Category Archives: Seasonal Workouts

Periodisation in Training

For us northern climate folk our winter should be a disadvantage over those in more temperate climates. Fortunately for us the concept of Periodisation helps to eliminate our cold weather deficit.

Let me explain

The Periodisation concept for training originated in Eastern Europe. It spread to the rest of the sporting world once proof of its success as a training modality became abundantly clear. The Periodisation concept is based on sound scientific principles and can be adapted to any type of physical training.

The rationale for the Periodisation concept is based on the following understanding: 

  • In order to improve by maximizing adaptation a training program needs to have variation;
  • Training adaptations occur during periods of rest or recovery; 
  • Some types of training can interfere with other types of training and impair or enhance adaptations;
  • Some types of training promote general or foundational adaptations and other types of training promote event specific adaptations;
  • Timing of different types of training during an annual cycle is critical to maximizing performance;
  • A reduction in training volume leading up to a major event enhances performance.

Based on the above criteria we can define Periodisation as a method that organises training over a defined period taking into account the major factors that influence adaptation.

How does this help us northerners?

The dark, the cold and the wet (we’re from Vancouver but it now seems to rain everywhere in the winter) tends to do one thing, drive us indoors. Normally this would be a bad thing except that one of the Periodisation criteria is the understanding that some types of training interfere with others. Strength & Conditioning training and Aerobic training definitely interfere with each other. So, while we can’t meet our Aerobic training target we can do very well with a solid Strength & Conditioning program. And, as luck would have it, a comprehensive S&C program should last about as long as the worst part of our winter.

Don’t get me wrong, when we get off of our S&C program we’re well behind our temperate climate competitors from an Aerobic standpoint. However, after several weeks of early spring Aerobic work we’re kilometers ahead of our Aerobically fit, and better tanned, but much weaker warm weather walkers.

Now get out there and pump that iron!


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Filed under Periodisation, Seasonal Workouts, Strength Conditioning, Training

Winter Training

Race Walk is a temperate weather sport that requires year round training to get really good at it. However, too hot or too cold and it stops being fun and starts being a health risk. We live in a northern clime and that means lots of cold for at least 4 months of the year.

How do we manage to raise up elite level athletes in these conditions? 

First, we have Tudor Bompa and the periodisation folks to thank showing us all how to organisae our training effectively. Second, we have come to realise that the treadmill is not the evil machine of torture that it is thought to be. And, third, the concept of cross-training was a brilliant discovery.

In our next few posts we’ll get into some details about what we know about periodisation, the treadmill and cross-training and how all three can be used to create a very effective race walk training regime that can take you all the way from the first frost to the final thaw.

Good walking

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Filed under Cross-Training, Periodisation, Seasonal Workouts, Training