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of Periodization - THE Secret Running Tip to Peak Performance
Periodization is necessary to get yourself to peak
performance for the right race at the right
It's THE running tip that will really help set you apart from the bulk
of the runners.
Many people do the same-old running at any given time of the year. You
can outrun faster runners than you, when you practice these
periodization running tips!
Running Tip #1: Cut Your Running Program Into
Periodization is the concept of cutting your running program into
In each block you devote your attention to specific types of running.
You do this to optimally prepare yourself for your goal race.
Different trainers approach these blocks, these running training
phases, differently and use different names for them.
However, it all pretty much comes down to the same thing. In general we
identify the following blocks:
When you concentrate on putting in the miles, and keeping speed low.
Mileage goes down, but intensity goes up (intervals, reps, threshold
Depending on the distance, you have a 1 to 3 week period where you
seriously lower the mileage in order to get the legs fresh at race day.
What it is all about!
For shorter races this can be a day or two, but this is an especially
important phase after a marathon. Even when you feel fine not long
after your marathon it is best to take it really easy, because of the
damaging effects of the marathon on your legs.
Running Tip #2: Learn from the Big Boys
Whenever you pick up a good running training book, it will inevitably
spend a lot of time explaining the concepts of periodization.
A great general running training book, Daniels'
Running Formula, explains periodization
very well. Daniels tells you how long each phase should be
depending on the total length of your running program and the race
Per race distance, he exactly tells you what you should do. He
identifies the following phases:
Final Quality (including Taper)
As you see, this is not too dissimilar from the running training blocks
identified earlier on.
Running Tip #3: Make Each Run Count - Or Not?
The other part in which many of us go wrong is to have the tendency to
make each run count.
Why is this
Well, a general rule is that when you have a training schedule set up,
you alternate hard and
easy days. A hard day is generally a quality
workout day, e.g. tempo, interval, long run.
An easy day would be a day of no running, a recovery run or
Many of us who go out every day don't really apply the concept of recovery runs. Many
of these so-called recovery runs turn out to be semi-hard days.
The result of
that is that your hard running workout is also not optimal. Because
you haven't fully recovered, your hard workout is not as fast or as
long as it should be.
So, you end up doing semi-hard after semi-hard after semi-hard workout,
which leads to sub-optimal performance.
One of the hardest parts of running training is to know when to take a
rest and when to go for it!
Running Tip #4: Know Which Type of Running is
More Important for Your
Now, the difficult part is of course, what is most important in each
phase / each running block?
This depends a lot on the race you are training for.
When you are preparing
for a marathon, your focus will be more on
longer, slower runs. When you are preparing for a 5k,
It does not mean that you don't do any intervals when you are preparing
for a marathon. And it doesn't mean you don't do any long runs when
training for a 5k.
But your running program will definitely look and feel significantly
is key to achieving the absolute
best! So, apply the above in a smart running training program! It's not
all about running hard, you'll need to be a little bit smart as well!
articles can help you further, based on the specific distance of your
next important race. Make sure to check them out:
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