David. I just finished my year with 2 triathlon and then a week of recovery. I was planning on doing the maintenance plan for 12 weeks then a recovery week and start Olympic level 1 for an early season Olympic tri. I know you don’t recommend doing the maintenance plan back to back but I notice the first 12 weeks of the level 1 is real similar to the maintenance plan. If so do u suggest to go ahead as planned or is that just basically repeating maintenance plan.
*ahem* I believe you have exposed a secret of the Maintenance plan. The Triathlon Maintenance plan was lifted wholesale from the first 12 weeks of Oly Level 1 plan. They are the same with very few tweaks. They are identical twins but one has a different hairstyle.
In our defense, there are 350+ 80/20 plans available, and this is the only “shortcut” we’ve taken. We’ll also be completely overhauling the Triathlon Maintenance plan in 2021. I think I’m now over-explaining and just looking more guilty.
So, in your case, it really is a repeat of the Level 1 Oly plan. How to accomodate this? Short of switching to the Level 2 Oly plan, treat the Maintenance plan as an aggressive General phase. Make a goal to perform the intervals at the upper end of the range, and go extra easy on the Zone 1 and Zone 2, even allowing yourself to go Zone 1 when Zone 2 is prescribed. Then, when you switch to the Oly plan, focus on a more aggressive Zone 2 position and a moderate penetration into Zone 3 and above (which is closer to an actual Oly pace, or a more aggressive approach to the Specific phase of your training).
The zone system allows for incredible flexibility. You can have two athletes using the exact same plan, but have completely different experiences based on the average penetration into each zone. You can take advantage of this to further distinguish the Maintenance and Oly Level 1 plans.
Ok. Thanks. I wouldn’t mind bumping up another level but the problem I always run into is I can only fit in 3x each sport for the week. I’ve tried different ways of doing it but always revert back to only being able to to 3x each so that’s the main reason I do the level 1. I’ll just try and play with the intensity variation more.