Volume and periodization for training plans of different length

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    Topic
  • #7427
    george.peridas
    Participant

    Scott,

    Thank you for the invaluable resources on this site and the book. TFTNA describes periodization for a training plan that devotes 8 weeks to preparation, 20 weeks to the base, 4 weeks to specific training and then 1 week of tapering.

    How do we work backwards based on time between the starting point and the target climb? Say it’s Jan1, and the objective is to be in peak condition on Jun1 – that’s 22 weeks in total.

    Looking at the volume periodization on the different programs on the site, they follow different patterns. The 24 week expedition plan appears to increase for 3 weeks, recover for 1, until the late phases when you raise then drop twice, then sustain. The 16 week big mountain plan goes up-down, up-down, up for 4 weeks, recover for 3 weeks, ramp for 3 again. The 8 week basic mountaineering plan seems to follow what the expedition plan does: up for 3, recover for 1.

    Could you explain the logic behind these progressions so we can best work out how to periodize for different available periods, depending on whether we have more/less time before the objective than the book covers?

    Thanks in advance.
    George Peridas

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #7437

    George:

    Steve and I are glad that there is such a good reception to the information we are providing on the site that can go into more detail than the book could.

    How do we work backwards based on time between the starting point and the target climb? Say it’s Jan1, and the objective is to be in peak condition on Jun1 – that’s 22 weeks in total.

    That question is easy. Always remember this: You can NEVER have too much base. So just extend the base period by 2 weeks.

    As for the modulation in the plans: The 24 week plan we sell follows the principles in our book. All other, shorter plans for mountaineering are compromises meant to provide a workable plan for those who do not have adequate time before their big climb. The 3 building weeks followed by one recovery week is typical for what we use with coached clients and generally works pretty well. 2 build weeks with a recovery week also works well for some people. In writing these plans we can’t customize them for anyone so we shoot for the middle ground.

    The 16 week big mountain plan goes up-down, up-down, up for 4 weeks, recover for 3 weeks, ramp for 3 again.
    Volume is not the only measure of training load. Those blue bars in the graph only tell volume not load. Those weeks are not recovery weeks, They are when we begin to add intensity so the volume stays pretty constant to allow the athlete to adjust to the higher loads.

    The 8 week plan is a very basic plan. We say in the description that this is the minimum plan length for even the easiest mountaineering routes that we can recommend the untrained. It can not follow the standard periodization plan of a the longer plans.

    Scott

    Participant
    george.peridas on #7453

    Thanks you so much, Scott. Understood.

    In the event that we don’t have more than the 33 weeks (8 transition, 20 base, 4 specific, 1 taper) weeks before the objective, is it best to shorten the transition period or the base period? Or even the specific period at the end?

    I am guessing that for someone with reasonable level of activity/fitness, going straight to the base with due caution would be OK, whereas for a newbie it would be best to follow the more conservative volume ramp in the transition first for 4-8 weeks and then launch into the more aggressive 3-week build/1-week recovery base pattern?

    Participant
    i s on #7714

    Im very interested in what the answer to this last question is, did you get a reply?

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