If I am planning on using an Ironman / Triathlon Maintenance plan as a warm up to a Ironman (Run HR & Bike Power) plan should I schedule a rest or down week between the two plans or can I safely go from Maintenance into Ironman plan?
We recommend that you place 1-2 weeks of rest between the two plans. Given that any given IM plan will be 20+ weeks, and given that you will have been on the Maintenance plan for 8+ weeks, that’s the likelihood of a 28+ week period of non-stop training. 24 weeks is a safe upper level before a planned break.
The consequence of training more than 24 straight weeks is small, but cumulative. I think of training as radiation exposure: low to moderate levels are fine short-term, but low levels for an extended period of time are harmful. 25, 30, 35, 40 weeks of non-stop training starts to add up to harmful levels.