Mark Allen Coaching
Sprint/Olympic 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?
Sprint/Olympic Maintenance Level One
The Super Recovery Maintenance Program
This was my bread and butter training in the off-season. It was the perfect level after a demanding regular season to allow for full recovery. There are 8-workouts per week, or 6-workouts if you decide to forgo the strength sessions. This includes 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. The training zones are also lower than what you will get in-season to facilitate recovery while maintaining a great base of fitness. But more important the overall training demand is fairly low so you can recover! This is the real goal of the off-season.
Sprint/Olympic Maintenance Level Two
The Transitional Recovery Maintenance Program
When I got to roughly 6-weeks out from starting my regular in-season training, this is the program I would use to gradually transition up slightly in overall off-season training consistency. There are 11-workouts per week, which continues to afford you plenty of time for rest and recovery, yet adds in some additional weekly consistency.
The Sprint/Olympic Maintenance Level Two works great if you have 4-8 weeks between the end of one season and when you are going to be ready to start with more structure and intensity.
This level includes three swims, three bikes and three runs per week plus two strength sessions, which as in Level One can be done optionally.
Sprint/Olympic 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 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 Sprint/Olympic 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. It affords recovery, but enables a year round lifestyle of training without burnout. It’s the best of all worlds.
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.