Entries in Training Methodology (5)


Cycling Your Periodization Plan

By: Michael H. Stone and Meg Stone (East Tennessee State) and William A. Sands.
From:  Olympic Coach Winter 2008.

Updated: Aug 27th 2009 2:20 PM UTC by Matt Fitzgerald

The “principle of the cyclic arrangement of load demands” consists of two concepts working simultaneously: 1) cycling and 2) stages (Harre 1982, p. 78). Cycles of training are organized so that work is punctuated with rest and so that athletes progress through a program that systematically varies the training tasks and load.
The overall cycle that each athlete goes through consists of repeating three stages: a) acquisition of athletic form b) stabilization of athletic form c) temporary loss of athletic form (Harre 1982). Practical experience has shown that athletes do not continue to improve in a progressive linear manner. Athletes require work periods that cause fatigue, and then these work periods are followed by rest and adaptation.
Training load is cycled by increasing load demands followed by decreasing demands. The second concept, stages, is again based on practical experience. Athletes simply cannot work on all of the demands of training and competition at the same time. The demands are too numerous, and available time is too limited. Taken together, these two concepts are united under the modern training approach called periodization.
The concept of periodization has been around at least since the 1920s (Nilsson 1987), and there are at least a dozen models of periodization. Caution should be exercised in their use due to the tendency to infer too much from individual models (Francis and Patterson 1992; Siff 1996a, 1996b; Siff and Verkhoshansky 1993; Verkhoshansky, U. 1981; Verkhoshansky 1977, 1985; Viru 1988, 1990, 1995). Further, most of the models have been tested only cursorily, if at all. Table 1.1 presents a list of several models.



Planning with Periodization

The most common method of developing a periodization plan is to divide a competitive season into three levels of cycles: a) macrocycles - several months in duration up to a year or slightly more: b) mesocycles - from approximately two to approximately eight weeks in duration; and c) microcycles - usually seven to fourteen days in duration.
The three levels of training organization permit a “divide and conquer” approach to the assignment of training tasks in a definite pattern for a definite period. Unfortunately, various authors have taken considerable liberty in using terms to describe varying durations, contents, and objectives of training within this context.
The three levels of training duration are placed within an overall structure of the training year that consists of a preparatory period, a competitive period, and a transition or rest period.
An athlete requires approximately 22 to 25 weeks to reach peak performance (Verkhoshansky 1985) before a type of fatigue or exhaustion occurs that is poorly understood (Poliquin 1991). Experience has shown that performance generally declines within these times constraints, but the mechanisms of the decline are unknown.
This idea of a limited time for adaptation leads to the concept of multiple periodization, which simply means that the training year is usually divided into two, rarely more, phases consisting of preparatory, competitive and transition periods (Bompa 1990a, 1990b, 1993; Siff and Verkhoshansky 1993; Verkhoshansky 1985). Perhaps unfortunately, many modern training programs force athletes to attempt to peak too often.


