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Periodization
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Conway
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:30 am    Post subject: Periodization Reply with quote

I have heard that some believe the secret to Montgomery's success this year lie in Periodization ... Now to be honest I have not hear that term for many many years and am not as aware of how that applies to training as I would like to be ... Is anyone here familiar with Periodization ??? And if so how it applies to track and field ...

Conway
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think periodizing is common in any good year-round plan, but it also seems to be a very mis-used term that often refers to any ol' training plan with a base phase or taper period... Did you hear any specifics about what Tim's system might have been?

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Basiclly periodization is how you order your training into different stages in order to achive a set objective during each stage in order to run best at an optimal, time usually the end of the season. This is usually done by a progression of cycles. The example that Martin and Coe give, in a generic outline for either middle or long distance runners, is set up with for a 33 week progression (one macrocycle). This is made up of 4 periods or mesocyles, the first is a 12 week period to establish aerobic base (made up of three, four week long microcycles), followed by an 8 week increasing intensity period (of two, four week microcycles), followed by a 7 week period of harder tempo (made of one four week and one three week microcycle) and finally a 6 week consolidation period (with 2 three week microcycles). Obviously this is not the same thing Timmy did but it can at least give you an idea of how periodization is set up with a progression of periods in order to have the best result.

If you are really interested in periodization, Tudor Bompa (the father of periodization) has several outstanding books out that can give you an excellent in depth understanding of the principals and reasoning behind periodization.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is veering slightly off topic, but I'm curious what sort of research goes into studying such long-term cycles? When you're talking about nearly a full year's worth of cycles forming one overall period, it seems to me you'd have to spend a good 10-15 years studying any one such system, let alone the countless alternative systems out there, before you could form any solid conclusions... It's not like building a car where you pretty much know as soon as it's done if you have a winning design...

I doubt anyone has invested that kind of time into research, so is there more to it than stumbling upon a system that works, tinkering with it a bit over a few years, than proclaiming it the system?

Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From what I've read David E. Martin has done exhaustive lab testing to determine which training ranges are optimal for training each physiological system. And as for the order I'm sure Peter Coe coached more athletes than just Seb, as well most upper level coaches keep fairly detailed records of the training their athletes so study of what others have done before interms of order of training can also be very enlightening. Many of the most successful distance coaches (at least pre Kenyan era) wrote and published their training methods. Also many coaches are pretty fourth coming if you ask them.

When I was a personal traininer in Albuquerque the gym at which I worked was just down the street from a high altitude training base for many elite foregin distance runners (some European guy owned a big house and housed, fed and showed the best training spots in the city for several teams, German, Korean, Italian were the biggest groups). Anyway the only coach that spoke descent English was the Italian national marathon coach. He had several athletes there including a runner named Leone (sp?) who finished 5th in the Olympic marathon in Sydney. We struck up a conversation and before he left he gave me a copy of Leone's training plan for two months leading up to a major marathon (the Italian national club championships, I beleive Leone was a member of the Police team). So just because people don't publish thier training in a book you can often still get it if you ask. Although I will admit he probably might have been less likely to give it to me if I was the French national marathoning coach.
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Dan
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 29, 2002 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's all well and good, but I don't believe it addresses my question... With the length of the training period and the countless variables that can take place over such a time, how can anyone study the interrelated effects of different cycle components with any scientific certainty?

For example, has Martin's lab testing covered dozens or hundreds of runners over the 33 week duration with mileage and/or intensity variations here and there? An extra 1% intensity increase in week 12, a 5% mileage decrease in week 28, an extra rest day between cycles, etc. If such research hasn't been done, then we are basically left with systems that seem to do well, and working backward, might even stand up to lab scrutiny... That then is passed off as scientific basis for the components and order of the individual cycles.

Does this sound vaguely similar to my "educated guessing" argument? Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 3:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1:41.73 and 3:47.33 both run in 1981 still have Seb Coe as the second fastest 800 runner and ninth fastest miler of all time. The guessing must have been pretty darn educated to produce times that have held up that well over time.

And the rest of your question sounds like something we've already been over in the Wettmore article thread. I say read, you say don't bother... we've been over this before.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That argument is exactly the same as what I figure the researchers have done -- start with a good result and work backward to prove the underlying system is the best means to an end. I'm not saying it isn't a good system, but I am questioning what objective research has gone into it.

Same theme to the Wetmore thread, but a different situation...

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coachd
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 7:37 am    Post subject: Periodization research Reply with quote

Actually...Smart, Ashe and Dauter did a very controlled study utilizing Gerbils...since the metabolism and muscular physiology of these common rodents are the most comparable (within the framework of the studies' parameters)...they conducted exhaustive testing of various intensity levels, rest periods and length of training sessions on the improvement of VO2 Max, lactate turn points, and running economy during sub-maximal testing. Given the shorter life span of Gerbils, they were able to condense decades of research into just three years. Of, course the researchers did face problems--the Gerbils propencity for running when they were supossed to be resting was one such problem (it's hard to keep Gerbils from becoming competitive and trying to sneak in a third workout!)...Smart, Ashe and Dauter solved this by developing the Gerbtite...a small locking device that fits around the Gerbil and holds it in place while allowing access to food and water (interestingly enough, they sold the patent to PetSmart and made a ton of money)...The results of this research provide much scientific and objective data to support the conclusions of those who have used periodization in training successful athletes. Furthermore, this little known research has paved the way for testing using pigs...which are easier to keep from unnecessary running and have a heart more similar to humans...I'm sure we will soon hear more.

