FTP for Ironman 70.3


I am relatively new to cycling. My first race is in June 6 2020. My FTP is now 260 (ramp test). I would like to have my FTP on the end of May at around 300-310. I am into HIM High Volume training plan. Do you think is it possible to achieve this type of gain in around nearly 7 months before the race? I ussually train around 16-20 hrs/week (5 swim, 4 bike + 1 additional MTB easy ride) + 3 -4 runs) and I want have my bike split time at around 02:15-02:20. Thank you for reading this and answers.

It is really hard to answer that question without some more data…but it is a big jump in FTP in a relatively short period of time. That said, you note that you are relatively new to cycling, so big gains are possible…but it is a big leap

My personal advice is to not worry too much about setting time goals for your first 70.3…there is a LOT that goes into racing a 70.3 well and setting time goals for your first race is pretty tough and adds incremental stress. (But we all do it, I know…)

I will say this…depending on your height / weight / position (and course profile), your time goal is quite possibly achievable with your given FTP. I went 2:19 at Muncie in 2017 with ~260 FTP. Now, that is a fast course and I have a pretty good position, but it is possible.

I would encourage you to focus on the work and not set an arbitrary FTP number as a goal. Make your goal process driven (complete HVIM Build program, etc) and let the outcome be the outcome.

Oh, and run more. Run 6 days a week, some really short and easy, some longer, some tempo.

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Oh boy, so many questions.

  1. How did you measure your power?
  2. What’s your height and weight?
  3. How new are you to cycling? And did you do sports before?
  4. What is the race course like?
  5. What bike will you be riding? Do you have a photo on the bike?
    (#4 and 5 relate to speed, which you mentioned but didn’t specifically ask about).

Dont worry, I will be running more, I am in pre base phase, o just doing one long run, one fartlek and one speed session. In build phase I plan to include weekly brick run at goal race pace and include more tempo work.

To cycling, I think that that this discipline is I am the most talented and love really work hard. You said it is not much about FTP, but the higher FTP you get, the more power you can produce without overbiking your bike leg. It will be my 3rd 70.3. in my first 2 70.3. I clearly overbiked and than struggle really hard on the run, so for me raising the FTP and overall bike fitness is a key.

  1. Ramp test
  2. 195 cm, 79kg (in race season ussualy around 75-78)
  3. One year of cycling before, but nothing organised
  4. 90km (600m)
  5. canyon speedmax xl
  • I am NOT new to sports. I was playing basketball on high level for 15 years. Now I am addicted to triathlon.
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Okay, and you’re saying you’ve already finished two 70.3’s. The story is a bit fragmented to be honest :slight_smile:
How fast did you go in the 70.3’s and at what normalised power? Did you spend one year training for them and do 14 hours throughout, including 4 bikes a week?
In question 1, I meant “what device did you use to measure power”. Some people rely on Trainerroad’s virtual power algorythm, which you can’t really translate to on-course speed in any way. If it was a decent power meter, fine.

Just want to clarify…that isn’t what I said or meant. Obviously the higher your FTP, the faster your bike leg (if you ride to the same % of FTP). My point was not to set an arbitrary goal (FTP or even time) for your first 70.3. If you have done 2 others, then you can absolutely use that experience to set realistic goals.

That said, if you overbiked both 70.3 previously, I would worry that you are setting yourself up to do the same with your higher FTP goal. I would focus first on proper pacing discipline rather than saying “well, a higher FTP will allow me to go faster.”

Curious what your IF was on the bike for that 2:19 with a 260FTP?

Good luck to you and hope you do it. All I know from doing tri for 1 year is you cannot win the race on the bike.


Interesting question…I just went back and looked at my TP file. The Summary Page says .78, but when I hit the “Analyze” button, the next page says .83. Not certain why there is a difference…

My gut reaction is that it was closer to the .83…went out pretty quick on the first lap and then backed off a bit in the second. I still had a solid run. Faded a bit after the turnaround, but still beat my goal run time.

Awesome thanks for the info. I have the same FTP and i’m always on the curious side leaving some in the tank. My next one I may try the .80 range and see how she goes!

My suggestion would be to go ahead and pick a race and “risk” blowing up…sometimes you don’t know how far you can push yourself until you do it.

Properly trained, a .80 isn’t an outrageous IF for a 70.3, especially if you are a strong runner (which I’m not!)

Go for it and see how it turns out!!

Hold on a sec. You mean it’s not outrageouly high or not outrageously low? I thought the general recommendation was .80 to .85.

In my last 70.3, where I didn’t feel I’d overbiked or underbiked (based on my placing on the bike and on the run relative to other competitors and compared to my placings in shorter races), my IF was:

  • .77 of my ramp test result
  • .80 of the FTP I’d trained with (I subtracted 10 watts from the ramp test result or I would fail at workouts like the French fail at wars),
  • .82 of what I thought I could really hold for an hour.

Not outrageously high…

A lot obviously depends on your strength and experience. My recollection is that most people target ~75% FTP. As they gain experience, that number may go up. I think anything over 80% (and definitely 85%) would be best be tackled by very skilled or talented athletes.

My FTP for my recent HIM was 263 (3.9 w/kg) however made the mistake of not getting much time in on the TT which meant my FTP 15-20 watts less.

The course wasn’t too hilly (1,600 ft of gain, I think) however there was a great deal of crosswind for a majority, if not the entire, ride. My goal was to ride at .80 IF, which I did if I used the adjusted FTP for my TT bike, but would have been .77 if going by my road bike FTP.

Off the bike I ran a 1:31 on what is considered a hard course.

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I wouldn’t be doing High Volume in your place.

A target FTP is interesting but not useful - the goal doesn’t change the training, but it upsets you if you don’t achieve it.

I would do the LV plan, add outdoor rides that become more and more race specific as you get closer to race day.

Are you achieving the HV swim and run too?

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I second this. You don’t have the history of high TSS biking to think about HV. Not saying it’s impossible for you to succeed with the HV plan, but it’s unlikely. Take a season or two training at 300TSS a week and see if you can sustain that, then bump up there from year to year until you find what you can do.


Well put !