Description of the Periods

The preparatory period is usually divided into general and specific phases. The general preparatory phase is used for broad or multilateral training (Bompa, 1990b). The training tasks are aimed at improving the athlete’s overall strength, flexibility, stamina, coordination, and so forth.
The specific preparatory phase more closely resembles the sport and sport-specific tasks. Training during the specific preparatory phase are aimed at improving sport-specific tasks and fitness such as jumping, flexibility and strength in extreme ranges of motion and applying any newly acquired fitness to solving specific sport tasks.The preparatory period should be relatively longer for inexperienced athletes in order to allow for sufficient development of basic fitness.
However, in elite athletes the preparatory period may be relatively short due to frequent competitions and the necessity of elite athletes to remain close to top condition throughout the training year (Francis and Patterson 1992; Siff 1996b; Siff and Verkhoshansky 1993; Zatsiorsky 1995).
The competitive period involves the majority of competitions during the particular season or macrocycle. The fitness of the athlete should be relatively stable during this period, and training focuses on maximizing and stabilizing performance. The preparatory period is linked to the competitive period in that a well-executed preparatory period, with sufficient duration to achieve a high level of fitness at a reasonable pace, allows the athlete to demonstrate more stable performances during the competitive period ( Harre 1982; Siff and Verkhoshansky 1993;Verkhoshansky 1985).
The idea of performance stability is particularly important for athletes in resistance training, and may differ somewhat from sport to sport. For example, the tactical approach of a pole vaulter is quite different from that of a diver. The pole vaulter may often face performances that he or she has never equaled. This is seen in personal-best records. The pole vaulter may try previously unachieved heights in many competitions throughout a season. The diver should face this type of scenario only in the protected environment of training. The diver must perform what he or she has performed (i.e. dives) hundreds or thousands of times before, but must perform dives precisely in the decisive moment of competition. No byes or failed attempts are allowed in diving. Therefore, the diver seeks to stabilize performance at a level that is consistent with his or her skills, while the pole vaulter must assault and achieve new levels of performance during a competition and can use more than one attempt.
The transition or rest period involves one to four, rarely more, weeks of reduced training load to facilitate recovery from the rigors of previous training both physically and mentally (Bompa 1990a, 1990b; Harre 1982, 1986; Siff and Verkhoshansky 1993). During the transition period the athlete should attempt to maintain fitness while allowing injuries to heal, develop new goals for the next competitive season, evaluate the previous competitive season and basically ensure that the next competitive season begins with a renewed vigor and commitment.


Types of Periods

There are a number of different types of periods of training depending on training goals, time of the season and capabilities of the athlete. Macrocycles are usually described based on common sense understanding of the nature of the competitions within the macrocycle. For example, there may be an Olympic preparation type of macrocycle due to the modification of competition schedules to fit properly with the Olympic Games. There may also be a Pan American, national championship, or other type of macrocycles depending on the most important goal of the macrocycle. The second level, mesocycles can be categorized by the objectives of the mesocycle. Mesocycle-level objectives are relatively similar across macrocycles, which aids in the consistency of their defining characteristics. Mesocycles thus become similar to inter-changeable planning “parts” that can be used and reused in different macrocycles. Table 1.2 shows a list of mesocycle types and corresponding tasks (Harre 1982).
The mesocycles can be linked to form an annual plan (Bompa 1990b), or a specific macrocycle (Harre 1982, 1990; Matveyev 1977). Microcycles are periods of training lasting from seven to fourteen days. Microcycles are the smallest basic unit of training planning that has strictly applied objectives. The training lesson is a smaller training unit, but the goals of any particular training lesson can be modified based on current circumstances. However, the objectives of the microcycle remain intact so that the subsequent training lessons are adapted to reach the objectives set for the microcycle (Verkhoshansky 1985). Various types of microcycles are shown in Table 1.3 below.


As described earlier, the cyclic arrangement of load demands refers to periodization, which is composed of two concepts used simultaneously. The first concept is that of cycling the training load by alternating between work and rest. The second concept is that of periods of training with specific, distinct and linked goals. The importance of these periodization concepts lies in the organized and systematic fashion in which training loads can be applied for the improvement of sport performance.
Excerpted from Principles and Practice of Resistance Training by Michael H. Stone, Meg Stone and William A. Sands; Human Kinetics Champaign, IL. 2007. Reprinted with permission from Human Kinetics.

