The OutSeason® Seminar, Lesson #5: Applying Your OutSeason® Fitness to Your Long Course Triathlon Season

At the end of this lesson, you will understand how the OutSeason® fits within the other components of your long course season: General Preparation, Race Preparation, and Taper.

Coach Quotes:

  • “We build FAST and then add FAR on top of that fast.”
  • “Keep the volume as low as you can for as long as you can.


With this, the final lesson in our seminar, you likely have a good understanding of the potential speed gains to be had by simply focusing on the work. But, being a long course triathlete, you’re likely fuzzy on just how exactly this “go faster” fitness is converted to “go long” fitness. We’ll answer those questions by detailing how we fit all of our training plans together to create the long course seasons of our athletes.

We’ll begin by laying out a season, back planning from race day:

Taper, or “Peak:”

2-3 weeks long, ending on race day. Intent is to fully recover, become more comfortable and confident with race paces, and to execute a final race rehearsal workout, our last opportunity to completely dial in EVERYTHING about your race.

Race Preparation Phase:

About 10-12wks, this is where the bulk of our “build FAR on top of FAST” is done. This phase contains the longest bikes and runs of your training. Congratulations, you are now “training to race!”

General Preparation Phase:

“Training to train,” Usually a transition phase between the OutSeason® and Race Prep Phase, lasting 8-12wks. The quality of the work is similar to the OutSeason® but, as we assume that you can now get outside in the sunlight vs alone on the dark of your pain cave, training volume goes up and intensity is dialed down a bit.


What you’re doing now, you know the drill. 20wks long.

Notes on the above structure:

  • We keep our athletes in the OutSeason® for as long as possible, confident that they can transition from OS fitness to:
    • HIM fitness in as little as 4-8wks. The OS plans are very good platforms on which to build very, very solid HIM fitness without the training volumes normally associated with HIM training.
    • IM fitness in as little as 8-10wks, though 12wks is preferred.
  • Keep the volume as low as you can for as long as you can.” Why?
    • Fast is FAST, and you want to stay on that “make me faster” train for as long as you can, only jumping off and hopping on the “make me longer” train when it’s absolutely necessary. The speed-building potential of the OS is just extremely powerful and, frankly, volume is over-rated.
    • You’re still a long way out from your race, you still have much work to do, and therefore you still need to conserve SAU’s. How? Rather than nickle and diming your family for 4-5hrs rides every weekend months and months out from your race, keep the volume as low as you can for as long as you can by…jamming a LOT of work into 3hr rides instead! Do an EN-flavor 3hr ride and tell us you aren’t building solid endurance while still building your FAST.
    • Consider scheduling high volume training camps as well-placed, very time efficient endurance pops. Please read this Volume Strategy Series: Part I, Part II, Part III

This Week’s Training

  • Run = Repeat the run test from Week 1
  • Bike = Repeat the bike test from Week 1

We hope you’ve enjoyed Lesson #5, Applying Your OutSeason® Fitness to Your Long Course Triathlon Season. This concludes our five-part Virtual Seminar on Rethinking the OffSeason. We sincerely hope these lessons were informative and that you’ll take away some key pointers on how to improve your training at this most critical time of year.

Train smart and have a great season!

Rich Strauss and Patrick McCrann
The Endurance Nation Coaches

Learn more about Endurance Nation

[button color=”red” size=”large” link=”https://www.endurancenation.us/take-a-tour/”]Take A Tour[/button][button color=”red” size=”large” link=”https://members.endurancenation.us/Training/SignUp.aspx”]FREE 5-Day Trial[/button][button color=”red” size=”large” link=”https://www.endurancenation.us/shop-endurance-nation-plans-gear/”]Buy a Plan[/button]