5 weeks to maximise fitness for a 70.3 bike leg only, sustained power build or half-distance specialty?

As per the title, I’ve got 5 weeks, maybe 6 until I do a 70.3 bike leg in a team and want to go as fast as possible. It’s the same Taupo New Zealand course as I did my first 70.3 on last year where I did a 2:34 bike off no structured training. Without the run or swim and with my current fitness level I’m aiming for ~2:20-25.

I started using TrainerRoad in June with a 250 FTP and last ramp test in December I tested 295. I’m currently not running due to an injury, so have a lot more hours in the week for cycling and fresh legs but sometimes it’s to my detriment as I just really enjoy riding outside but those efforts probably aren’t beneficial as an indoor workout. Cycling fitness according to TrainingPeaks peaked at 96 this week.

Sustained power build is a mixture of VO2, threshold, over-unders and sweet spot where as half distance specialty is mainly continuous tempo efforts and threshold. Any one have advice on which they think would be best?

I’ve always been able to complete the more intense but shorter length interval workouts that came in half distance build but struggled with the longer sweet spot workouts (12-20 minutes) that were in half distance base. Maybe a 5 week combo of sweet spot and threshold workouts could be best?

Given your last paragraph I would do SSBHV block1 and replace the Sunday 2 hour SS with a 3 - 4 hour outside ride if you can get outside. I do a lot of 50mile TT and the work done at 90-94%FTP is bang on race intensity - a 70.3 bike leg will be much the same :grinning:

So you are talking about a 90km time trial, presumably at an IF of around 0.85-95?

SusPB seems the obvious fit here. And perhaps look at substituting in a few of the 3 x 20 workout from Century or TT specialty plans.

When you frame it as a time trial it makes it sound infinitely more harder and unattractive :laughing:

I didn’t have a power meter when I did the 70.3 last year but I do now. I’ve read that 70.3 pacing is 80-85% FTP so you would expect it to be higher as a time trial like you’ve said. I’ve got an Aqua bike coming up this week, 3km swim and 120km bike on a pancake flat course so should get some good baseline number numbers from that.

Good advice. Just looking at the SSBHV plan makes my legs hurt thinking about entire weeks of 20 minute intervals on the trainer. I can definitely get outside but its a challenge to find long enough stretches of road for workouts which would make them bearable. We’re in the middle of summer and no COVID in New Zealand so outside long rides aren’t a problem!

  1. You need to think about indoor entertainment. Whether that is streaming something on TV, or just a podcast in the ears. I did 2 x 20 minutes at an outdoor velodrome today, but definitely needed the earphones to keep the mind engaged.

  2. Are there any 20 minute climbs nearby - that is the other way of doing 20 minute intervals.

Yep - it is a TT - certainly in a half ironman you would look to be at about 85%FTP as a TT a bit higher. Last year I did my only 50 mile TT (short season due to Covid) at 94% of my 25m TT power (which is basically FTP as they they are from 54-58 mins depending on the course)…but then I have a pretty flat power curve - and I’m a lot better at 50miles than 10 - but you should certainly be able to put out 90% of your FTP provided you’ve done a decent batch of long 90-120 min SS sessions - if you can nail Tallac+4 or Wright Peak you’re on course for a good ride - good luck - plus can I congratulate your country for electing a leader who seems to be the only one who knows what the hell to do in the current situation :+1: