Nate’s Israman race

Nate’s Israman race

How did Nate manage to hold an IF of 0.77 for over 6 hours with such low CTL? Perhaps his threshold was set lower than it should?

I ask because I have just competed in Challenge Madrid Gran Fondo Time Trial, a 180km individual hilly time trial with about 2800m of climbing. I followed traditional base, short power build, and century plans with additional aerobic time; hit a peak of 95 CTL a few weeks before the race (so an average of 665 per week) and a CTL of 88 on race day with 17 TSB. After reading the power meter handbook, combined with Best Bike Split I decided that a target IF of 0.8 would be challenging but achievable with a goal time of under 6 hours. I followed the BBS power targets to the T for the first 5 hours, and only faded a little bit at the end due to overheating so I ended up with an IF of 0.78 and a total time of 6:04 (moving time 5:58, had a dropped chain, dropped number, and stopped to remove by shoe cover because of the heat). So I placed well and I am very happy with the result!

But then I remembered that Nate had done a similar ride back in January 2017. I checked his ride in the TrainerRoad website and saw that he maintained an IF of 0.77. I looked at his TSS chart for the months before the race and he had done minimal training :S Should I have targeted a higher IF? I think the answer is no, because I almost blew in the final 20 km. So how come? Any thoughts?


  1. It was sea level so I got a boost in FTP
  2. I’ve never gone so deep in a race…ever. Not even Leadville. My whole body was in pain for like 15 minutes after I stopped the race. I’ve never experienced that before or after Israman.
  3. I believe that CTL has more stock in it than is needed. Think of it more as a guide than a hard and fast “if my CTL is high I am fast”. Especially when you’re doing structured interval training.
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Thanks for the answer!

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@Nate Somehow I agreed to do the bike portion of the Half Israman as a relay race which will take place at the end of January…so I just came back to the TrainerRoad fold. I qualified for and raced IM Kona in 2016 and since then haven’t wanted anything to do with triathlon - just some mountain biking, trail running, and started real strength training (did my first pull up last week, at age 58!). Anyway, nice to be back and see all the cool new features (even though it’s been a long time since I’ve used a power meter or heart rate monitor) - but I’m unsure what training program to use to get ready for the half Israman…what’s your recommendation?

I think you have time for two plans. You’d generally do our half distance tri plans but since you’re not biking or swimming you can forgo those.

I think you have 16 weeks to train.
I’d do something like this:
Sweet Spot Base I (6 weeks)
Sweet Spot Base II (first 2 weeks, don’t retest)
Century (8 weeks - retest at the start of the plan)

I really really like our century plan for long races. It’s all Supra threshold (just barely above), over unders and sweet spot. Those are perfect workouts for increasing muscular endurance and raising FTP.

I really liked Israman, you’re going to have a great time!


Thanks so much! Sounds great and doable. So when are you coming back to do the Israman again? With Jonathan and Chad, or maybe as a relay with your wife? It is a fun one…
Enjoy Kona - how fun for all the folks who get to hang out with you (and get swag!!!)

As soon as they pay for my travel to go again :smiley:. It is a cool race, Israel is on the list to visit for when my kids are a bit older (they are 7 and 4 now).

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Hope they will! Maybe one day I’ll do the full - if I ever regain my motivation…
Yes- it will be great to come with the family when the kids are old enough to understand more of its history, issues, and significance in the world. I got into all of this endurance sport stuff while I had three sons in combat units in the army, one after the other, and it kept me sane. Thanks for TR and all that you guys do - started back up this week and it just felt right.