Optimize Your Running with Integrated Periodization: Dr. James Hoffmann

An annual, comprehensive training plan that includes cross training, recovery time, nutrition, and running with a few big race goals, is all part of the term periodization. When done properly, periodization allows for creating calculated major goals, and measured improvement in short, mid, and long-term objectives.

Today Dr. James Hoffmann will break down some of the details of an integrated, annual training plan that can help you peak when you need to by coordinating the three big parts: body, mind, and spirit; that unique individual who comprises YOU!

Science and art of training – a place for both

We’ll discuss the science and the art of training and coaching, fatigue management, adaptation, recovery, tapering, peaking and more. Dr. Hoffman also talks about nutrition and the beneficial role of fats (gasp!) in endurance training. And we also hear his thoughts on what makes for effective coaching, even beyond just science.

Dr. James Hoffmann​ ​holds a PhD in Sport Physiology and​ is a consultant for Renaissance Periodization. He is a former Program Director of the Exercise and Sport Science program and the women’s Rugby team coach at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.

A new, collaborative book on integrated periodization

He has taught courses in strength and conditioning theory, strength and conditioning practice, exercise physiology, and biochemistry. He has recently published his newest, collaborative book titled: Integrated Periodization in Sports Training & Athletic Development: Combining Training Methodology, Sports Psychology, and Nutrition to Optimize Performance.

Take a listen as Dr. Hoffman offers great suggestions for runners and coaches who want to better understand how to effectively create phases of training for planned results through periodization.

Questions James is asked:

4:02 First Four:

  1. How old are you?
  2. Where were you born?
  3. Where do you live now?
  4. What is your favorite workout?

4:49 How does running fit in with other activities?

5:57 What is “Integrated Periodization” and how does it apply to runners?

7:18 How complicated is it?

8:40 Is Periodization a collection of sub-parts of an annual plan?

9:57 How important is it to limit ‘Peaking’ events of races during Periodization?

11:46 How does event priority fit in?

13:06 What do you mean by ‘There is a science to training and an art to coaching’?

16:11 How does the changing landscape of research affect training methodology?

19:13 What roles do Fatigue and Recovery play in Periodization?

22:17 So, Training, Nutrition, and Lifestyle make up the whole athlete?

23:09 What is Active Recovery?

26:03 When referring to decreasing ‘Intensity’, do you mean distance, pace, or a combination of both?

28:36 How does this fit into the annual plan?

30:19 How does strength training fit in and benefit runners?

33:27 Should someone reading your book have their coach work through it with them?

35:32 Do you work directly with runners?

36:37 How does Tapering, Peaking, and Super-Compensation work for runners?

38:55 How fine-tuned is Super-Compensation?

41:19 How does Fat, Carbohydrate, and Protein fit into a nutrition program for an annual plan?

45:22 How might nutrition differ for different sports training?

46:05 How does the quality of the food come into play?

48:36 How much influence does lifestyle have with deviation from a nutrition plan?

49:09 Any final thoughts?

50:37 Final Kick Round:

What is your favorite local training run or outing (location, starting point, parking, distance, terrain and safety issues)?

Favorite book(s), video or resource?

Who or what would you like to have featured on the Run To The Top podcast?


“Having a good coach can help people get guided in the right direction where they say, ‘Yeah, you got this 10K coming up it’s cool, but you really are trying to qualify for Boston next year. Why don’t we save up some of this effort and energy and fuss for more important things later on?’.”

“I’m really thrilled that the evidence-based community has been growing and growing the last several years. So most people are at least flirting with the idea of evidence-based, if not fully embracing it.”

“Unfortunately for us, the new fitness adaptations that we want to express over time are generally masked by the fatigue that we carry around. Most of our new fitness adaptations generally will not even manifest until fatigue has been alleviated.”

“One of the best ways to actually bring down fatigue and conserve your adaptations is to do light exercise. The alternative of doing NO exercise also brings down fatigue, but it doesn’t conserve your fitness adaptations.”

“If you want to have a bad performance, the first thing you can do is start eating less. And if you want to have a really good performance, you at least want to be in a net-neutral, meaning an isocaloric phase where you’re eating as much as you’re expending. And then, in many cases, being in a hypercaloric state can improve performance even more.”

“The best coaches are going to be the ones who can help take the science and take the individual and put them together to get the best outcomes.”

Take a Listen on Your Next Run

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Mentioned in this podcast:

Run To The Top Winners Circle Facebook Community

RunnersConnect Facebook page

Dr. Hoffman’s Book

Tim Noakes

Book: Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

Book:  The Hybrid Athlete (E-book) by Alex Viada

Dr. Alex Harrison

Book: Renaissance Woman: Fat Loss, Muscle Growth & Performance Through Scientific Eating by Dr. Melissa Davis

Book: Tapering and Peaking For Optimal Performance by Inigo Mujika 

Karl Meltzer: Made to Be Broken

Crystal Cove State Park Running Trails

Movie: The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young

Movie: Iron Cowboy


Follow Dr. Hoffman on:

Renaissance Periodization

Dr. James’s Instagram


RP Instagram


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