Periodization basics; understanding macrocycles, mesocycles and microcycles
In the most basic sense periodization is how you organize your training to take into account your performance & competition timing.
Organizing your training allows you to make decisions about when you want to place different stressors on your body.
The macrocycle is the big picture annual calendar year with the goal of peaking at the right time for competition. The macrocycle can be broken down into a preparatory phase, competitive phase and a transitionary phase.
The preparation phase will take up a majority of the macrocycle. The preparation phase can further be broken down into general and specific preparation.
The competition phase can be multiple competitions like you would see in a sports model, ultimately leading up to the main competition, which may be playoffs, a championship game and etc.. The competition phase also takes into account a taper or deload that may take place leading up to competition.
The transitionary phase is when you switch gears after the competition phase in order to re prioritize training going into future training cycles.
The mesocycle is a phase of training about 2-6 weeks long focusing on specific physical adaptations. If planned well the goal would be to have all skills and adaptations acquired come together at the same time to peak well for competition.
The microcycle is typically a week for the sake of understanding. It can also be defined as a certain amount of training sessions.
Viewing training in a periodized view like this allows for big picture understanding of how to accommodate training taking into consideration competitions & adaptations. This covers how training in a periodized form looks, however there are many different methods of periodization training itself as well as reasons why traditional periodization models might not work.