During my previous blog I discussed important guidelines for developing a successful General Preparation Phase of for Jumpers / Sprinters.
Today I will use those guidelines and create slightly different microcycle examples. However, before I start, there are yet more considerations I must discuss.
Keeping on the broad perspective theme that I discussed in the previous blog, we must first consider the lay out of the training phase. How long is it? How are we going to ensure the athletes are progressed correctly? How will they recover during and after the phase? These are important questions to ask when considering options for the training phase or mesocycle.
Generally speaking loading patterns throughout mesocycles are either Forward Step, Reverse Step or Constant. (See picture)
Just to clarify some basics here. The above picture shows 3 loading options for a mesocycle (There are other options). In this instance I have chose 4 week mesocycles. Due to several developmental reasons, 4 week training phases are generally recommended. If 6 or 8 week phases are used however, these loading patterns can be slightly adjusted but will remain similar. In the picture you will see LOAD. This is the most important aspect of the mesocycle set up. Load, is physiological and psychological stress experienced from the microcylce (week) of training. Basically speaking, reps x sets x intensity. However, there is more to load that just that. Training load needs to adjust each week of the phase to ensure overload and recovery occurs.
For the majority of College or Pro Track and Field athletes the General Preparation Phase begins after a period of rest and recovery. Therefore, I prefer the Linear Step option for General Preparation. This way, you can err on the side of caution during week 1 and progress as you see fit. A Constant loading pattern also works well for General Preparation. I am a big fan of Reverse Step loading but prefer to leave it to the specific training phases for reasons discussed above.
The next consideration is perhaps the most important when designing any training phase. How do you structure the microcycle (week). I love talking weekly set ups. There are several factors at play when determining the day to day set up of training.
Successful training plans are based around a simple concept. Stress - Recover - Adapt. Basically speaking when an athlete trains, he is stressed by a particular stimulus. Following this training stress, the athlete adapts and improves only once he has recovered. Weekly set ups are concerned with this concept.
So, without going into too much science, we need follow set ups that either alternate neuromuscular and metabolic type training or adjust daily loads to prolong the Stress - Recover - Adapt process.
Here are examples of how you can do it successfully.
Below is a detailed example of how option 2 could look during the General Preparation Phase.
I received great feedback after the blog on planning the GPP and with this follow up I wanted to put together something practical and concise for coaches to use. I hope this did the job.
Please share with those who may find this beneficial!