Mike Spracklen: Australian Rowing Coaching Conference 1995: Video

About Spracklen

Mike Spracklen (born 15 September 1937 in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England) is an international rowing coach who has led teams from Great Britain, USA, Canada to success at the Olympic games and Rowing World Championships, including the early Olympic successes of Steven Redgrave. In 2002 he was named the International Rowing Federation coach of the year.[1]



Spracklen's first major success was in coaching the Great Britain double scull to silver in the Montreal Olympic Games 1976. In 1984 he coached the coxed four to victory at the Los Angeles Olympics It was the first gold since 1948. From that crew he took Steve Redgrave and Andy Holmes to a further Olympic gold in the coxless pair (and bronze in the coxed pair) in Seoul in 1988, before moving to Canada as head coach in 1989 and becoming a full time professional coach.
The Canadian men's eight took gold at the 1992 Olympics under his tutelage, and Spracklen moved on to coach the USA squad.[3] He inaugurated the rowing venue at the new Chula Vista Olympic Training Center. After a disappointing finishing position of fifth in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic eights, he returned to Great Britain as the Women's national coach.
In 1998 the British women achieved their first Gold at a World Championship, in the double sculls. After the 2000 Olympics, where the British women took silver in the quad,the first Olympic medal for British women, Spracklen's contract was not renewed, with the BBC reporting discontent in the squad over his methods.[4]
Since 2000 Spracklen has been coaching the Canadian men's squad, winning the Gold medal for eights at the 2002, 2003 and 2007 World Championships[5] and at the 2008 Olympics.

Australian Rowing Coaching Conference 1995: Part 1









Australian Rowing Coaching Conference 1995: Part 2








1. "Mike Spracklen Named Coach of the Year at FISA's Awards Ceremony". Row2k. 2002-11-17. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
2. "Adrian Spracklen". Mercyhurst College Athletics web site. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
3. "USA Men's results 1980–2000". RowingHistory.net. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
4. Phelps, Richard (2000-10-25). "Spracklen's 'crumbling pyramid'". BBC. Retrieved 2008-09-22.
5. "National Team Coaches". Rowing Canada. Retrieved 2008-09-22.


The Runners-Cycle (With a view to application to rowing periodization)

By: Philip Tam
From: The Runners-Cycle
Site Link: The North Face 100
PDF Link: The Runners-Cycle

High Performance Rowing: Editors Note:

Rowing requires a very similar view to building and periodizing a training program. Philip Tam provides an interesting insite into training in his article: The Runners-Cycle.

The Runners Cycle

“Faster, Higher, Stronger”. The 3 comparatives that make up the Olympic Motto, and which are also commonly associated with the desires of an athlete. As runners, we train so as to increase the ability to sustain the fastest speed for a given distance or amount of time. When not done correctly, we may be putting ourselves at risk of overuse injuries.

The approach towards structuring a running programme safely and optimally is the understanding of the 6 principles of training combined with the knowledge of periodization. The latter, sadly, is often overlooked. Periodization is the alternation of training load with recovery in a running programme. Its greatest purpose is really to minimize long-term physiological and psychological fatigue and hence preventing the onset of overtraining.

What happens when you train?

The above diagram is commonly known among exercise physiologists as the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS). This model depicts the process that the runner’s body actually goes through when he / she trains. The first phase or the Alarm reaction phase refers to the introduction of a training programme or when you begin to increase your mileage above the usual volume. The body enters a state of “shock” and this is reflected through the soreness, stiffness and tiredness which the individual experiences. It will struggle to return to its original level through the counter-shock state.

With time, the human body begins to adapt and enters the second phase or the Resistance phase. Through a good balance of training and recovery, the runner’s body would be able to perform at a higher level. Should the runner continue to be stressed with a greater training volume without adequate recovery, the body will enter the final or Exhaustion phase. Prolonged dwelling in this phase would put the runner at risk of reaching the state of overtraining.

The 6 principles of training (a brief overview)

1) Individuality: No two runners will react to a training program in the same manner due to our different
genetics. Hence, individualize your training whenever possible.

2) Progressive overloading: To minimize overuse injuries, gradually and slowly increase your running distance. While the rule of thumb is not to increase more than 10% of your weekly mileage, you should maintain or reduce your training volume should you begin to feel fatigue.

3) Recovery: Improvement comes from a combination of stress and recovery. It is important to have off days from running to rest.

4) Variety: Cross-training (e.g. swimming, gym-work etc) is valuable in minimizing injuries and helping you avoid mental staleness.

5) Specificity: Runners run, bikers cycle, swimmers swim, tri-athletes do everything. If you want improvements in your running, you do not cross-train more than you run.

6) Reversibility: Aerobic fitness would be reduced when you stop training. Maintain your fitness by decreasing the frequency and duration of runs yet keeping or even increasing intensity. slightly higher.

Understanding the 3 cycles

The components that make up periodization are training cycles, usually 3 different types in the following
ascending order:
a) Micro-cycles = the smallest training cycles which constitute the Meso-cycle; usually 1 week in duration.
b) Meso-cycles = shorter blocks which make up the macro-cycles; usually 4 – 8 weeks in duration.
c) Macro-cycles = the longest blocks which usually last from 3 months to a whole year.

The Micro-cycle


(X-axis = days of a week, Y-axis = training intensity; H is high, M is moderate, L is low, R is rest).

The micro-cycle normally refers to a weekly running programme (Monday to Sunday). When designing a microcycle, the exercise physiologist has to consider the training purpose and current fitness level of the runner. The example above is known as a “low-load” cycle which is commonly used by most recreational runners.

The Meso-Cycle:

The above is a common example of a meso-cycle. Making up of 4 micro-cycles (1 week per cycle), training volume is increased each week until the 4th week where a reduction occurs. This is to allow adequate recovery from any residue fatigue accumulated through the past 3 weeks of training. Such is known as the 3:1 strategy; 3 weeks of gradual mileage loading accompanied by 1 week of unloading.

The Macro-cycle:

(Number = month)

In the management of races of prolonged duration (e.g. marathon, ultra-marathon etc), a macro-cycle tends to consist of at least 6 meso-cycle (1 month each). As seen above, the 3:1 micro-cycle strategy is commonly employed with the last meso-cycle reserved for tapering (for more details, refer to the article “Tapering and peaking for the final victory”).

Summary points for optimal periodization

1) Learn to employ the 6 principles of training in your programme.
2) A good running programme involves periodization, familiarize yourself with the cycles.
3) Have a mixture of loading and unloading micro-cycles, the 3:1 strategy is a good start.
4) Ensure your macro-cycle comprises of more meso-cycles should the event you are undertaking requires highmileage training (marathon to an ultra-marathon).


In-Season Training & Intensity in Rowing


Olympic Marathon – Anatomy of a Medal

By: Joe I. Vigil, Ph.D, 14 October, 2005
From: Cool Running
Site link: The Anatomy of a Medal

The Anatomy of a Medal

One of the most compelling success stories of the Athens Olympics was the performance of the U.S. Team in the Marathon. These outstanding performances were the result of not only exceptional talent and discipline on behalf of the athletes, but impeccable planning and application of 21st century sports science. 


Deena Kastor

Related info:
Peak Running Performance

By Joe I. Vigil, Ph.D.
Posted Friday, 14 October, 2005 

This article deals not only with the application of science and training methodology, but also the athlete/coach interrelationship, vital for the success in any athletic endeavor. Although Team Running USA had two medalists in the Marathon – Deena Kastor (Bronze) and Meb Keflezighi (Silver), this article will deal with the specifics of the training progression of Deena Kastor.

This success was not an overnight achievement. It started 20 years ago when Deena’s involvement in age group athletics first started. From the very beginning, she showed signs of things to come. After winning several California state high school championships, she enrolled at the University of Arkansas. Her collegiate career was good but not exceptional. She earned several “All American” recognitions in both Cross Country and Track & Field, but she never won a national championship. The outstanding talent she displayed as a high school runner was never realized in college.

