By Bryan Fish, Head Coach, CXC Skiing
The yearly training plan is the most challenging training plan step, so I hope we can help you merge all those thoughts, ideas and training theories into one progressively flowing blueprint (map) for the whole year. To do this, you need to understand your training priorities during each portion of the year. It is important that your yearly plan be structured, yet flexible. The goal of the yearly plan is to develop fitness to, and through, the competition season, but also to provide some latitude for those unexpected events.
This method breaks the year into four-week periods starting each week on a Monday and concluding on Sunday. This means there are 13 periods during the year, with 28 days in each period. Many documents use a four-week progression, commonly including the following:
Week 1 – High intensity and low volume
Week 2 – Moderate intensity and moderate volume
Week 3 – Low intensity and high volume
Week 4 – Restoration and evaluation week – relatively low intensity and low volume
We propose a new weekly progression and periodization.
Week 1 – Hard week (28 percent of the total period training)
Week 2 – Easy week (22 percent of the total period training)
Week 3 – Harder week (30 percent
of the total period training)
Week 4 – Easier week (20 percent of the total period training)
Igor Badamshin, CXC’s high performance advisor, proposed this method during the spring of 2006. I have slightly modified the original percentages based on two years of application with the CXC Elite Team athletes and the understanding that most athletes need to organize their training around work or school.
This progression – a hard week followed by an easy week – stems from the theory of super compensation. Super compensation refers to the ability of our bodies to adapt to, and eventually overcompensate for, the stress of exercise. The body can adapt to small amounts of stress and then recovery is necessary. This is the basic premise for hard days followed by easy days.
We are taking super compensation to an extreme with our CXC Elite athletes. We typically have a hard week followed by an easy week. A hard week means total volume increases at every intensity level. For example, a 20-hour week may be followed by a 10-hour week. The training percentages stay the same, so the 20-hour week has twice as much strength, intensity and distance as the 10-hour week.
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