OC1 Peak Performance

Periodizing the Year

For many years, experienced athletes in most sports have recognized the necessity of stressing different objectives during the year, and different objectives in off-years than in World Championships or highly targeted events. Their aim simply is to reach a peak at a very specific time. In planning their training over a long period, these athletes (or their coaches) know the following principles:

The body adapts best to fewer stresses at a time than to many.

For example, one can aim to develop the aerobic system (high physiological stress) at the same time as technique (low physiological stress), but not the aerobic system and the lactic acid system (high physiological stress).

The net adaptation is greater if you work successively on one energy system, then maintain it while concentrating on another.

 Work first and longest on those aspects of your sport which demand more time to develop.

For example, it takes longer to build up endurance (3-4 months) and technique than it does speed (6-8 weeks).

Training Unit 

A training unit is a single session devoted to achieving a particular objective, such as increasing speed, improving certain techniques, or race pacing, for example. A day’s training might consist of several different units; however, each is designed to work on a particular weakness or reinforce a particular strength. 


A microcycle is a group of training units combined in such a way as to achieve a total objective. For example, if increased speed is the desired goal, two weeks’ worth of training units oriented towards speed development might be in order. 

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