In order to optimise the effects of training, an exercise programme needs to be structured in such a way that it allows for gains, adaptation and recovery.
Periodisation is the systematic planning of athletic or physical training, with the aim of reaching the best possible performance at competitions or events. It involves progressive cycling of various aspects of an exercise programme during a specific period.
Periodisation of a training programme usually consists of the following training cycles:
Microcycle: One week
Mesocycle: Two weeks to one month
Macrocycle: One year (planning for the main event/competition)
Tapering Before An Event:
Tapering refers to the practice of reducing the exercise load in the weeks leading up to an important event or competition. This allows for the muscles and tissues to recover, and for the cells to build up their energy stores for the event. Tapering is customary in many endurance sports, such as long-distance running and swimming.
The tapering phase usually starts 1-3 weeks before the event, depending on the duration of the event (i.e. whether is a sprint or endurance event). During the tapering phase, the exercise volume is reduced, while intensity is maintained.