I first met Deena when she competed for the U.S. Jr. Cross Country Team in the World Championships in Aix Le Baines, France. In our first meeting, we developed an instant mutual respect. I learned that at the completion of her University of Arkansas studies, Deena found herself with a burning desire to continue her training. Like most, she dreamed of one day running in the Olympics and, at the urging of her Arkansas Assistant Coach, Mylan Donley, she contacted me. At first I was reluctant to work with her, but her persistence, hunger for high goals, and willingness to relocate to Alamosa, Colorado (7543¢ altitude) persuaded me to take her on. Hence, a team was formed.

Qualities Necessary for Success

I believe it was the best professional move either one of us has ever made. Her accomplishments the last eight-ten years (1996-2005) have been spectacular. The qualities necessary for this level of success and the progression of her physiologic profile came at a great price.

As with all members of Team Running USA, we required that all athletes strive to:

1.  Improve Personal Relationships

2.  Improve Achievement Motivation

3.  Improve the Quality of Their Mini and Macro Environments

4.  Improve Their Athletic Maturity

5.  Show Integrity to Their Value System

6.  Display a Commitment to Their Mission

7.  Practice Abundance by Giving Back to Their Sport and Team

If I were to operationally define the qualities an athlete must possess to be successful, Deena would epitomize those qualities. She is a great example of mind/body autonomy working in harmony to reach set goals. She truly believes and adheres to the principle of unending improvement and the setting and achieving of even higher goals.

Increases in Volume

Knowing that I had an athlete willing to go the extra mile, we started working on the physiologic variable that would allow her to compete at the international level. Previously, she was only running 40-50 miles a week, which certainly was not enough volume to compete at her desired level. We increased that volume to 70 miles per week (MPW) for the next 15 months. This allowed for gradual adaptation without any resulting injuries or setbacks. At this point, she had a VO2 MAX of 70.2 mls. (VO2 MAX is the maximum amount of oxygen in milliliters your body can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight, i.e. the higher the better). We next increased her volume to 90 miles a week over the next 18 months. Her VO2 MAX jumped to 77.5 mls. During this time period, she was making her mark nationally and had won a national championship in Cross Country. Again, we increased her volume to 100-110 miles per week and, not surprisingly, her VO2 MAX was at 81.3 mls. This level of fitness is attained by very few athletes and is one of the highest ever recorded in an American athlete.

Presently, we maintain an average of 100 mpw ±10 and adjust that volume in accordance with the competitions she will enter. The volume can be as low as 70 mpw for track races to 140 mpw for a marathon. Because of our precise planning, she handles this volume manipulation very well.

We both knew VO2 MAX was important, but even more so was the increase of anaerobic threshold (AT - the point at which lactic acid starts to accumulate in your muscles). Since this became an important training objective, we incorporated the AT runs, sometimes referred to as tempo runs. We started with four miles and over a period of time, increased to six, eight, and ten miles. If we were preparing for a marathon, she would run 12-13 mile AT runs. We thoroughly believed that the longer the run, the greater the stress, the greater the consequent adaptation.

A noticeable observation was made over the five-six year period of increased volume; her AT velocity increased profoundly. She went from an initial 5:24 per mile pace to 5:11 to 5:01. I would like to state that volume runs, when combined with a regular diet of AT runs, are the most important workouts for the development of the endurance component. This brought about a profound increase in her running economy.

Equipped with these two remarkable qualities (increased VO2 uptake and increased anaerobic threshold), any athlete can then embark on running and competing at the international level. We must keep in mind that these increases were brought about through gradual adaptation to stress. As we worked together on a day-to-day basis, Deena learned to listen to her body and knew exactly what her perceived exertion was at a given pace.

