Exploring Best Practices and Challenges in Determining Event Dates

Exploring Best Practices and Challenges in Determining Event Dates

Is is (or will it be) possible to set an event date 12 months into the future? The reason I ask is that I am planning for a full distance in June 2024 and would like to train towards that with a few shorter events before then but I'm unable to select a date for an event that far into the future?

This is a great question and one that gets asked a lot. So yes - this is on the roadmap but let me provide a bit more context first. We've built the logic out to 7 months at this stage as that represents a typical build I would think about delivering to you if you were an athlete coming to me as your coach with your goal. So even if you tell me that you are going to do an event 12 months into the future, I'm not going to produce 12 months worth of sessions for you. The sessions I'd be placing 10-12 months from now would be meaningless, because how can I know how you are going to adapt and respond to the training? I can't know, and no other coach in the world can either.

What I'm going to advise you to do is either:

  1. train to maintain for a bit first to build some fitness (see train to maintain option), or
  2. as you expressed, advise you train to a few shorter events first that fall within the next 6 or 7 months.

So that gives you those two options that I feel personally are best practice. Either train to maintain for a few weeks/months to get started, or if you have a smaller step race we could work towards that's 6-7 months away, lets start there and select this as your A-race.

How does that sound?

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Athletica would be considered as organized into more of a 'block periodization' approach if considered from the traditional lens. While your comments are valid, we approach our training prescription using more of a contemporary philosophy as would be expected of an AI platform.

I had exactly this challenge last year where I knew the dates of my A event this year. I basically made my last event within range of the 7 month window my A event. Then when my actual A event came into range, I made the previous event a B event, and inserted my main A event.

As far as I can tell being an A,B,C event just affects the taper Athletica gives you ahead of them. In other words how much freshness you arrive at them with. Thus, being an A or B event has no material effect on what training you are prescribed, until you get within 2-3 weeks of them. If you can update them before that window, then you are golden.


Many thanks all for the feedback and advice.

Hello there, I personally find having access to a 12 month training plan would be mentally exhausting. As much as I would love to see a linear progression in training, it is hardly ever the case due to illness, major life events etc. Not being able to execute the training as planned can be mentally discouraging to some people, and I really like that Athletica maxes out at 7 months. You could always add a fun event in the near future and build for that and once you reach the 7 month mark, then let Athletica generate your plan for the main event. Your main event will be in your mind anyway...


@phil That’s an accurate assessment and good recommendation.

Well the issue is that my human coach certainly builds me a 12-mo++ program. Tudor Bomba routinely had 2-4 year programs that were composed of micro- and meso-cycles for his athletes. Many Olympic hopefuls follow his theories.

The ability to plan training programs 2-3 years in advance allows coaches and athletes to have a strategic and well-organized approach to training, optimizing the chances of achieving peak performance during key competitions while managing the athlete's overall development and long-term goals.

It is not uncommon for training programs utilizing Bompa's periodization theory to be planned up to 2-3 years in advance for elite athletes. Long-term planning allows for a more comprehensive and systematic approach to training, ensuring that athletes progress through different training phases and achieve their performance goals at specific competitions or events.

The overall training plan is typically divided into multiple mesocycles, each focusing on a particular phase of training. For example, there may be a preparatory mesocycle aimed at building a solid foundation of strength and endurance, followed by a specific mesocycle that targets sport-specific skills and tactics, and then a competition mesocycle to peak performance leading up to major events.

Within each mesocycle, microcycles are structured and adjusted based on the athlete's progress and performance. The training variables such as intensity, volume, and exercise selection can be modified periodically to ensure progressive overload and adaptation.

The real attributes that change are paces and load, but with accurate date forecasting load is predicted however what is actually performed will change on a weekly basis. I believe this platform already does that. Whenever I get faster, it asks me to adjust its baselines for me. Just my two cents.


A suggested enhancement would be the ability to change the priority of an event. This would make it easier to change an existing A event to B, once I’m within range of adding my true A event. At the moment it’s necessary to delete existing A event, then reinsert as B event whilst adding in new A event. It may also be that I simply decide that a B event is really a C event.