Triathlete help - poor race day bike power

Hey folks,

Recently competed in two 70.3 events, during both I’ve really struggled to hold near my power targets, I’ve had np of about 235

Ramp test has given me a ftp of 329 recently and I had hoped to average/normalise about 270 watts but legs are just not there on race days.

I haven’t been able to swim much this year so wonder if it’s just exhaustion from the swim, has anyone else had similar issues with a lack of swim practise this year?

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Was your Ramp Test done in the aero position?

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There’s quite a lot of factors in what seems like a simple question here, I’ll summarise them as;

  1. What’s different between your training and racing; environments, power meters, etc.?

  2. What’s your training execution been like; how many workouts or race day simulations did you average 270 or more for 2-4 hours? How has your plan compliance been? Etc.

  3. What’s your race day execution like; AP vs NP, what was your power on the hills, nutrition, hydration, how did you feel, what do you mean by “struggled”, etc.?

Hey, thanks for the quick replies,

To be fair I didn’t ramp test in aero so I guess there could be a fairly large difference there!?

I do use the same bike and Assioma power meter for everything training and racing

By struggling I just mean 230-240 watts felt like a hard sweet spot effort and hr was also way higher than it normally would be, even when riding aero :frowning:

I think a comparison with recent “race simulation” type efforts might help to clarify whether it’s specific to race day or an issue with your training/preparation. You also mentioned that you didn’t test in aero, but I’m curious to know how often you train in aero at/around your race day power? I think that could potentially have a much larger impact if you’re only riding in that position on race day vs. getting it dialed in and figuring out your capabilities beforehand.

Another thing that might provide some insight is your RPE/performance on the other legs- for instance, if your RPE was through the roof on the swim that’s probably an obvious place to start, or if you struggled on the bike but ran well that might suggest that it’s an issue with the bike leg specifically versus an “overarching” problem such as pacing or nutrition.

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Your swim absolutely can impact bike performance….the swim sets up the bike. Arrive exhausted and it is tough to get your best out of the bike.

Ramp test upright vs aero is a real difference. Try doing it in aero, and use 85% of that number.

I don’t do 100% of my workouts in aero, I will sit upright during recoveries, but spend a lot of time in aero.

Do you kick a lot swimming?

It’s easy to see your hr jump in a race, especially if you are speeding through T1. I usually try to be 10-20 watts below target power for the first 15 minutes to settle in and get some fluids, then try to bring the average up towards target.