Training Priorities

After each human performance test, we had accurate information on her velocity at VO2 MAX (vVO2), anaerobic threshold velocity (ATV), lactate max, lactate at threshold, max heart rate (HR Max) and heart rate at threshold velocity. Armed with this information, we got her vVO2 (which was 4:27 for the mile). This figure would help us in determining her goals for the 3000, 5000, 10000 and the Marathon. We also determined that her fractionalization (VO2 at threshold velocity divided by VO2 MAX) was a percent we would like to improve. We followed the protocol below in determining goals:

  • 3000 Meters 7-12 Minute Effort 100% vVO2
  • 5000 Meters 13-17 Minute Effort 95% vVO2
  • 10000 Meters 26-38 Minute Effort 90% vVO2
  • Marathon 2:06-2:30 80-85% vVO2

This information was deemed extremely accurate, as Deena was only off two seconds in her AR in the 10000 and Meb1.93 seconds in his 10000 AR. After determining their fractionalization (Deena 83% and Meb 81%), we established their goals for the Marathon. Again, Meb missed it by only three seconds and Deena by only 1 minute 16 seconds. Our objective for the future will be to increase fractionalization by utilizing volume and AT runs at the appropriate distance and velocity.

Altitude Training

The record has shown that since 1968, 95% of all Olympic and World Championship medals from the 800 through the Marathon were won by athletes who lived or trained at altitude. It can therefore be concluded that altitude training is necessary for success in endurance events. I have lived all my life at altitude in Alamosa, Colorado (7543¢) and it was easy for me to become a true believer in altitude training. The observations I have made and my background in physiology has shown me that there is a distinct advantage to altitude training.

Over the past 30 years, I have hosted individuals and entire federations for their altitude training. The successes include World records, Olympic medals and personal bests. Most of the distance running world has bought this philosophy. It has, however, been difficult to convince most American coaches and athletes, though there are a few that believe.

When Team Running USA was organized in 2000, Bob Larsen and I were hired to run the program. We both believed in altitude training and incorporated three-four altitude training blocks of one month or longer in our annual training plan. We selected Mammoth Lakes, California (8000-10,000¢) as our official high altitude training camp. We also tried to hold our camps prior to major events so they could go down to sea level with the greatest amount of oxygen carrying capacity possible.

Deena had spent four years (1996-2000) in Alamosa when we made our move to Mammoth Lakes, CA. The next four years (2001-2005) gave her a greater adaptation to altitude and she was capable of training at even high altitudes (9000¢), which she did frequently. On occasion, we would go to sea level to train at ARCO OTC in San Diego. This was also the site for all of our testing protocols. We were, however, altitude-based the majority of the time.

By living and training at altitude, athletes expect to get an increase in their red blood cell mass and hemoglobin, which enhance the athletes’ oxygen carrying capacity. These factors allow the athlete to perform and train more effectively upon return to lower elevations.

Olympic Event Decision

Upon consideration of all the negatives and positives of the geophysical conditions we would encounter in Athens, 11 months prior to the games, Deena decided on the Marathon. I believe she could have done as well had she selected the 10000 meters, but her choice proved to be a wise. We began by running Olympic Trials for protection against injury. This way she would be assured of making the Olympic Team. She decided to dedicate 11 months to the best and most difficult training she ever had, as well as competing a minimal number of times. The focus for the year was to medal in the Marathon. She, along with her three training partners, Colin Steele, Joe Eckerly and Derek Tate, put together 14 weeks (See Table 1) of excellent training that produced a fitness level she had not previously experienced.


Table 1.This table illustrates progression in weekly volume. It can be utilized by more experienced marathoners who can handle the increased volume.

Critical Zone Training

Critical Zone Training (CZT) is a phrase coined to identify training requirements for success at the Olympic Games, World Championships or specific high quality events. The training demands are specific to the event and incorporate the times athletes must achieve in practice to be able to compete at the above levels.

The average times in the Marathon for the previous four Olympic Games and five World Championships were 2:26:45 for First, 2:27:34 for Second and 2:28:16 for Third. Our goal was to medal, so we had to train to achieve these times under all conditions. The topography of the Marathon course in Athens is shown in Figure 1:


Figure 1: Profile of Athens Olympic Marathon Course

One can observe the torturous eight-mile incline from 18000 meters to 31000 meters. I found a very similar course close to Mammoth Lakes, where nearly all aspects were identical. The one difference was that it was at 7000-8000¢ altitude. We ran it seven times prior to Athens at a pace that was altitude-adjusted. The course in Athens presented no psychological barrier for Deena.

To meet the extreme demands of heat and humidity, we did three things:

1.  We wore extra clothing in practice.

2.  We practiced on fluid intake on our long runs every 15 minutes for 11 months.

3.  We went to Crete two weeks prior to the Games to acclimate to the heat and humidity.

While training in Crete, we encountered extremely hot weather, always around 98°-104°F. We adjusted our workouts by running hard early in the day and easier in the late afternoons. As the days passed by, we progressively moved the intense workouts toward the time that the Marathon was going to be contested. Crete is in the same time zone as Athens, so our circadian rhythms had 14-17 days to adapt to the time zone of the competition. Constant reinforcement in hydration, rest and diet was carried through to the end.

As expected, the temperature at race time was 102° (120° asphalt) and 54% humidity at 6pm. As with other marathons, Deena knew she was going to have to exercise complete emotional control throughout the race. This is a quality she displayed beautifully, as the race results indicated.

Deena’s support team included her husband, Andrew (Physical Therapist) and three training partners. In Figure 1, the last 14 weeks shows her volume and taper prior to the race. The daily sessions of ancillary work (core, plyometrics, strength, flexibility) and agility drills over a number of years made her an exceptionally well-prepared athlete. Our specific training program consisted of the following training intensities:

Training Intensities

1.  Basic Speed/Power: From 60 to 100 up to 400M speed endurance. Below 200M, all out at 300-400M race pace early. Then pick up pace with each repetition. This workout aids in the development of running form, running mechanics and event-specific running economy.

2.  Lactate Threshold: Training runs of 20-60 minutes at 85-87% of HR or 85-87% of vVO2 aids in developing a high level of aerobic threshold.

3.  High-End Aerobic Endurance: Endurance training at 70-80% of maximum HR or 75-80% of vVO2. The duration of runs should be 30 minutes to three hours. The runs should be on soft surfaces and hills. Negative split effort is most desirable.

4.  MVO2: Development of maximum volume of oxygen at 90-95% HR or 90% of vVO2. Three minutes to eight-ten minute duration or repetitions of 800, 1K, 2K and 3K. We use two minute intervals between repetitions at sea level and three minutes at altitude. These runs develop peripheral training adaptations, increase fat metabolism, increase concentration of aerobic enzymes, mitochondria and capillarization.

5.  Recovery: Low intensity runs 25-30 BPM below lactate threshold HR. The runs are from 45 minutes 1 hour 20 minutes and can be run both in the AM and PM. It promotes recovery following high intensity workouts. This run energizes the athlete for the next hard workout.

It is extremely important that the athlete and coach orchestrate the Five Training Intensities so they have proper recovery and maintain enthusiasm for the challenges to come. Table 2 exhibits the plan we employed:

The Deena Kastor File


Olympic Medal

Marathon Bronze (2:27:20)

Athens Greece


World Record

5K Road (14:54)

Carlsbad, CA


Track Record

10,000 meters (30:50:32)

Palo Alto, CA


American Road Records

Half Marathon Women Only (1:10:08)
5K Road (14:54)
15K Gate River Run (47:15)
Marathon (2:21:16)
8K LaSalle Bank (24:36)

Virginia Beach, VA
Carlsbad, CA
Jacksonville, FL
London England
Chicago, IL


National Championships

3 Track
6 Road
3 Cross Country


World Cross Country Medals

Individual Silver
Individual Silver

Team Silver
Team Silver

Dublin, Ireland
Lausanne, Switzerland

Dublin, Ireland
Lausanne, Switzerland



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