WHAT IS TRAINING PERIODIZATION
Training periodization refers to manipulation over time of intensity, duration and frequency of training sessions to achieve the desired physiological adaptation for athletes to perform best during competitions. (Filipas et al., 2021)
Training intensity distribution (TDI) defines an athlete’s time in different training zones. (Filipas et al., 2021)
WHICH ARE THE TRAINING ZONES
Three training zones represent TDI:
ZONE 1 (Z1), below the first ventilator threshold, heart rate between 62-82% of maximal heart rate, VO2 max between 55-80% of VO2 peak. Mmol.La- 0.7-2
ZONE 2 (Z2), between the first and the second ventilatory threshold, heart rate between 82-87% of maximal heart rate, Vo2 max between 80-84% of VO2 peak; Mmol.La- 2-4.5
ZONE 3 (Z3): above the second ventilatory threshold, heart rate 92-97% (or more) of maximal heart rate, VO2 max between 84-140% of VO2 peak; Mmol.La- 4.5-18 (Casado et al., 2023).
TRAINING ADAPTATION FOR THE THREE ZONES
- Activation of PGC1-Alpha (Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator), a transcription coactivator that plays a central role in the regulation of cellular energy metabolism
- Mitochondrial proliferation
- Increased cardiac output
- Oxygen delivery to skeletal muscles
- Mitochondrial biogenesis and capillarization in type I muscle fibres
- Increase of the capacity to utilize energy in the active muscle
- mitochondrial proliferation
- plasma volume augmentation
- left ventricular mass
- maximal stroke volume
- maximal cardiac output
- muscle clearing of lactate
- maximization of motor unit recruitment
- lactate oxidation
- recovery time between high-intensity sessions
- skeletal muscle capillary density
- maximal citrate synthase activity
- mitochondrial respiration in Type II fibres
- recruitment of motor units elicited during competitive intensity exercise
THE MOST COMMON PERIODIZATION MODELS
Different combinations of TDI define the most common periodization models.
The intensity distribution known as POLARIZED TRAINING includes the highest time spent in Z1, a smaller but relatively high percentage in Z3, and only a small portion of training in Z2 (i.e., Z1 > Z3 > Z2).
PYRAMIDAL TRAINING instead includes a higher volume of time spent in Z2 and less in Z3, but, as in the case of the polarized model, the absolute highest volume of time in Z1 (i.e., Z1 > Z2 > Z3) (Treff G. et al., 2019).
WHICH ONE IS THE BEST PERIODIZATION MODEL
Although both periodization models described in the literature offer great possibilities for improvement in endurance performance, recent evidence suggests that a specific combination of the two might deliver better results.
Notably, a periodization in which the POLARIZED model follows the PYRAMIDAL model demonstrates more significant benefits regarding increased performance. (Filipas et al., 2021)
OVERVAM Algorithms use the science behind the TDI described to offer personalized workouts that meet each cyclist’s needs. Boost your performance, power-to-weight ratio and VAM today using OVERVAM APP.