Tips for Steady Power on Rolling Triathlons

Hey everyone,

Question for the group. Over the past few weeks, I have raced 2 different triathlons (olympic and half) both with fairly rolling bike courses. I have been fairly disappointed with my bike splits from a power perspective at both races. When using the ride analyzer, it is apparent (I think) that a big part of my problem is that I am struggling to put out consistent power and am instead undulating a fair bit.

On the half for example, my goal was to average about 230 watts (80% of my FTP) and I ended up averaging just shy of 215 watts, with a normalized power of 231. The effort certainly felt more like 230 watts that 215 watts. I managed a good run of the bike so was happy with that, but feel like I could have had a better bike split if I had kept the watts more consistent throughout. Here is a link to the ride if helpful.

Looking for general advice on how to keep the power consistent when the course is up and down. It may be that I just need to practice more–most of my training has been indoors in erg mode where the resistance is constant.


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As fellow triathlete, i focus on progressive sweetspot training on base and build which is most of the year.
I started with 6x10m SS and completed 3x45m in most recently. Then I followed up with a 5k run to see how i respond these effords if i perform during the race.
Also you can do Phonix type of workouts week over week to get better with consistent pedalling. But i think the key is you need to do longer efforts to get better at them
I hope it helps

I’ve used best bike split to give me an idea of what I should be riding on the hills. Generally speaking, I keep my power within 10% of my goal power on rollers. Aiming for 195W on my 70.3 races last year, I would ride the hills at 215.

I’ve also found displaying NP on my head unit useful for particular segments. In my two most recent 70.3 events, each was a four-lap circuit, so I made sure I kept my NP where I wanted it for each of those four laps. That helped give me an indication of if I had gone out too hard or was going too hard on the climbs. Can’t live and die by NP, but when you’re doing a 2.5hr ride, it can be plenty useful to break up in segments like that. If your NP is too high, say 20 minutes in, it’s a good indication you need to back off on the hills a bit or risk the rest of your race.

Your NP is bang on target with 231W? But the av is low? It might mean you’re going too hard on the climbs, and too easy on the downhills, if your goal is too ride it with constant power.

However I’m not sure if constant is actually faster. Maybe you’re doing it right.

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Thanks all. Great advice all around.

Definitely agree with the long sweet spot training advice. That is mostly what I have been doing—I prepared using HIM low volume but generally pulled the longer weekend rides from the mid-volume plan.

I did plug in the course to best bike split and it recommended an average around 230 watts and normalized around 233 (so much more consistent than my actual performance).

The race in question had 2 or 3 sustained 20-30 minute climbs that averaged around 6% and it was hard to hit the targets best bike split projected on those. It was also pretty much impossible for me to hit the targets going down hill. I was either spinning out, or too
scared to pedal when going 45mph+.

Really appreciate the advice all around.

There are some stellar guys out there that can do it all on a trainer, but I must train outside to practise execution. The courses I’ve raced on tend to be on the hilly side - there’s no flat courses for sure.

In practising execution it’s cutting out off the unnecessary peak minutes (depending on the distance; threshold, vo2, anaerobic), and keeping the power up on flats and descents (minimise time in active recovery).

Once you’re at significant speed on a descent, I’d cut out pedalling and tuck.

But it’s tricky, and I’m far from being good at execution, so don’t beat yourself up too much about it. :+1:

Yeah, with the additional course profile information (20-30min 6% climbs), I don’t think there’s anything to see here. That’s not my definition of “rolling” at all. It stands to reason that if significant portions of the event are spent coasting, the VI of the ride is necessarily going to be higher. The important thing is to just ensure that you’re ready for it and you don’t overdo on the long climbs so you have legs left to run.

Definitely, and particularly if you’re putting down higher power on the climbs. Pedal over top of the climb but by no means should you be trying to spin out. That’s your time to recover from the climb and keep your legs ready for the run.

Thanks all! All of this is comforting for sure.

I did manage a good run off the bike (also on a pretty unforgiving course), so I know I did not fry myself too much.

The disappointment mainly came from the best bike split projection and the average power number when compared to my percentage of FTP.

There’s a lot of truth in this. Your power for a TT/triathlon should be fairly even but you should be pushing harder on the inclines and into the wind than on declines and with the wind. Clearly not to any extreme but it’s a faster way to ride courses and as far as I remember the race results are based on time rather than comparing power numbers at the end!!

If you were aiming for 230W, had a NP of 231W and ran well off it it seems on the face of it to be a well executed race :+1:

Your race link is set to private BTW