There are four main phases of periodisation for specific strength training in triathlon:
- preparation phase (after the end of the tri season)
- max strength (winter)
- sport specific
- race phase
Adaptation Phase (Foundational Strength & Stability)
The purpose of this phase is to build a solid base by performing exercises with low-to-moderate resistance with a high number of repetitions.
Build a foundation of strength and stability to improve your ability to handle an increased training load
Prepare the body for stress with power production
starts after the end of the racing season
slow reps promote slow-twitch muscles
2-3 sessions per week
recovery time 60-90s
the speed of lift: slow
start with lightweights and apply a smart progression
never increase weight more than 10% between sessions
Maximum strength (Heavyweight) phase
The goal of this phase is to build muscular strength. This is achieved by increasing the resistance and reducing the number of repetitions.
- improve force generation
- become as powerful as possible
- increase the power-weight ratio
- 2 sessions per week
- deadlifts, squats, lunges – all the basic movement patterns
- reps 3-6
- recovery 2-4 min
- never go to failure
The goal of this session is power conversion and progression to explosive exercises. It is at this time that the strength gained from the previous phase is converted to sport-specific movements.
- Plyometrics are introduced in addition to the main exercises.
- The explosive, powerful movements that prime the legs to run fast.
- 2-3 months
- 3-6 reps
The goal of the race phase is to maintain the strength of the muscles throughout the entire season.
- lightweights, body weight, explosive,
- up to 8 reps
- Focus on supporting health, joint mobility, and recovery.