Purpose: This review aimed to determine (1) performance and training characteristics such as training intensity distribution (TID), volume, periodization, and methods in highly trained/elite distance runners and (2) differences in training volume and TID between event distances in highly trained/elite distance runners. Methods: A systematic review of the literature was carried out using the PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases. Results: Ten articles met the inclusion criteria. Highly trained/elite distance runners typically follow a pyramidal TID approach, characterized by a decreasing training volume from zone 1 (at or below speed at first ventilatory/lactate threshold [LT]) to zone 2 (between speeds associated with either both ventilatory thresholds or 2 and 4 mmol·L−1 LTs [vLT1 and vLT2, respectively]) and zone 3 (speed above vVT2/vLT2). Continuous-tempo runs or interval training sessions at vLT2 in zone 2 (ie, medium and long aerobic intervals) and those in zone 3 (ie, anaerobic or short-interval training) were both used at least once per week each in elite runners, and they were used to increase the number of either vLT2 or z3 sessions to adopt either a pyramidal or a polarized approach, respectively. More pyramidal- and polarized-oriented approaches were used by marathoners and 1500-m runners, respectively. Conclusions: Highly trained and elite middle- and long-distance runners are encouraged to adopt a traditional periodization pattern with a hard day–easy day basis, consisting in a shift from a pyramidal TID used during the preparatory and precompetitive periods toward a polarized TID during the competitive period.
Training Periodization, Methods, Intensity Distribution, and Volume in Highly Trained and Elite Distance Runners: A Systematic Review
Arturo Casado, Fernando González-Mohíno, José María González-Ravé, and Carl Foster
Training Intensity Distribution, Training Volume, and Periodization Models in Elite Swimmers: A Systematic Review
José María González-Ravé, Francisco Hermosilla, Fernando González-Mohíno, Arturo Casado, and David B. Pyne
A well-planned periodized approach allows swimmers to achieve peak performance at the major national and international competitions. Purpose: To identify the main characteristics of endurance training for highly trained swimmers described by the training intensity distribution (TID), volume, and periodization models. Methods: The electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched using a comprehensive list of relevant terms. Studies that investigated the effect of the periodization of training in swimming, with the training load (volume, TID) and periodization reported, were included in the systematic review. Results: A total of 3487 studies were identified, and after removal of duplicates and elimination of papers based on title and abstract screening, 17 articles remained. A further 8 articles were excluded after full text review, leaving a final total of 9 studies in the systematic review. The evidence levels were 1b for intervention studies (n = 3) and 2b for (observational) retrospective studies (n = 6). The sprint swimmers typically followed a polarized and threshold TID, the middle-distance swimmers followed a threshold and pyramidal TID, and the long-distance swimmers primarily followed a pyramidal TID. The periodization model identified in the majority of studies selected is characterized by wave-like cycles in units like mesocycles to promote physiological adaptations and skill acquisition. Conclusions: Highly trained swimmers follow a training volume and TID based on their primary event. There is a need for further experimental studies on the effects of block and reverse periodization models on swimming performance. Although observational studies of training have limited evidence, it is unclear whether a different training/periodization approach would yield better results.
Training Periodization, Intensity Distribution, and Volume in Trained Cyclists: A Systematic Review
Miguel Ángel Galán-Rioja, José María Gonzalez-Ravé, Fernando González-Mohíno, and Stephen Seiler
A well-planned periodized approach endeavors to allow road cyclists to achieve peak performance when their most important competitions are held. Purpose: To identify the main characteristics of periodization models and physiological parameters of trained road cyclists as described by discernable training intensity distribution (TID), volume, and periodization models. Methods: The electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science were searched using a comprehensive list of relevant terms. Studies that investigated the effect of the periodization of training in cyclists and described training load (volume, TID) and periodization details were included in the systematic review. Results: Seven studies met the inclusion criteria. Block periodization (characterized by employment of highly concentrated training workload phases) ranged between 1- and 8-week blocks of high-, medium-, or low-intensity training. Training volume ranged from 8.75 to 11.68 h·wk–1 and both pyramidal and polarized TID were used. Traditional periodization (characterized by a first period of high-volume/low-intensity training, before reducing volume and increasing the proportion of high-intensity training) was characterized by a cyclic progressive increase in training load, the training volume ranged from 7.5 to 10.76 h·wk–1, and pyramidal TID was used. Block periodization improved maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), peak aerobic power, lactate, and ventilatory thresholds, while traditional periodization improved VO2max, peak aerobic power, and lactate thresholds. In addition, a day-by-day programming approach improved VO2max and ventilatory thresholds. Conclusions: No evidence is currently available favoring a specific periodization model during 8 to 12 weeks in trained road cyclists. However, few studies have examined seasonal impact of different periodization models in a systematic way.