Mark Allen Coaching
70.3 Maintenance Program
What you do for training in the off-season is just as important to having great races as is the training you do during the peak of your the season. Too little and there’s a risk of injury when you return to more rigorous training. Too much and you don’t fully recover during the off-season to be ready for the demands of the next year. Hitting the right blend of consistence and rest is an art, and the payoff of a well-planned off-season.
Which Option Should I Choose?
70.3 Distance Maintenance Level One
The Super Recovery Maintenance Program
If you will be focusing on 70.3 distance races in the upcoming season, this is the ideal way to use the off-season to be ready. It was what I used to fully recover after a solid season of racing when I knew I would also need to be able to start back completely fresh and charged up for the early season 70.3 races that I often did that time of year.
The 70.3 Distance Level One plans include 8-workouts per week, or 6-workouts if you decide to forgo the strength sessions. These are two swims, two bikes and two runs per week. That is the ideal amount of consistency to maintain suppleness in your muscles and stimulate your endurance engine just enough to be able to slot right into normal training after the off-season.
If you choose the 70.3 Distance Level One as your off-season point of entry, make sure to set your program up to be customized to exactly what you know is manageable in the off-season. When you make your program you will be prompted to tell us the length of the longest workouts you can do consistently for all three sports. If you have just ended your main season, this level can be high. So modify it to be in line with off-season levels. Generally that means about 50-70% of the length of what you are fit enough to do right now at the end of a season! Remember, the real goal of the off-season is recovery with a dash of consistency!
70.3 Distance Maintenance Level Two
The Transitional Recovery Maintenance Program
When I got to about 6-weeks out from getting ready for my regular in-season training, this is the program I would use to transition up slightly in overall off-season training consistency. There are 11-workouts per week, which continues to afford plenty of time for rest and recovery, yet gradually increases the weekly consistency.
As with all of our Maintenance programs, you can trade out your normal swim, bike and run training for alternatives. If you have a bike scheduled on your calendar, feel free to go mountain biking or any other sport that uses legs and glutes. A run can be traded for snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Be creative to keep it fresh. The call in the off-season is structure with lots of flexibility!
Again, if you are 4-8 weeks out from when you are going to be ready to start with more structure and intensity the 70.3 Distance Maintenance plans are perfect. They include three swims, three bikes and three runs per week plus two strength sessions, which as in Level One can be done optionally. And as with all of our Maintenance plans, enter the length of your long weekly workouts in each sport that reflects what you are comfortable doing in the off-season rather than what maybe you are capable of physically. The goal is still recovery!
70.3 Distance Maintenance Level Three
The Aerobic Reset Maintenance Program
I used this program anytime during the year when I wanted to keep the consistency of workouts up, but when I also knew I needed some recovery or a reset in my endurance physiology after an extended period of tempo and speed sessions. It drops the intensity down, but keeps the consistency steady, which is the ideal way to reset your aerobic physiology without losing any fitness.
The 70.3 Distance Maintenance Level Three is also ideal for anyone who likes to train fairly consistently throughout the year. I call this my “Lifestyle” Maintenance program as it works for athletes who love to be very consistent throughout the year with their training. It affords recovery, but enables a year round lifestyle of working out. It’s the best of all worlds.
The key to successfully optimizing these plans, as with all the Maintenance plans, it so dial back the length of your long workouts when you set up your program. Generally I recommend a reduction in those lengths of 40-60% from what you would do normally in the season. This is going to be important to ensuring you have the consistency you are after, but also addressing some extra recovery.
This program includes four swims, four bikes and four runs per week and two optional strength sessions per week. And as with all Maintenance programs most sessions are aerobic with only a small number of tempo sessions sprinkled in to keep your body from getting stale.