Breaking Down a Training Plan: The Transition Phase

An organized approach to training allows athletes to gain fitness and achieve race goals without overtraining. Although training  plan structures will differ,  the objective of each is to create a systematic roadmap for progression that includes a season of training, racing, and recovery

An often overlooked phase of training is the transition phase. It is just as important as the prep and competition phases.

When to schedule

For many triathletes, this phase is at the end of the competition or race season referred to the “off” or “out of season”. If the athlete has more than 1 peak macrocycle, then a transition period is included after their first peak before they ramp up for their second peak. The goal of this phase is to allow time for athletes to physically and mentally rejuvenated. Therefore, this phase is characterized by very low intensity, low volume workload.


This Transition phase of the macrocycle is typically used for vacations, active recovery, participating in other sports, resistance training to recover muscular strength and weight gain to recover pounds lost during endurance training. How long this phase lasts is dependent on the athlete’s experience, motivation, and next season race schedule 


As already mentioned this period can be scheduled between macros within a race season or at the end for physically and psychology. Maintain some fitness, an athlete is discouraged for participating in events, except a local 5k for fun or another fitness challenge.  Athletes need to be wise about stress on bodies. Keep activity low intensity.  If athletes initiate a preparation phase before their body and mind are ready, they risk illness and injury.


We like to feature athlete questions on the EnduranceHour podcast so please email or leave us a voicemail at

Join Our Awesome Newsletter!

Weekly Health, Fitness and Performance Tips for Endurance Athletes and Fitness Fanatics!

PLUS - Receive a FREE copy of Wendy Mader's "2017 Action Plan" to help you achieve greater success in your personal, professional and athletic endeavors! Enter your email below.

Powered by ConvertKit