Modelling the structure of the microcycle

Articles > Modelling the structure of the microcycle

Modelling the structure of the microcycle is becoming more and more important when your main competitions are 1 to 2 months away. However, some of the aspects are quite important throughout the year. The human organism is accustomed in a cyclic manner. The most evident is the day and night cycle. Now, imagine the day of your important competition. It is very often on Sunday for cyclic events. Yet there are very many athletes who rest on Sundays. This adapts the body to „switch“ on rest day at the morning of your event, because it has also been like this. But instead of that develop a microcycle based on the model of your competition. Focus also on the time when competition starts. If you are used to make a morning workout at 10.00 but your race is scheduled at 14.00 it is not the best condition that your body must face. Instead of that plan this one workout day to stimulate competitive stress to start at 14.00 already for couple of weks before.

If you face qualifying in the morning and the final in the evening it is wise to plan a training day also in a similar manner and repeat it several weeks on the same day when the main race. Some tournaments, as Olympics or World Championships last over 4 to 8 days. This kind of program is difficult to stimulate during the trainings. However, it can be done in shorter tournaments in order to familiarize the athletes with the competition schedule by applying the model training concept and simulating the rhythm of alternating contest and three days.  Forcing the athlete to similar conditions that will apper in the nearcoming important competition develop a stereotype that encahnces performance in future competitions (Bompa 1999).

This adaptation to the competition schedule might have the higher effect than you can imagine, especially when there are several racing days in a row. According to Bompa (1999) the decrease in performance seems to be based on postcompetition psychological reactions (ie overconfidence, conceit) rather than the accumulation of the fatigue.

Reference: Bompa T. Periodization. Theory and methodology of training. Human Kinetics, Chicago, IL. 1999.