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Fitness Training - Periodisation

  • Published in Coaching


Periodisation is a system of organizing training so that fitness is built in stages and reaches a peak at prescribed times. Most elite athletes, regardless of sport, train this way.

The process of periodisation begins by setting priorities for your planned events. This is important because if you don’t know when you want to come to a peak of fitness, this system is useless. Note that you are asked to choose only two or three (max) priority events. These are best spaced so that there will only be two or three peaks in a season with at about six weeks between them. Two of the races may be on back-to-back weekends.

The way to schedule the training period is to work backwards from the main goal of your training (Aussies Titles!). This is your main aim for the year and this is when you should be at your peak performance level. I believe that in a surf boat season you can only expect to be full prepared for two events in a season, and only as long as there are 5-6 weeks between the events. You can sometimes keep a taper going for as much as 10 days (at the most) so that even leaves out being "up" for the State and Australian Titles.

The graph below works on the premise that the Australian Titles are the ultimate goal for the season and that is when the taper is used to obtain maximum performance. There can be one or two more smaller peaks in the season, but overall the aim is to keep the season with the one goal in mind.


Training Period

Type of Training


4-6 weeks

Low: Readapt to training


12-14 weeks

Increasing: Endurance, strength, technique and muscular endurance


8-12 weeks

Increasing: Race-specific intensity. Maintain Base fitness


2-4 weeks

Reduced: Simulate race & rest


1-2 weeks

Reduced: Brief high-intensity workouts

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