Complete the entire Olympic Plan before starting the Half Plan?

I am pretty new to triathlon, new to structured training, and new to Trainer Road, so I have some training plan questions. I started biking earlier this year, and have done a duathlon sprint, a tri-sprint, and I have another tri-sprint (with a 50k gravel bike) coming up in 4 weeks.

I kicked off the olympic base mid volume plan 4 weeks ago. That plan wraps up 2 weeks before my race, so I threw in the 2 taper weeks from the olympic specialty plan to fill the gap. But I also decided to go a bit bigger, so I signed up for a HIM on June 14th, 2020. I technically have time to complete the olympic build and specialty, along with the HIM base, build, and specialty including a 2 week buffer.

So my questions are:

  1. Should I do anything different during the 2 weeks between the end of the olympic base and my “sprint” A event? Or stick with the taper weeks?

  2. Is there value in doing the olympic build and specialty phases before kicking off the HIM plan later? Or should I just jump to the HIM plan sooner? I could potentially do the HIM Base and Build (removing 2-4 weeks of the plan, most likely from the base) then still fit in the entire HIM Base-Build-Specialty before the HIM next year.

Thanks for any help!

This is the route I would recommend, except I would remove the 2-4 weeks from the BUILD period, not the base period. Being new to this, you need to spend time cultivating a broad aerobic base first and foremost, and the HIM base plan is going to help you do that the most. You could also do something like:
SSB1/2 -> Sustained Power Build (first half) -> HIM Base/Build/Specialty, and program your own runs and swims in the SSB and Sustained Power build blocks, or take a little bit of time off from running and/or swimming if you’d like.

If you haven’t taken any downtime following this season, I’d recommend a week or two off of structured training in order to ensure you hit your next training blocks refreshed. You’re staring down 48 weeks of training under the plans you’re thinking about, and not many of us get through that without burning out.

Regarding your first question, I don’t think I’d have you conduct the two taper weeks prior to your “A” event. The reason being you are going to detrain quite a bit in that period of time… The final week of Oly base is a recovery week, followed by the two taper weeks of the specialty could cause more of a loss of fitness than you’ll gain with freshness. Frankly, you shouldn’t need much of a taper to race a sprint successfully.

So finish the Oly Base plan, then take a look at conducting week 2 of the Oly Build, then maybe week 8 of the Oly specialty as a one-week “taper” while maintaining some intensity. Don’t worry about retesting FTP at this point. What you’re training at is likely good enough.

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Thanks for the detailed response!

I think that statement is probably the best shift in my plan. I am now thinking to just kick off the HIM Base at the end of the Oly Base, then sub the “A” race long sprint for the Saturday brick and Sunday run/swim. With that shift I could fit the HIM Base/Build in fully with a 2 week buffer before kicking of a full round of HIM Base/Build/Specialty.

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Sounds like a good plan. My only concern is the amount of time you will have straight through of structured training. I’d feel even better about your plan if I knew you had some breaks from structure coming over the time between now and your “A” 70.3. For many of us, we don’t have to schedule those because life throws us some anyway.

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Yeah, there is definitely going to be a break in there for a few weeks. I could take 2 weeks out of the first build to create a 4 week window in December of purely maintenance.

Do you have any recommendation on which 2 weeks to remove from my first go at the HIM Build?

I think I’d just do the first six weeks straight through. When you go back to HIM Base for the second go, your TSS will drop back off, so there’s little risk of overreaching by only taking one easier week during that six week period IMO.