Beginner triathlete

HI all,

I’m a beginner triathlete who has set themselves the goal of completing an ironman next year. A lot of the reading that I’ve done suggests that the athlete pace themselves on the bike leg by aiming to hold a percentage of their FTP. So it would follow that a higher FTP gives a faster bike.

I’m not proud/happy with my current FTP, so would really like to build that up. Of course, I’d also like to improve my bike and run before any race.

So, as beginner, am I better doing a Full Distance Triathlon plan, or should I be doing Sweet Spot with run and swim workouts around my scheduled rides?


I’m new to Trainerroad, so cannot advise to the suitability of its training plans for an iron distance triathlon.
However, I have done one iron distance triathlons and several half distance events and believe that focusing on the bike section is the way to go for a beginner.
getting the ftp up high will serve you well. but you’ll still need to do the long bike training days, just to know how it feels - physically and mentally.

if you are absolutely new to the triathlon disciplines, i would recommend doing the triathlon plans.

Of course the bike split is the most time consuming one and doing specific Plans for increasing your FTP and reducing your bike-time sounds attractive. But in my opinion (and personal experience) your main goal for the first full distance ironman should be to get there as healthy as possible with preferably no injury in between. And therefore it’s probably better when you don’t overdo it with the training on the bike.
If you’re doing SweetSpot Plans your legs will be tired most of the time i guess. And doing long runs with tired legs has a high risk of injury.

But as always it depends on your history and your ability to tolerate this stress. If you are an marathoner it won’t be such a problem of course :wink:

Some people, I think even coach Chad, suggested mixing plans to some degree.
You could choose plan that increases your FTP by biggest degree. If it’s a different plan than Iron Man one you could replace one day session with a long session that would prepare you better for a long leg on the bike.

You can get much faster by dialling your position in aero bars. Good bike fitter will be able to put you in best position for your flexibility and other abilities.

Good luck :slightly_smiling_face: