Periodization and Cycling Multiple ME Phases

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  • #67364
    keith brown

    As we train for multiple goals in a year, an intermediate-to-major goal or two significant goals, athletes perform some form of ME training before each (the intermediate or advanced plan) appropriate for the event. We’ve been advised when following a ME phase (intermediate for example) to follow the 12 week plan, and never extend it beyond 16 weeks.

    My question centers on the time between two goal events, each requiring ME training, and what that training looks like. There’ll be recovery time, I assume some base, perhaps at a greater load, then a transition to another ME phase between 12-16 weeks. I fully understand there are significant variables including time between events, individual ability/capacity, recovery time after first event… and the catch-all “depends.”

    So we have a ME phase limit of 12-16 weeks. Bottom line, in general terms, how much time do we need between ME phases, or after a big event until we transition back out of a base to another ME phase.

    Thanks in advance.
    Vr, Keith

  • Moderator
    MarkPostle on #67438

    Keith, this is a good question and one that we deal with fairly often when an athlete has multiple events that maybe aren’t super far apart and timeframe but both of the nature where muscular endurance training is useful. I tend to think of this in two different ways loosely:

    1) The events are close together (4-6 weeks apart) in this case I tend to run a longish session of muscular endurance training prior to the first event and then only do more sports-specific training between the events. As muscular endurance training tends to have a fairly long reaching timeframe and it’s benefits after stopping the training the athlete will typically still do well in the second event even though it’s several weeks after the first one.

    2) the events are farther apart (6-12 weeks) here if the athlete recovers well from muscular endurance type training you may have time to implement a separate session between the events. In this case I might prescribe something like two separate six-week blocks of ME with an appropriate taper for each event. This can work well if you’re smart about it and especially if event #1 isn’t something that has a huge drain and recovery time.

    This type of training is quite variable from one athlete to the next. Age, physiology and training history make a lot of difference in application for sure.

    keith brown on #67445

    Thanks Mark!

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