PHASE IV Science Based Coaching

An Excerpt from Healthy Running Step by Step by Robert Forster PT & Roy Wallack

If you just want to stay active and don’t care about getting faster or losing large chunks of time to nagging injuries, keep doing your regular workouts But if you want to improve, get fitter, stop getting injured, and maybe score a personal record at a race, your run-of-the-mill haphazard training won’t cut it. To kick your running up several notches, you have to train in a way that is good for your body, building it up and speeding it up while limiting the potential for injuries.

To do that, you need a strategy that is almost bipolar, in that it combines increasingly hard efforts with rest days and rest weeks. Over the weeks and months, this hard-easy schedule is the paradigm that gives your body time to heal, recover, and build bigger, stronger, faster muscles and connective tissue.

Sequence is the key. The science shows that you have to properly sequence your training to develop one aspect of fitness at a time and then use that as a foundation to build the next. In fact, to be your fittest by the time the starting gun goes off, you must be incredibly patient. You will spend a long time building a broad base of aerobic infrastructure and musculoskeletal resiliency before adding on layers of higher-intensity work such as hill training and intervals as you approach race day. This strategy is virtually foolproof, used by the world’s best athletes in every sport, and it’ll work for you if you have the discipline to follow it.

It’s called Periodization.

Basically, the Periodization model builds the athlete up to optimal performance with a stair-step series of methodical, progressive challenges and recoveries that strengthen your body and keep brain and brawn fresh. It starts with a goal (such as a marathon or 10k) and plans a workout schedule leading up to it, breaking up your training time for your targeted event into five training cycles or phases, each with a specific fitness goal in mind.


To learn how you can incorporate Periodization science in your training, contact us for a complimentary consult with a member of our Exercise Physiology staff. 310-582-8212 or email

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