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Posted in: General

Interesting article on periodisation

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  • BarbAugustin


    How does this affect what we currently do?

    Do we continue planning as normal and just be on the look out for non-biological changes?

    Do we throw periodisation out altogether?

    Something else?

  • pippaglen

    Interesting article Barb. 

    I Find it interesting how coaches think it is ok to over stress an athletes mental and physical health to get the desired results. A few years ago I was listening to a scientist who was talking about the adrenal glands and what happens when they are stressed due to the high impact sport, over training and what impact the adrenal glands have on our body when stressed. This was very interesting and showed that the more stressed our adrenal gland are the more fat our bodies would store and create a chemical imbalance causing stress, anxiety and mental health and other health issues like liver and kidney disease. It also stated that the longer we worked out and stressed our bodies the more stressed our adrenal glands would become the more likely to become ill and injured.  I put this to the test on myself as I was going out running for hrs and wondered why I was always ill. I took the advice on board and started training 3 days a week for no longer than 45 mins a session in changing this impacted on my performance I wasn't feeling ill all the time, I was able to spend more time with my family, I had less injuries and started to loose weight all round win, win

    I'm currently coaching  2 athletes ages 14 years old 1 who has only participated in athletics since September of last year and the other has been with a club for a while but has not progressed and has stayed stagnant for 3 years, she was extremely weak  and over trained.   I gave them both a strength training program of no longer than  30 mins of exercises 2 days a week,  they have only been performing body weighted exercises until I saw an improvement in body strength. Over the last 3 months I have seen vast improvements in the their strength and even in competing where the events they have taken part in 800m , 200m  they have been first and second place. Other coaches, parents and athletes have commented on both athletes looking stronger and performance in competition is better than last year. The athletes have come back to me and advised they feel more confident, stronger and happy with their performance which I'm happy about i didn't use one bit of periodisation in my planning I just watched the athletes blossom.  I think the trick is not to over train for long periods of time for me no more than 45mins, allow athletes to become stronger by using their own body weight and when strong enough introduce small amounts of weights.  Be more mindful of stresses around personal life, school activities and other sports.  At the moment I plan month by month and expect my athletes to tell me what pe activities are going on during school so I  can alter there training accordingly even if this means 1 less training day for them at least I know that I'm not over training them and stressing them out. 

    I still see coaches making children as young as 8 years run over and over again around a track not considering the athletes mental health state, over training athletes to the point that they are ill, stressed and injured. 

    • My question is do we really need to consider Periodisation at young ages, shouldn't this be done when athletes older stronger and more able to cope with stress and strains of life.  
    • Looking at schools implementing the 1 mile a day to primary school children, is this really necessary at primary age?  do children need to be stressed about having to run around a school play ground? 

  • BarbAugustin

    All good points, particularly in relation to young kids.

    I agree with you that what this article is saying is really nothing new to experienced coaches. We might write a beautiful plan but then throw it out the window based on how the athlete presents on the day.

    I was curious as to whether I'd missed something, but your feedback (and that I've received on other forums) is along the lines of what I'd thought.

    Thank you.

  • pippaglen

    Hi Barb, I Feel as long as you listen to your athletes needs and be mindful of stresses   they already have in their everyday life along with training periodisation shouldn't be an issue.The only thing will be to listen to your athletes then change your plan accordingly.

  • CoachTony

    I like Emma's realistic take on the matter. Any attempt at Periodisation for the young is going to revolve around their own development so  any full year plan will need frequent changes and likely not be worth the effort to produce it in the first place..

  • TRTKatie

    We also have to consider the athlete's overall goals. For many adults, especially, sometimes their main goal is to stay or get fit. Sometimes the fact that they've turned up for training when it's raining / they've had a bad day at work / the kids kept them up all night etc. etc., is a massive achievement!

  • pippaglen

    I agree and yet again these are all stress factors for all wishing to compete and wanting to get fit and healthy. I have spent many years trying to stay fit having 5 children which I thought was a challenge on its own, however I used to take them all running with me whilst they road their bikes, sometimes this became  time consuming and stressful at time I used to just think why am I trying to get fit again? Again a very stressful time trying to balance family life, work and keeping fit.  

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