How are the training phases supposed to be followed?

Hi all, hope you had a good weekend. I’ve been following the mid volume Olympic tri plan for a bit and have completed (in this order) 1 base, 1 build, 1 specialty, 1 build, and I’m almost done with another build. I feel like a fool for waiting this long to ask this question but how should I approach training cycles? Base build speciality repeat? I have no events coming up for quite some time. Thanks!

Typically, you will follow:

  • Base > Build > Specialty to the A-Event

If you have more events, it is recommended to take 1-2 weeks of easier and unstructured training to recover and rebound. After that downturn, you can resume with:

  • Build > Specialty

Commonly, this leads to a different event type and a change in Build and Specialty, but that is not required, especially if you are going for a “double-peak” to hit another event.


Thank you chad! Should I still follow the base > build > specialty cycle despite not having an event leading up to the conclusion of the specialty phase?


That’s what I’m doing, I have no races to train for, I just want to be BETTER. So I’m doing Base>Build>Specialty>Base>Build>Specialty>>>>>>>>>>>

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Yup, it is best to follow a progression like shown. If you just repeat a single phase, you will hit a plateau and not progress. The shift in stress from the various phases helps force the body to adapt to the changes. Also, it would get very stale just following the same types of workouts endlessly.


Sorry to potentially derail this thread, but I have a similar question. I think this has been covered on the podcast, but before I was actually into training. How best to use the 3 phases? This year I have been racing most weekends. New to the sport and new to TR this year, I did base at the start of the year and then have done a mix of different builds and one speciality. I am chopping and changing to try it all out. But now I want to get a bit more focused. So a few questions.

  • If you are racing for a long period (say several times a month for 6-9 months of the year), should you repeat Build or repeat Base or repeat build/speciality? I have been doing Sustained Power Build and General Build. I do feel I’ve hit a plateau like you said might happen @mcneese.chad
  • I only have 2 key races in the coming weeks (20km TTs) and then nothing too important for the rest of the year. Should I return to base now (or soon) to start preparing for next year?
  • Any other rules of thumb people have found for when to use which of the 3 plans? I know each person is different but the more information the better.

Thank you.