Hey Matthew – it’s always difficult to answer the “how many weeks should I focus on this” without full information on the athlete.
We avoid using the ‘for everybody numeric guidelines’ because our approach is case-by-case.
Typically, we adjust the duration of each phase, according to reality and the athlete. Some athletes might have more natural speed, so they need to work more on other “systems”. Then others have poor speed, and need to take more time to develop it.
Then of course, some athletes have more time to prepare for a certain race, while others only have a short time table. Certain athletes will take 2 weeks off during the holidays, so they need some “general conditioning” before starting actual specific training.
Further more, some athletes should focus more on a particular sport.
So don’t over think “how many weeks of this” because if you focus on the basics of consistency, simplicity and gradual progression of the load. You will be able to nail your race.
If planning your year was as simple as doing X weeks of speed – X weeks of strength – X weeks of endurance, then there would be no need for a coach. All athletes could just do their own thing and follow cookie cutter programs.
So the benefit of a competent and experienced coach is to write a personalized program that follow’s the athlete – not a program the athlete follows 😉
All the best in your races next year!