I have been working and reworking a custom HIM plan. I thought that being older (58) I'd do the build 2 weeks/recovery one week. But when I compare week by week with same plan with build 3 weeks/recovery week it seemed that the build 2/ recover 1 week plan had longer run and bike times.
While the peak week was the same, trying to compare plans week by week left me confused.
Which recovery cycle do I want to do to avoid injuries, which will be an easier progression?
It's true that the more recovery weeks you have, the higher the volume will have to be on the build weeks.
The mission of the plan is to get you to the finish line, so if you are taking more weeks to recover, you'll have to build the volume with longer workouts on the build weeks.
The other option would be to train for a shorter distance, so you have less risk of injury during the training plan, and then hope you can pull off the longer distance on race day, but that's a pretty terrible idea.
If you make the plan as long in duration as you can, that will give your body more time to acclimate to the training sessions, and should allow you to be successful with either recovery scheme.
There are other ways to prioritize recovery, which becomes more important with age. These include sleeping more, eating clean, making sure rest days are truly restful, adopting post-workout recovery practices, etc.
You might want to try our online coaching if you want advice on structuring your plan from a certified coach.