For the last week or so I have been kicking some things around in my head as it relates to the training schedule I have lied out for Carmel. I’m thinking about making a change.
It all stems from my an article I saw a couple people tweeting about last week on the old Twitterverse. The article is a Runner’s World article that discusses the possible benefits of overloading certain weeks of your training with a significant amount of high stress workouts. The full article can be found here.
“The study is by researchers in Norway, published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, and it deals with what they call “block periodization.” The basic gist of their theory seems to be that if you’re trying to do everything at once in any given training week (i.e. easy miles, speed work, threshold work, etc.), you can’t put enough emphasis on any one of the elements to really push to a new level. This is a particular problem for already-well-trained endurance athletes, who have already taken all the “easy” adaptations that occur when you first start training.”
That last sentence in particular really peaked my interest. At this point, I think a lot of the “easy” adaptations have been rung out of me…so where does that leave me? Continuing down the same weekly training cycle of mostly easy miles, one tempo/speed session, and the long run? I think gains can still be made this way…but is there a better way to do it?
The article has me thinking that there is a better way. If I think about it, it kind of makes since from a stress and adaption standpoint, previous iterations of my running self that one weekly tempo/speed workout and a progression run was enough to stress the body and make it adapt for the better. But, now at this point in running my body is much more condition to handle that stress. The gains are not as substantial. They are still there but at diminishing rates of return.
So maybe I take more of “Cross Country Camp” style approach mentioned in the article to really stress my body and push those adaptions to occur at a higher and faster rate. But where do I put those weeks into the plan and what do they look like? I’m not sure yet.
The current design of my plan follows the weekly structure that would lend itself nicely to such a change: Week 1 Build, Week 2 Build, Week 3 Build, Week 4 recover…etc. I think the place to but them would be in that Week 3. How many times do I repeat them? Not sure yet.
I think the Scandinavians and myself are on to something here. Now its just time to figure the what and when of the workouts. Once, I get that figured out I’ll be sure to share it.
What do you guys think of article and my possible new approach? Have you tried anything new recently in training that worked for you?