The Short Course Triathlon Thread

I think they are fair points, I’d always advise anyone that TR for Tri is making bike the focus.

But critical is which plan(s) you are talking about - TR is not a philosophy, and the plans vary significantly. As above I did Olympic Build MV which is three hard bikes a week, leaving no room for hard work in the other disciplines, but HV does have room. And LV is different again. Plus if you are talking about the bike-only plans, those obviously have no room designed for the other disciplines.

My running is 321 or “BarryP”, or at least it is meant to be! I tried run focus on intensity last year so I’m trying run volume this year. And whilst it has allowed me to train swim and bike more easily - I’m clearly having a problem getting the runs in.

It’s too early to tell but after my posts above I got in my Thursday and Friday runs in, both with new routes and timetables to start making a new routine:

M Brick short run
T Evening club run, medium
W Lunchtime short run before lunch
T Run between dropping and picking up my daughter’s evening class, medium
F Short run at woods on school run route, and avoid traffic

S/S Long run early before family wakes up

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I like that plan @JoeX. Got all the bits you said you liked, bricks and getting it in around family.

Theres bits in your assessment that agree with and bits i don’t.

I’ll be honest I’ve never seen myself as a TR fanboy as I’ve only just done a full on plan but…

I’ve done the sprint mid volume plan (minus swimming) from start to end I’m biking and running better than ever.

What I will say is: running is 100% on you. Go easier, yeah ok, but you, know can you go harder? I’ve been TIRED after a TR Vo2 bike ride on the Tuesday but I’ve gone HARD on the run after. Yes, yes I did.

Would I like better structured runs, yeah but at this point I would take what I can get. There’s no power integration (eg stryd) but then again I don’t have a running power meter so I’d probably be on RPE anyway

Structure is what structure is. I got on with the workouts, would I want something different, maybe? But can’t that be said of most plans? The allure of the possible is strong.

I seem to be back on track with the TR LV Olympic plan, after starting a new job. Going OK now, but local pools aren’t open yet.

One question for experienced Oly/M distance people (as I mentioned above, I’ve only done short distances up to now) : Last week I did Pioneer plus a short brick run. The warmdown at the end of Pioneer was nothing like what I’ve been able to do at the end of short course bike legs, and the run felt very easy… for races do you deliberately go as easy as TR warmdowns towards the end of the bike, or does that just not happen when racing and I’d be better off skipping the warmdowns in training to get more out of brick sessions?

TR workouts seem to be more stand alone and if they schedule a BRICK in the tri plan, it grabs a standard workout and adds a suggested run onto the end. If you are looking to replicate a race, yes you probably need to skip the cool down. You could just pause the workout, go knock out your run, and then do the cool down on the bike afterwards. For me, I just complete the bike and head off onto the run. My philosophy may be different then others, but all I am really to feel on the run is how to settle into a pace, understand my legs will come around, and not bury myself. After all, its not a race, its a simulation of a race day feeling.

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I agree with that. If you’re just putting a brick in training it doesn’t need to be the same as racing. Though there is definitely value in doing race sims on occasion.

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My views of the TR OLY plan is that it’s more intensity than you should be doing. Perhaps since I’m in the 40+ crew, but realistically 1x of hard training for each discipline is what is best. This year, I’m also swapping the bike/run focus each week as I think that me always biking on Saturdays and then running on Sundays was taking away from some good longer runs and actually feeling good enough to throw in some intervals on the weekend.

For me this year, instead of BarryP style running, I’m just trying to get in runs that are running versions of pettit, as in I have a HR cap of 120, even if it means I’m going to have to run/walk. So instead of going shorter, I’m just going a lot easier. There was much more run/walking early on, but the last few weeks I’ve been able to shuffle uphill while still only getting to just over 120 so I figured I’d not stop unless my HR gets to 125 or so. So then that means I’m doing those kinds of workouts 3 days a week, 2 threshold, and 2 zone 2 (that’s run + bike combined obviously). I also do my hard days back to back, since I usually feel better the next day after a hard workout than the 2nd.

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At the end of the day we have 3 plans for Oly distance triathlon in TR, yet with the sport of triathlon there are many many many ways to train based on what our strengths, weaknesses, and recovery abilities are. IMO using a pre-canned plan and following it to the letter is a good strategy for your first time doing any type of structured training, but after that you should either be using that feedback to alter the plan to better fit you, or get a coach to help you through it.

For me the TR bike intensity is just about exactly what I need coupled with the relatively low intensity of the 321/BarryP running plan. Swimming is the funny one where it doesn’t seem to affect either my bike or run unless I end up doing heaps and heaps of it. (which I never do). Were I doing a bunch of speedwork and threshold sessions on the run I’d bet the TR bike workouts would couple to put me into a pretty deep hole.

Anyways, speaking of intensity, last week I saw just a hair North of 1000TSS in just 15hrs training. Whew! I thought I would feel worse but I did spend a lot of time focused on recovery and nutrition. Actually, I have to say I’m quite spritely and ready to keep at it. Next two weeks look to be pretty similar so we’ll see how I end up handling things. My big key is going to be to continue focusing on that recovery/nutrition part as I hit by body with a pretty big training load.

