. The fitter you are which means, the easier you can go slow the easier you will go fast. The mistake is to hammer every session in the belief you will be getting a quick fitness fix before your planned adventure or competition.

12 Week volume cycle then 2 weeks at week 1 before moving up to 8 week interval phase (3 weeks hard one week ease back then repeat)The plan below is not complicated just structured.

12 WEEK VOLUME INCREASE PHASE (12 weeks)Week 1-3 This is a 3 week build -Build up your training fitness volume for 3 weeks.
Week 4 This is a recovery week in segment one- Reduce volume to recovery test fitness and evaluate for week 5.
Segment 2
Week 5-7 This is a building week build segment two – Build up to a higher volume level of fitness for another 3 weeks.
Week 8 segment two – Reduce volume to recover test fitness and evaluate for 1 week.
Segment 3
Week 9-11
3 week build segment three– Build up training fitness to even higher levels of volume for 3 weeks.
Week 12
Segment three – Reduce volume even more to recover and monitor test, fitness and evaluate. PRE INTENSITY PHASE (2 weeks)
After this 12 week block go back to week one repeat first and second week before going into two four week blocks of intensity (eight weeks).
INTERVAL PHASE (8 weeks)
3 week build segment one.
The purpose of this phase is to increase intensity each 3 week segment block. This will cause your body to adapt. Consider your limits.
Do you need to take more rest between intervals and run them faster or take less rest and run all the intervals at the same time without slowing down?
If you are able to complete the distance intervals in the same time as previously with shorter recovery you have improved your fitness, or will find this session harder and recovery make take longer after session has finished.
Also evaluate how you feel in the 2 days after, do you have more spring in your legs than normal?
This will comprise of 2 times four week blocks before your competition.
Week 13-15
3 week build interval phase one (5 interval days in 3 weeks)Interval week One -Two interval days in week one separated by at least 3 days.
Interval week Two - One interval day in week one separated by at least 3 days since last interval week one.
Interval week Three - Two interval days in week three separated by at least 3 days. Remember everyone is different try something new and see what performance effect it has in the coming weeks and months. Consider one of the two options listed below.
Week 16
OPTION ONE.
Half the number of intervals as in first week of interval phase. COMPLETED TWICE IN THIS WEEK. The reason is because this is your recovery week. Your body will be absorbing your training and you need to think about your own limitations. Then COMPLETE the other half of your intervals 2-3 days later.
OPTION TWO
Week 16
Full set of intervals taking 50% longer recovery time. Are you able to complete them quicker? If so this will tell you that you are improving. If completed at shorter recovery then you ether have one speed or are tired from training. Your body will be absorbing your training and you need to think about your own limitations.
INTERVAL PHASE (2nd three week build phase)
3 week build interval phase two.
Week 17
Interval week One - Two interval days in week one separated by at least 3 days aim to increase time or distance by 10-25%, this will al depend on how you recover, feel and experience. For example if you are running 12 x 400m in segment week one increase now to 11 to 15 intervals. Consider injury prevention and health when deciding on how many more to increase by.
Week 18
Interval week Two - maintain week 17 set or increase by 1-2 intervals One interval day in week one separated by at least 3 days since last interval week one.
Week 19 Interval week Three - Two interval days in week three separated by at least 3 days. 60% of total intervals then 40% of intervals 3 days later.
DO NOT INCREASE VOLUME OR TIME BY MORE THAN 30% OVER THIS 3 WEEK PHASE FROM WEEK 17-19.
Week 20
Week four two sets of intervals again separated by 3 days. Reduce the number of intervals by 50% as this is your easier recovery week. Your body will be absorbing your training and you need to think about your own limitations. Take up to 50% longer time between intervals keep good form. It does not matter that you start of with caution. By increasing amount of time spent at intensity over this 8 week period you will improve your fitness levels.
Week four two sets of intervals again separated by 3 days. Reduce the number of intervals by 50% as this is your easier recovery week. Your body will be absorbing your training and you need to think about your own limitations. Take up to 50% longer time between intervals keep good form. It does not matter that you start of with caution. By increasing amount of time spent at intensity over this 8 week period you will improve your fitness levels.
TAPER PLAN
Depending on the length of your adventure or competition you need to taper. This can be 1-4 weeks after your base volume build, pre intensity and interval phase.You first have to evaluate do you need to reduce the quality or volume or both.From experience the longer the event will take you the longer the reduction in time training to be fully rested for your chosen competition. High intensity events benefit from a reduction in volume still maintaining hard work with lots of recovery.
TIME NEEDED TO TAPER FOR BEST RESULTS.
A 5/10km run (15-60 minute event) a 7 day reduction in training should be enough.
A half marathon or Olympic distance triathlon. (70 minutes – 2 hours plus) then consider 14 days easing back.
A marathon or middle distance triathlon (up to 6 hours) will need at least 3 weeks.
A Ironman triathlon (8-17 hours) a subtle 4 week taper you allow you to perform at your best. (This is based on experience from a 28 times Ironman finisher who has completed them all between 10-11 hours from 1997-2007)

DISCLAMIER – The above is based on many athletes that have trained for at least 8 months in last 12 months without any structure and have not experienced any problems. Everyone is different, listen to your body and know your limits before considering blocks of training and exercise. If at any time you experience pain stop at once and consult a specialist.