+70 Watt FTP Increase with Triathlete John Tarrant – Successful Athletes Podcast 22

Hear from John Tarrant about how he used TrainerRoad to train for his first triathlon after coming back from running injuries, how he manages his time to train for all three sports, why setting clear goals for yourself will help you improve and more in Episode 22 of The Successful Athletes Podcast.

John Tarrant on Strava

Youtube Video:

Topics covered in this episode:

Why John started out as a runner
Dealing with injuries while training and racing
Managing expectations when life keeps you from training
How John found TrainerRoad to get back to training
Managing your time to train for triathlon
John’s strategy to avoid injury while training for triathlon
The TrainerRoad Plans John followed to train for an IRONMAN 70.3
Fueling for early morning swim training
How John made big improvement in his swimming
What John gained from training with TrainerRoad
How John improved his running
Setting goals for your first triathlon
John’s nutrition strategy for race day
John’s tips for people training to get faster

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Loved this episode. I’m actually trying to follow a path very similar to john’s, so this was super interesting to me.

Congrats to John and keep it up :+1:

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This was great to record, really great to talk through with Jonathan and think about things over the last year.

Any questions, let me know.



Really enjoyed this one. Good to hear from someone doing this mostly for the fun (although a damn sight faster than me on all three aspects!) and not having to use the most expensive kit for it. Had the same Decathlon bike when I re-started a few years ago and loved it too.

Broke my ankle last winter and this year I also focussed on lower volume running and have had some of my own PBs this year in duathlon races.

Looking up Jon Tarrant senior for a book to read too :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks Jon and Jonathan


Thank you!

This is the book: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ghost-Runner-Tragedy-They-Couldnt/dp/1845966066

It does seem like another world when you think people caught doping only get a 4 year ban nowadays compared to a lifetime ban for taking less than an average weeks pay for a few boxing matches.



Dropping a note here to say that @Jonathan is really shining as an interviewer. Every time I listen, it strikes me how he is allowed to shine here compared to the AACC podcast where he mainly seems to be trying to reign the other hosts in. Good question and a nice back and forward with the guests. Really well done. Enjoyed this one as well as the earlier ones as well!


Just watched this yesterday during my workout. As a chronic sufferer of itbs in my left leg, I’m dying to know more about the process he used to get fit and ridiculously fast in just a short period of time (couple of months?) I’ve been riding well throughout but have a recurring issue since the start of 2018. Haven’t ran since July and dying to get going again.
As a TR user is John maybe on the forum?

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@AdamJ, I moved your post under the official thread for the related podcast. See above, that John is a member and has replied to questions.

I am tagging @johntarrant to hopefully catch his attention.

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Thanks chad, did a quick search and couldn’t see the wood for the trees


Great interview John.

I read Ghost Runner a few years ago and loved it.

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Thanks Chad

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Great interview @johntarrant ! I loved this episode. You echoed so much of how I have tried to use TrainerRoad with triathlon and balancing kids/family.
Were you on sweet spot base prior to plan builder? And, when you did plan builder last September did you pick the 70.3 plan or did you somehow follow more sweet spot? I find I get reasonable gains from sweet spot although the workouts are harder as compared to 70.3 base plan…
Tom Soma

Hi Adam,

It took a while to get the ITB problem sorted, it was the kind of thing that would niggle for a while and then flair up, I’d get physio treatment and it would be fine for a while but then keep returning. I had multiple physio sessions, ultra sound treatment, deep tissue massage, stretching exercises, a period of barefoot running (Born to Run covert for a year or so!!) etc. None of which really helped long term.

I’ve seen two really good physios who seem to have (between them but not working together) finally helped stop it - I haven’t had issues in either side for the last year. The first physio gave me a lot of work to do with hip stability, a single leg squat in front of a mirror and you could see that on both sides my knee was unstable - the best video I found was James Dunne’s: https://youtu.be/Npz-kOxdy9I

I‘ve done a lot of work on this kind of knee, hip and glute stability.

The other physio traced the problem a bit further up to my lower back, I had a muscle imbalance that was pushing my hips slightly out of line so my pelvis was tipped to one side, working on this with massage was the biggest help, I used the exercises in this video from Kelly Starrett too: https://youtu.be/JoAj6frTsSs

I use to use a foam roller up and down the IT band but have learned since that although this can help release immediate tightness (which for me it did, it always felt like it helped) it can actually make if worse in the long run by adding instability. I’ve found that foam rolling around the area, quads, hamstrings and glutes (especially high up on quads just inside my hip) has really helped.

Hope that helps, I know it can be frustrating, keep at it!

Hi Tom,

I started straight on to middle distance, mid volume base at the start, and then repeated this twice (once when plan builder came out and then again when the race was cancelled). Similar to you though I feel like I respond to sweetspot well so I have restarted my next block with sweet spot low volume. I’m planning on SSB low 1 and 2 and then middle distance mid again. This is aiming for a race next May, so I have plenty of time.

I’ve got 2-3 runs a week planned along side the SSB all easy pace and under an hour. Will see how that goes, I’m only a week in and last week was fine.

Would be interested to know if anyone else has done sweetspot base before the tri plans too.


@chad mentioned he couldn’t eat the waffles on the bike from that one brand. I had a similar problem with the regular Honey Stinger waffles… One day I discovered that the gluten free ones were way less sticky and far easier to eat, and basically tasted the same.

Great info thanks :+1:

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Hi John,

Interested to know do you do any strength works to complement the TR plan?


Hi Tony, I started a strength training plan just before lockdown started so did 2 weeks and then couldn’t use the gym anymore. I’ve started on SSB low volume again now and have added in 2 strength sessions a week.

I started with a plan from @Mikael_Eriksson, it seems well planned out and has links to good videos for technique and tips which I will definitely need. When lockdown started I emailed Mikael to ask if there were replacement exercises to do with lighter weights at home and he was really helpful with suggestions. This is the plan I will use: https://scientifictriathlon.com/plans/#tve-jump-1705d8b76c6

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