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I will say that when I am racing I do drop the intensity a bit heading into T2. If I’m doing say 90% of FTP the last couple minutes I might go down to 75-80%. I find that gives me a bit of a mental boost on the run to start out with legs that are coming off a short recovery, plus the last couple min of a course are usually more technical anyways as they wind back into transition. So maybe you can finish that 3min cooldown on something like Pioneer, but raise the intensity of that cooldown to a little more than 40% FTP for a slightly better race sim.


Getting to a place where you can make that decision is the end game really, if there is an end game at all. I think I’ve mixed things up over the years and seen varied results.

—I know TSS is a broad brush but this would be a really long post if I went into the weekly details:

Last year I tried low vol Olympic with 4-5hrs per week of hard running (marathon prep). My run improved, but my bike didn’t. Then I went to mid vol SSB to SPB and the 350-400 TSS wiped out my run, but I did get good bike gains. Then I added swimming back in as the pools opened and brought my run back in and it was a struggle.

So this year I don’t need gains on the bike so much and I’m seeing where around 300TSS will get me on the bike. Frankly as long as I’m not losing FTP, a better run will see big gains on race day.

Talking of which, I’ve got a ramp test scheduled! :sweat_smile:

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Anxiously waiting the results! (Since you can’t tease people on this forum you’re doing a ramp and not follow up with the results)

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:hot_face: -8W

But…it was my first test in aero this year…and my Garmin said only -2W…so I have pride saving excuses.

Let’s hope Build works this time :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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I’ve done the mid-volume and low-volume half distance plans, and weeks 5-8 of the mid-volume sprint plan to finish off the 2019 season (the latter with modifications, since I was training for a duathlon).

The training didn’t all go badly. I had one decent half ironman out of three. I’ve had positive experiences with TR training (taught me consistency, put in loads of intensity I wouldn’t’ve done out on the road or on Zwift, etc.) in addition to negative ones, which I didn’t mention because it would’ve been off-topic. Nonetheless, on my current plan, I feel less sore, have loads more enthusiasm for training despite not having raced since early September, and I think (“think” - for lack of racing) that I’m faster - in long-ish efforts - both on the bike and on the run. Jonathan likes to talk about power PRs. Well, I’ve been hitting power PRs for 20+ minute efforts on the bike left right and center.

I do think that TR has a philosophy, by the way, despite the differences between volume versions. That philosophy is to do as much intensity on the bike as you can conceivably handle. I’m sure it works for a lot of people. Dollars against nuts that it is less likely to work for a triathlete than a cyclist. (Easy bet to make, because nobody will actually prove me right or wrong :wink: )

Fine. I was talking about my own experiences. And a lot of people have claimed to have overreached while doing the TR plans. Like I mentioned above, it’s not really “the possible” in my case but actual feedback from following another plan.

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BIG changes for bike workouts in the Olympic HV Build plan, presumably in the others as well.

Gone are the really hard Red Lake sequence which killed me in MV Build, so instead of 5x5min at 108% today I had 3x5x1min at 120%…so much easier! :smiley:

Average weekly TSS was 330 now 279.

The general structure looks similar (1 tempo/endurance, 2 vo2, 1 easy endurance) Better or worse I have no idea, any reduction is good for me as I need run improvement more than I need bike, but time will tell. I’ve switched over in week 2 of Build.

Anyone else checking their plan changes?


Yeah, I noticed the VO2 max sessions are down a bit, but I skipped those anyways as I’ve been off racing crits on Tuesdays and I figure that satisfies that requirement :stuck_out_tongue: (Tried to initiate a break yesterday and found myself solo off the front when the bell rang for the Prime. At which point I thought to myself “I’m a big diesel, let’s go.” Held off the bunch sprint by a second to claim my points. Yay triathletes in crits!)

Anyways I always modified my plans quite a bit to add more Z2 volume and maybe get a little more aggressive with some sweet spot workouts. It’s a bit hard to tell what’s changed overall. I’ll keep doing what I’ve always done but I will have to say that I’m really liking the new numbers on the workouts for difficultly. There are some 0.90IF workouts that are totally do-able for me and some 0.79IF that leave me dead even for the same total time. This should be a bit of a game changer for a training plan mad scientist like me.

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Well it’s my first go on Solferino later today, just visually you can see it looks more achievable.

I’m thinking he’s taken the more recent view that the gap between intervals doesn’t reduce their effectiveness.

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Wow. Solferino looks straight up fun! I don’t really mind suffering, but I don’t like to start my suffering at the instant that I’ve recovered from my previous interval. I’m very happy they’ve discovered that the “just enough” recovery intervals must not be all that effective compared to something like this!

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It was a lot harder than I expected, although I’m not sure what I was expecting. The very long recoveries seemed a bit strange. It was tough and the last two minutes of the last interval was hard work so it’s fair to say I underestimated it.

Not so keen to manually upgrade myself to a 7 now!

If only I can muster the energy to restart my training…

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Do it, do it now!

There’s nothing like swim bike run☺️