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Craig David Uffman


Thought I'd run this flexible approach to microcycles by you to see if it makes sense. As mentioned in an earlier comment on your prep period post, I planned my 2014 calendar with a faulty assumption about R&R. My assumption was that I could do some MP tempo runs in the R&R period since MP running is relatively low intensity and also that I could some 19km endurance runs. My microcycles were 9+9+5 as you suggest. Based on your correction of my misconception, I re-did the calendar, but felt I occasionally needed those endurance and MP runs in the timing I had them. So I decided to try a flexible approach. In almost all cases, I followed the 9+9+5 mesocycle and eliminated everything by active recovery or rest from the R&R periods. However, on 4 occasions between now and Memorial Day - all during the extended base cycles and Build 1, I used a 10-day microcycle by adding the 19km or MP run (H-R-R-H-R-R-H-R-R-H) followed by a 4-day R&R microcycle. My reasoning is that I am only 53 and I believe my body currently responds a bit better to high doses than is assumed in your 23-day cycle, so a moderate dose on day 10 followed by 4 real rest days would achieve a similar (if lesser) training effect. Am I missing something in my logic?

Joe Friel

Craig David Uffman--Nope. Periodization is best when customized to the individual's unique situation.

Daniel Dziubski


Great stuff here on your blog. Im a 30 year old with a runners build, (5'10'- 143lb)with 9:32 IM best. With 'A' races of Mont Tremblant 70.3 WC Sept 7 and IMFL a year away would you recommend strength/weights yet in the prep phase? In the past mid to late in the marathon I feel that my legs (primarily glutes/quads) begin to 'waste away'.

Thank You.



I'm sold on intensity during the Base period, and I'm also convinced that volume can be added later, during the Build period, as races approach, without any compromise.

Getting the right mix, at the right time, is always tricky. My question is:
In order to prepare for road races, how much time should I commit to zone 5a within, say, 3-5 weeks? I know 5b is essential for competing in road races, but scheduling the correct amount of 5a, without compromising time at 5b, can be problematic.

Joe Friel

Daniel Dziubski--There's really no sure of knowing other than to try it to see what may happen. Realize that quad soreness toward the end of a marathon is common--whether one lifts weights or not. Lifting (squats for ex) may reduce it but is unlikely to prevent it. Another method shown by some research to be successful is running downhill intervals to overstress the quads. Several such sessions. This was shown to reduce quad soreness in long running races. Good luck!

Joe Friel

slimdog1--I'd suggest a lot of sweetspot training (low z4) in the late base period. In the early Build period it may be good to doing LTHR/FTP intervals, esp if you also do TTs.

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