So, Dan...don't despair. Somewhere out there is the objective data you crave.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm scratching my head... You're not serious, I assume? Neutral

As an aside, I run into this all the time and am yet to truly understand it -- why people feel so uneasy when the validity of research is questioned? If you caught last night's 60 Minutes piece on network TV demographics, you'll understand what I mean when I say statistics can be interpreted to mean whatever you want them to, and I see that same quality in most research that is reported. The conclusions may well be correct (or at least not incorrect), but the method of getting there ignores all kinds of alternative possibilties that might be equally correct.

Hmm, I guess Cruz and Kipketer must not have had any good periodizing systems, since their coaches haven't written scientific books on the subject... That was the point of your example, right DG? Wink

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coachd
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Okay, Dan, you got me. I made the whole thing up Rolling Eyes

You are correct that nobody has been able to devote years of study to numerous athletes incorporating the myriad of variables that encompass a training plan. Numerous studies have been conducted that prove certain training methods and systems produce physiological effects that should correspond to improved performances. What you are asking for would be basically impossible given the time needed, access to the same athletes over a course of years as well as the subtle changes and controls required to develop an acceptable study.

What you are asking---has anyone ever tested the effect of an increase in intensity in this week or that, an extra day of rest here or there...is what we call...COACHING...you take a system that has shown it can produce results (over a course of many years and numerous athletes)...you tweak it, change it to fit your athletes, needs and situation...look at results and make decisions for future planning. The key here is that the concept works and has worked for many, many athletes and coaches. As a coach you have to believe in a system and stay consistent within the parameters of that system...otherwise you might as well pick up a copy of RW or go to a website and just randomly pick workouts that "sound good"...which, unfortunately too many people do. Consistency and belief and getting athletes to "buy into" what you are doing is critical to the success of any system. Is periodization and the Bompa system the ONLY way or the absolute BEST way to produce improved performances? I do not know...but I believe it works (based on lab testing, experience and years of performances)and that is why I use it to plan training...but you are right in the purest objective sense---nobody has, will or can, provide a study to create the perfect training system...again, that is what COACHING is all about.
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Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of good stuff guys ... But from what I have heard, the Bompa stuff is old hat ... And what Timmy is purported to be working from is something entirely new .... The person that I got the information from is currently in Europe and not easy to get hold of (not checking email on regular basis) so I don't have an immediate answer as to what the system is ... I had a different name but deleated the email by accident .... Crying or Very sad

But from my previous conversation it is supposed to be a system simialr to what has been described, but more specific in terms of where the athlete is going to be timewise within the cycles (and when you are talking 100 meter sprinting THAT is very specific) ...

I'd heard about Coe long ago ... And like Dan said, I htink most good training programs evolve around periodization ... But apparently what I heard about is something new ... Or at least a new slant on the theme ...

Conway
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Distance_Guru wrote:
So just because people don't publish thier training in a book you can often still get it if you ask


Dan wrote:
Hmm, I guess Cruz and Kipketer must not have had any good periodizing systems, since their coaches haven't written scientific books on the subject


You have gotten my statement completely backwards, as I have admited numerous times not all the good coaches put out books. This was a way of showing that it is still possible to veiw the techniques of these coaches. I still contend hownever that many excellent coaches do publish their techniues and that to ignore it is complete folly.

Oh and if you're wondering if coachd is one of us biased exercise scientists, he's not. He has a masters in history.
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
What you are asking---has anyone ever tested the effect of an increase in intensity in this week or that, an extra day of rest here or there...is what we call...COACHING...you take a system that has shown it can produce results (over a course of many years and numerous athletes)...you tweak it, change it to fit your athletes, needs and situation...look at results and make decisions for future planning.

Exactly!!! I don't know if you intended it or not, but you came right back to the point I've been trying to make -- it all comes down to trial and error, figuring out what works and what doesn't, and improving on it. Trying to rationalize it as supportable science paints the wrong picture. There's really no way a comprehensive study can be put together to assemble the perfect training plan. Any author that purports otherwise places the rest of his or her "science" squarely in question... What other "facts" are being skimmed over with technical jargon?

Quote:
Oh and if you're wondering if coachd is one of us biased exercise scientists, he's not. He has a masters in history.

I actually would have guessed he's not an EXSS type ... he's not the one getting upset and using fancy words (for the most part). Wink

I'm not quite sure what to make of the rest of your last message... If I understand correctly, we could get the workouts of Cruz and Kipketer by simply asking?

Conway, I'd love to hear more if you get any further info.

Dan
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coachd
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2002 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan...I don't think anyone has ever said..."this is the best system to train athletes and here is the scientific data to prove it..."

There is science to back up the various aspects of training and how they develop improvement in the body systems involved in running and racing. What this science helps a coach do is minimize the element of chance in the development of athletes. The best coaches realize that by working within a theoritical framework and by applying scientific evaluations, their athletes have a better chance of success. Successful coaching is both an art and a science. The coach that fails to use exercise physiology to train his/her athletes more intelligently is doing those athletes a disservice. At the same time a coach who has never picked up a book on training may very well (through "trial and error") developed a sound training system that develops quality athletes---but I guarantee you this system will follow physiological science---not fly in the face of it.

Conway...As for Tudor Bompa being "old hat"...guess that's like saying the guy who invented the jump shot is passe...

Tim Montgomery works with Trevor Graham and I'm very sure periodization is a large part of the training program. What you are talking about sounds more like the specifics of the training elements within the plan. In this Graham is different than say, John Smith(Greene) or Tom Tellez(Lewis, Burell). He uses some technical equipment (like the Reactime system) to develop the various parts of the 100 meter sprint--start, drive phase, deceleration, etc. and then gets his athletes to put these together in the training. In contrast, say Tellez, tries to get athletes to focus on the whole race as one entity in training and expands out from the start to finish. If you watch a Graham trained athlete in the 100 you can almost see them thinking about the different phases of their race.
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