Monday, September 29, 2014

Despre zonarea efortului

Polarised training and intensity zones (cont.)

I've just had a sneak peek at the new issue of Peak Performance (published tomorrow, Tuesday, September 30th), where I read a particularly interesting article on "polarised training" by Andrew Hamilton.

If you're not familiar with it, polarised training is the concept of training specific qualities. To put it another way, it is about examining the intensity zones of a sport and then training according to those demands.

In team sports, we can use similar concepts. In zone 1 we accrue volume -- in team sport this is often the slower aspect of training, such as learning set plays or moves from the playbook.

In zone 2 we supplement this with higher intensity work to accrue "fitness" adaptations, but these volumes will be less than zone 1. Finally, in zone 3 we accrue moderate volumes -- high intensity or overspeed training -- to really challenge the body's ability to work, in our case in the "red zone".

Because of the intensity of zone 3 work, we necessarily have to have quite small volumes. This is because physiologically it is very difficult to sustain, and also there is the injury risk from unrestrained use of high threshold training.

The real trick is in the "programming" of all this. That is to say, how the pieces of the jigsaw fit together. We tend to employ the higher speed work when the athletes are at their freshest, simply to reduce injury risk. Having said that the aim, of course, is over time to alter what "high intensity" actually is.

At the start of the journey, high intensity may be running for 2 minutes at 15kph. As the athlete becomes better trained, this may move from a zone 3 task to a zone 2 task. Clearly, then, the programme needs to be moulded on an ongoing basis, according to the phase of the season, goals and progress of the athlete.

But there's increasing evidence that a polarised training approach is optimum for maximising gains in endurance performance.

To read Andrew's article on this in Peak Performance, and learn how you too can benefit from polarised training, click here to take out a low cost trial today.

'Til next week,

Stay robust amigos!