Length of GPP

Is there a limit to how long a GPP can last? I do not have a track meet untill the end of January, which leaves me possibly 4 months or so of GPP. Is this too long? I am not very educated at periodization, so any help is greatly appreciated. Also, how much sprint work would I want to do during a GPP that long? I have access to a track untill it is too cold to sprint outdoors, then I am confined to weights and plyometrics, and the occaisional sprint practice in a town 2 hours from here which has an indoor track.

That’s too long. The general prep period is followed by the special prep period, where the most critical training requirements are optimized, once the basics are in place. In the time frame you describe, two months would be more likely, though this may vary according to individual needs.

Charlie, how long would you spend in phase 1 before moving into phase 2 if you were faced with that 4 month situation misguided have? How would you set things up?

End of Jan openings are pretty typical in Europe and Phase one is the longest anyway. If it’s too long for the plan, you simply set up test comps of you own at the time of your choosing.

Charlie, if you are faced with that long of a precomp period(4 month) how long would you make phase one? Also would you stick with a focus on acceleration only being the time is extended?

First. You can create your own simulated early comp period, as I mentionned. Second, the longer the phase, the farther along the short to long continuum you will go (if that is your system).

so if I did a two month GPP starting in September and did SPP for a month(?) that would have me doing a mock meet or testing period in the beginning of December. So what do I do after that to still be able to peak at State outdoors in the end of May? I’m sorry that I don’t understand this well, I’m trying my best to learn.

Why would your GPP be twice as long as your SPP? Additionally, you can do whatever you like relative to the indoor if you intend to peak in may. If Indoor Competition doesn’t matter, maybe you should shut down from simulated comp in late Jan and start your next prep cycle (the East Germans often did this when a key meet occurred much earlier in the outdoor season). Remember though, your next GPP will be very much shorter than your first- perhaps no more than 2 weeks, as you’ve been away from your peak performance for a very short time.

Charlie, you mentioned twice that I can stimulate my own comp. Can I take that you feel 4 months is too long to go without some sort of minor peak?

charlie, i didn’t realize how long SPP was to last. learning more every day. so GPP from September through October, SPP through Febuary (I would like a slight peak the third week of Febuary for Simplot Games), followed by a two week rest, then another two week GPP?

OK but two week rest is a lot. One week is more typical.

alright one week makes sense. going from GPP to SPP, what changes? i am under the assumption that there is more speed work, the speed work becomes slightly longer, and tempo evolves into Speed and Special Endurance during that stage. Is this the right general idea?

Charlie, my bad. I got what you were saying now. I was mixing up GPP as phase one. I feel like a novice:(


Charlie Francis - the longer the phase, the farther along the short to long continuum you will go (if that is your system).

OK, I’m a little bit confused as to what is meant by Short to long and vice versa. CF can you elaborate?


Charlie Francis - Remember though, your next GPP will be very much shorter than your first- perhaps no more than 2 weeks, as you’ve been away from your peak performance for a very short time.

Charlie do you saying that the farther you are away from your PB the longer your GPP has to be? I personally haven’t PB’d in years but was closer last year (about 4 tenths away :frowning: ). Furthermore, Has anyone tried mapping out a season with a three peak season. I would love to see one on a spreadsheet! When I try to do it everything seems so short I can’t see how adaptation can occur.

It’s not the farther away from a PB- it’s the farther away from the last competitions. If you start training Sept1, you’ll need a longer GPP if you stopped in May than if you stopped in mid-August.
As for annual plans. This would be a great exercise. Who wants to start with next years plans? Start backwards from your main goal and start filling in your training requirements.

My last Competition was in the middle of July… the 12th to be exact. I am actually wanting to start GPP today so I am going to go on a long run(5 miles) sometime today. Here is what I’m initially thinking for my structure. I’m shooting for all major champs … what the hell. Content will follow this skeleton:

Macrocycle 1
Gpp: 8 weeks Aug 10 to Oct 4
SPP: 11 weeks Oct 5 to Dec 20
PreP: 6 weeks Dec 21 to Feb 7 (meets will start 2nd week in Jan)
Comp: 5 weeks Feb 8 to Mar 13

Macrocycle 2
RecP: 2 week *Mar 14 to 27 (meets will start on 19th)
PreP: 3 weeks Mar 28 to Apr 17
Comp: 13 weeks **Apr 18 to Jul 18 (NC on July 16th to 18th)
*Most likely the first two meets will be just for fun and integrated into the training cycle.
**Competition phase will be broken up by a regeneration phase

Macrocycle 3
RecP: 1 week Jul 19(mon) to Jul 31
Comp: 6 weeks Aug 1 to Sept 11 (OG Aug 20th to 29th)

Keep in mind that I’m not a speed hurdler and I a capable of a wide range (110h to 800m). Thats the reason for the early start … to fit a wide base in.

Also can someone define short to long or vice versa?? Thoughts?

What is RecP? What is the prep between phase 2 and phase 3? Are the meets starting Mar 19th mandatory?

RecP = Recovery Phase

The PreP(Pre-competition Phase) will consist of special endurance workouts. Most likely 1 to 2 sets of 350m or split runs like 600m/200m or 300m/150m. Not sure yet though.

The meets in March are not mandatory, however I like see where I am but running a relay or two and maybe a short race like the 110h. Moreover, it would be part of my training as I relax off of the indoor season have a little fun. But believe me … its negotiable.

I don’t like integrating meets into a “training cycle”. I used to see this with a lot of coaches at the end of warm weather training camps- the results were almost invariably a rash of injuries. How can you be ready to compete during a hard training period? What could you possibly gain from the bad result that will inevitably follow? Train to get ready to compete and compete when you’re ready.

Fair enough. I guess in the past I tended to be weary about my race fitness. One thing my coach haven’t done in recent years was test me thoroughly over distances close to my races … concentrating on repeats and tempo over shorter distances instead; rairly hitting 85-90%. The races were just my backup plans to race myself into shape if neededsince I ALWAYS tend to peak too late. This is the 1st year I will be coaching myself so forgive my nievety.

OK, so are you advising against any competitions in pre-comp phase and/or recovery phase? How long should pre-comp and the recovery phases last?