Pace yourself through periodisation

Colin ChambersMake you strong, steps Leave a Comment

Wouldn’t it be incredibly useful if you could ensure that you were at your best when you needed to be. For your exams, a job interview or maybe your wedding.

Would it surprise you to know that there are people who prepare for the biggest moments in their lives and know how to plan their schedule so they will be at their best at the required time, come what may.


If you have watched Athletics and many other sports for long enough you will have heard of the concept of periodisation and seen many athletes do just this throughout their careers.

Christine Ohuruogu and Roger Federer are just two who have achieved outstanding results using this approach.

The key to their success has been to build breaks into their schedule and have specific rituals and schedules to manage each period of their season. What they do at the critical times is always well thought out and built on extensive experience of their own successful patterns and other similar athletes. They always take rest and recuperation more seriously than their competitors with Roger famously having a physio travelling with him at all times.

How can you take advantage of this knowledge?

It is surprisingly simple. Remember, you are not alone in your endeavours so listen both, to yourself, and to others. There are times you must push yourself to grow but you can’t grow if you are always pushing. Every period of intense activity must be followed, and often combined, with quality rest and relaxation so the body can go about building a stronger you. Too long without an opportunity to recover is hands down the biggest barrier to greatness next to not putting quality the work in. If you don’t rest you end up pushing a worn out body and mind too far and either you burn out, get injured or both.

How should I rest?

During your rest time you don’t have to lay in bed or only watch TV you just don’t want to push yourself too hard. You still want to live your life and do other things so it is a good idea to use this time to explore the other sides of you that make you happy, your other interests.

How can I help you periodise?

The reasons behind this are complex so if you want more specific details on this please ask. I’ve kept the post quite generic and short because I wanted to introduce the concept of periodisation to show that doing well precisely when you want to do well and planning for this is more common and better understood than you would think. It is also part of what I studied in sports science and physical education.

The problem is that even sports scientists and coaches don’t seem to realise just how useful this knowledge is, they only seem to apply it to sports and competition. I believe it is applicable to all areas of life because it is by applying what I learnt about periodisation in sports science that I did really well in school, particularly my exams. Since then I have applied it throughout my life for success.

That is why I believe it could be extremely useful for you too. I will add more on this topic in time but before that I would love to know what aspects of periodisation you would like to know more about:

  • How to apply it to real life and life obstacles like exams and interviews,
  • what you can do to rest,
  • how to plan your work and rest.

These and many more questions are relevant so I would really value your input to make this post better. Tell me what more you would like to know.

Thanks for reading.


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