I’m looking for advice from Triathletes regarding my FTP on a tri-bike vs. road bike and how to make changes to training to accommodate a new position.
I have two Ironman 70.3s on the schedule for August/September this year. Ironman 70.3 Chattanooga on August 23rd (B Race) and Ironman 70.3 Augusta on September 27th (A Race). I’ve only been doing structured training on TrainerRoad since August of 2019. To date, I’ve done all of my training on my road bike. My current FTP is 294 and I weigh roughly 172 lbs so I’m right at 3.8 w/kg.
I recently purchased a Triathlon bike that came in last weekend (Canyon Speedmax) and have a bike fit scheduled for this Wednesday. I have not done any workouts on the tri bike yet but plan to do all of my workouts until my races on it after my bike fit later this week. My question is how should I proceed with and potentially amend my plan for the remaining time until my races given that my tri bike will be a different fit and have aero bars? I assume that if you’re training for a triathlon, you should do the ramp test, and all workouts in the aero position you would use in a race? With that being said, should I retest my FTP right after the bike fit? The assumption here being that the power output I’m capable of is lower on the tri bike in my aero position and I therefore need to adjust my FTP so it’s possible to finish my workouts in that position? Should do a week or two of rides in the aero position to get used to it before retesting my FTP?
The alternative being that I continue with my current “road bike ftp” and adjust the % I try to hold on race day to account for aero position power loss. This sounds a bit rough but I’m relatively new and don’t know what’s the best way to proceed so appreciate any thoughts from fellow Triathletes.
Your thinking is correct. You should spend a lot of time adjusting to the aero position but you don’t always have to train there. I ride my TT on the trainer 2x a week. Everything else is on the road bike. vo2 work is never on the tt bike (unless its the long supra threshold interval workouts found in the triathlon specialty plans)
My ramp tests are always on the TT bike, but never completed in the aero position. I’ll be in and out of the aerobars until it starts getting comfortable but once I’m pedaling around current ftp I’m sitting up
When training on the TT bike it is important to try to stay in position but sometimes it just doesn’t feel right and you’ll really want to sit up. Personally I can hold aero outside all damn day outdoors, but the indoor monotony adds a little more difficulty.
I guess my question is better phrased as: should the FTP I train at be that which I get from testing in aero position since the power numbers I use to create a strategy for the race will be dependent on what I can hold in aero position? If my FTP is set for what I can hold in upright position, doesn’t that make my power numbers useless since I wont know what to ride at in the race in aero position?
I’m not saying this is the best way to do it, but lately what I’d done is:
Set FTP the same way that @ryanppax mentioned, and then basically use the workout aero queues as time to work on my aero positioning. So basically, I try to stay in aero as much as possible, but I’m also not averse to getting on the ends if it means otherwise not getting through an interval.
I ride my TT bike on the trainer 85+%, exceptions are Zwift racing. Conveniently for me, the TT bike saddle is much more comfortable for me than the road bike saddle indoors.
I would have you work your base and build periods focused on generating higher power first, with time spent aero during specific workouts and your longer easier rides. Then during specialty (or your training plan equivalent - Build2/Peak/Race in Training Peaks parlance), all of your work including your testing and race plan should be based off of what you do in the aero bars.
Simpler: sub threshold work - aero as much as possible. Threshold and higher - generate power. You won’t spend any meaningful time aero at or above threshold during your races anyway.