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 also referred to the “off” or “out of season” training phase. 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 and low volume workload.


How long this phase lasts is dependent on the athlete’s experience, motivation, and their next season race schedule and goals. 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. 


The idea is to maintain some fitness with unstructured training. I discourage an athlete from participating in events, except a local 5k for fun or a FUN fitness challenge.  Athletes should be mindful about stressing their bodies to fatigue. Keep activity low intensity, short duration.  If athletes initiate a preparation phase before their body and mind are ready, they risk illness and injury.

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