What Exactly is Phase Training?
Ever been on an endurance training plan and thought that some parts felt “wrong” or “off” and you weren’t sure why? Ever felt like you were working harder than usual to do the same efforts? Maybe you've even felt like you were actually working against your body at times?
Did any of the above leave you feeling a little disconnected or unsure about yourself because everyone around you seemed to be doing fine with their training?
Well, in fact, your gut instincts and feelings were probably correct (as usual) and now science explains to us why.
So, what is “Phase Training”, exactly?
It’s the process of taking into consideration the different phases of women’s lives, as well as monthly cycles when formulating training plans.
Phase training is not quackery, it is based on cutting-edge research and science.
It’s a method of leveraging all women’s natural fluctuations towards fitness improvements. More specifically: doing more powerful workouts when we feel powerful, and other types of workouts when we don’t, as well as tracking our specific patterns and when each type of phase occurs.
It’s also using specific, purposeful nutrition strategies to our advantage in our different phases, as science has shown us that during different parts of our cycles, our bodies favor either glycogen stores (carbohydrates) or fatty acids more. Figuring out which mechanism happens when in our personal cycles and then dialing in those techniques creates better fitness, and more harmony, with our bodies.
In short, women's phases include: monthly (follicular, ovulation, luteal, menstruation), and lifelong (puberty, early adult, peri-menopause, and post-menopause), and there are training strategies and methodologies for each of them that keep us feeling our best.
If you’d like to do a little reading on this, please consider Dr. Stacy Sims’ book, ROAR, in which she goes into quite a bit of detail about all phases of women’s cycles, including monthly, as well as life-long. Furthering that, she now offers her methodologies in a certification course to those who want to use these techniques to coach women athletes, or themselves, more effectively; and I offer this same knowledge in my coaching.
Talitha Vogt is a certified endurance and behavior change coach with an elite racing background. She has 22 years of experience as a mountain biker, including 13 total years of racing and other endurance events including Xterra triathlons, uncountable cyclocross races, a little dabbling in road racing, and even some trail running. She provides custom-tailored, accommodating coaching locally in the front range of Colorado and online internationally.