I know this subject has been covered many times here but I am still confused about what to do.
Being a triathlete I’m currently on a Half Distance Tri plan (Mid volume, week4 to come) and I’m wondering what to choose for the build period.
My profil: A race will be in May and I’d like a +/-2H35 bike split at this event. I did 2h50 2 years ago.
I’m a decent runner(1h25 HIM) with little chance to improve my running. So I really need to improve my bike split and then FTP without sacrifying my running
First option is to stick on a HIM Tri plan with low volume as I reckon it’s gonna be hard to keep 4 rides a week with an increase of running and swimming volume.
Second option is to go for general road build with 3 rides a week.
Third option, Sustained power build low volume.
What would be the best option for me. As I understand the programm, the general build one has more high intensity workouts such as V02 max… At first glance it seems not suitable for a triathlete but improving the high end power zone seems to be the best lever to upper the ceilling and improve FTP.
Can you please discuss with me the pro and cons of those programms plz?
I would stick to the Half Distance MV plans. Make sure you hit all the bike workouts. As for the run, you don’t have to do the plans runs exactly as written. Do your own run plan or modify the planned runs based on how you feel and time constraints. Even if you only run 2-3x/week, you can easily maintain your current run fitness. At least do a hard run (i.e.,tempo or intervals) on Wed and the long run on Sunday. Squeeze in really easy runs elsewhere if you have the time and energy.
Without knowing the course, it would appear you have a lot to be gained by improving your bike. As such, focus on the bike as your key workouts and build around them.
Sustained Power Build includes a fair bit of LT threshold work and VO2Max work - these are the “higher end” levers to pull to improve FTP, not the anaerobic work that feature in some of the other cycling plans.
I note the HIM plan (especially the build phase) includes similar workouts.
I’d go with option 1 plus. I.e. go with the low volume tri plan if you’re worried about being able to consistently do 4 bike workouts. But beef up the cycling as and when you can by either adding in a 4th workout (use the MV plan as guidance to help choose something suitable), or replacing one of the workouts with a harder or longer alternative. E.g. if the workout on the plan is a 60 minute over-under session, you could opt for a 75 or 90 minute over-under session if you had more time, or a 60 minute variant that includes longer intervals and/or shorter recoveries if you don’t have more time but are feeling strong. Other way of getting more cycling in is completing the workouts as planned but extending the cooldown. Or simply adding in a bit of extra zone 2 cycling as and when you can, e.g. doing a 20 minute spin after a run or swim.
You’re correct that VO2 Max and Anaerobic work is good for improving the higher end power zones and pulling your FTP up. But the first half of the Triathlon plan includes a good number of these workouts to raise your FTP before moving to more Threshold work which is more specific to triathlon. Those VO2 and anaerobic sessions should also serve to move your pain dial a bit - working at threshold seems a bit easier in comparison!
I’d recommend to stick with the tri plans, a 2:30 split is possible. I did it last season and many others as well.
I did road plans this year, because I thought sustained power build and climbing road race fitted my a race better. Turns out it didn’t and I began to modify, change and replace workouts halfway through. These low volume road plans do, in my opinion, not sufficiently address the long steady efforts. I was really missing the Pioneer-ish workouts that teach pacing and mental focus.
Why are you worried about worsening your run times? Would more bike training take away run time? You are very fast on the run, if your open half is a 1:25 you should be able to maintain a 1:30-ish HIM run with acceptable effort. I did 1:38 following. 2:31 bike split on 2,5 runs per week (one long, one interval, occasionally one tiny brick) with an open HM of 1:27.
Being stronger on the bike will help you realize more of your absolute running potential in a tri. And if you’re really focused on improving bike splits, have you looked for speed elsewhere? How is your position? Can you hold it for the entire ride? Any chance to lose weight? Got money to spend on equipment, like a fast helmet, a disc cover or hydration system?
Thanks for all your answers, I really appreciate.
I don’t think I’m gonna finish the cycle too early as I can manage a recovery when needed at the end of the build or base plus one or 2 taper weeks. Anyway I prefer having plenty of time than being in a rush and squeeze some workouts.
My concern about losing my running fitness was with the tri plan. I had the feeling that the run sessions were a bit light… guess I’m wrong, according to what I read on the forum.
So I think I gonna stick with the Tri plan MV, and I can adjust the run swim if necessary.
Looking at my A race, there is no sharp and short effort on the bike just 4 steady climb (3km each). So the the tri plan is more suitable for this race I suppose(70.3 Aix).
I know it’s ambitious to go from 2:50 to 2:35, but that keep my motivation high with the hope of a slot for the 70.3 final!
Thanks for your input.
As JoeX said, I’m going to finish the cycle too early, 7 weeks in advance(!!) if I follow the guideline .
So, what would you advice me?
-Repeat the HIM base with the same volume, dropping week 1, but what about ramp test?
-Repeat only week 7 of the Base, and keep extra weeks(6) to extend the build?
-Keep all the extra weeks for the build
-Switch to a 6 weeks SSB and keep an extra week for recovery when needed
Some news… After completing my first 8 weeks base, I’ve just completed an another ramp test which gives me a 20W FTP increase; 3,2W/kg. Quite satisfied so far, but still a lot of work to be a decent rider!! So right into the second base block…
I really enjoy training indoor with TR, I like watching my data while riding, feeling the day to day progress… I like that so much that I haven’t been on the road since the end of September.
I don’t know if I will enjoy to get back on the road, will i be able to be so structured than indoor?
That’s my thoughts of the moment.
To echo this here, my Half times are similar (I am a 1:25 HM runner) and I was able to pull out a 1:33 HM run following a 2:12 ride (it was short), so don’t think that you cant keep your running speed while also increasing your bike pace. Just realize that you are balancing a very fast bike time for a slower run time and vice versa.
Oh even better! I would think you could whip out a sub 1:20 open.
Its a balance of the bike vs run. If you push too hard on the bike your run suffers greatly. See how the race goes and then you can dial the race efforts in after. Sounds like with some bike work you will be FOP in no time.