How did we start training this year to prepare for the TOUR Transalp? As mentioned in the previous article I started with a 'Reverse periodisation' training program. Today I will explain what it is and how it works.
Many training programs consist of 6 phases
A traditional training program begins with the Long Slow Distance (LSD) workouts in the pre-base and base phases. According to follow more and more (high) intensive interval trainings in the build and peak phase leading up to the race.
In a 'Reverse periodisation' training programme, however, one does not do LSD training in the pre-base and base phase, but starts with high-intensity interval training to get the condition to a high level as quickly as possible. Then, if necessary, LSD training is done in the build and peak phase of the training program. All this of course depends on the goal for which one is training. In my case it is the TOUR Transalp, a tough and long stage race over several days. But I can imagine that a cyclist who only rides criteriums has fewer LSD training sessions in his program. After all, we know that LSD training causes you to lose speed.
There are several conceivable reasons why a cyclist might prefer a 'Reverse periodisation' program over a traditional training program. Firstly, because as a cyclist you live in an area where it's not really nice to cycle outside for hours on end due to the weather conditions. This applies to a lot people, especially if you have an office job.
Most importantly, mental burnout threatens when you start doing very focused, over an extended period of time, high-intensity interval training for a race. After all, interval training is mentally as well as physically demanding. There is also the danger of 'peaking too early'.