PHASE: Build Phase – Pre Competition
PERIOD: July – September
DURATION: 6-12 weeks
FOCUS: Strength & Speed, Race Skills
This phase of your program is developed and structured around consolidating the endurance and strength gains you have developed over your previous base preparation phase, while building another layer on top by adding the element of strength endurance threshold work that will really get you READY for competition/racing.
This phase will focus on a continued build in fitness, resilience as well as READINESS to become race ready. It doesn’t mean we jump straight into a ‘race phase’ – far from it, think of it more like pre-competition. We aren’t looking to accelerate straight to our race, we’re aiming to patiently develop and create a platform that will allow us to become race ready WHEN we need it. Whether that be 6 weeks away or 20 weeks away – every athlete is different in the timing of their racing, as well as their training history, how consistent their training has been, and how they absorb their training load, so the length of this phase can differ for everyone, but the purpose and focus remains the same.
The build phase develops specifically and with purpose, the load will accumulate over time and will have some really challenging sessions thrown in, with the objective of this phase to continue to develop your strength endurance and aerobic capacity while pushing your anaerobic threshold to ultimately increase speed – ie your performance! This phase should only be undertaken after a sound preparation of base strength and endurance has been developed.
In the back portion of this phase you will really see things ramp up as you get race ready and you will also start to see more race specific skills come into play before you then head into your race specific / competition phase such as key brick sessions that really work to drive up the fitness.
This phase is challenging (there’s nothing easy about strength endurance threshold work!) , but nothing that is beyond an athletes means – provided you have laid the foundations. And that is the key and why a BASE PREPARATION PHASE is really THE most important phase of a program. The BUILD PHASE is really the layer on top of it, but if you haven’t laid a solid foundation, the house can only be built so big! So don’t ever be afraid to extend a base preparation phase before heading into a build phase.