TT training with Tri training

Im doing my first Ironman 70.3 next year however i’m also targeting my local TT series (top 10), i’m a relatively strong and experienced rider however when it comes to training I have never been the wisest and stuck to basic plans. Is anyone able to provide any guidance, based on experience or knowledge, on what Trainerroad plans could benefit both tri and TT or am I looking at a total conflict in targets with training in regards to power and endurance management.
Many Tanks

What distance TTs are you targeting?

I think you’d be fine following either the 70.3 plans or SSB/SPB/40kTT. The biggest issue you may find with the latter is excessive fatigue for swim / run workouts if you pick too high a volume.

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The distances vary but do not exceed 25, it’s a series made of 5, 10, 25, 10 2-up, team and 10 mile HC.
That’s my concern… trying not to burn out with so many disciplines and targets.


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I both TT regularly and race triathlon and have often used the Sustained Power Build as a lead in to races. If you can manage the swim and run training alongside that it can work well. It definitely has for me - I haven’t often used the Speciality plans although have done occasionally.

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I did a 70.3 earlier in the year and also raced about 8 ITTs and TTTs in the 6 months building up to it. They complement each other pretty well in my experience. In the weeks where you do a TT just use the race to replace an appropriate workout, ideally a threshold one. I also find I can still crank out a decent TT/threshold effort while carrying quite a bit of fatigue in my legs, and that those efforts don’t take as much recovery as a road race with a lot of VO2 and anaerobic work.


I will second the recommendation for Sweet Spot Base, Sustained Power Build, and 40k TT. I also think the Olympic Triathlon plan is a great fit, all the way from base to specialty, but I’d recommend that you navigate the recovery a bit overly cautious at first, with the priority on whichever event is next.

In other words, if you have a TT in the more near future and are feeling fatigued, I would start with a reduction in run volume and/or intensity. On the other hand, if you have a triathlon as a higher priority, then I would reduce or remove whichever discipline you feel is contributing most to your fatigue, most likely NOT the swim. Unless time is a constraint, I think swimming should be the last type of workout to reduce or skip.

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I don’t know if it’ll work on your level, but generally speaking the short and mid volume middle distance triathlon plans contain A LOT of threshold and above-threshold work. Even in the specialty phase in preparation for a 70.3 you get workouts like: 8’ at 105%, 8’ at 105%, 5’ at 108%, 5’ at 108%, 3’ at 115%, 2’ at 120% (week to week progression is achieved by shortening the recoveries between these little killers). You also get plenty of 70.3 race pace (80-85%), but I’d say the plans are pretty versatile.

I also found the specialty phases to not really be what I was looking for in the tri plans; do you just insert the sustained power build in exchange for the specialty? Obviously working your S/R outside of the plan

Yup. I sort my swim/run sessions from outside TR. At the beginning of TR there were no tri plans so I used the cycling plans and that has sort of stuck.

I’ve had a few approaches in the past but have often just used Base and Sustained Power Build with a longer ride replacing one of the planned rides. I generally can manage the TSS from the high volume plans alongside the swim/run as well and have had some good results from that.

Last year I mostly rode 2 TT’s a week, a midweek 10, 15 or 25 mile TT and a 25, 50 or 100 mile TT on the Sunday. I had done the Base and High Volume Sustained Power Build leading into the start of the TT season. With those two TT’s each week there was no point repeating steady state efforts in training so I sort of took the High Volume Climbing Road Race Plan and took double the time to do it as written. Alongside the two TT’s one week I’d do the Tuesday and Saturday rides and the following week the Thursday and Sunday rides. That gave me a bit of variety with two maximal TT efforts of different durations, one VO2 Max ride and a longer 2 hour sweetspot ride each week.

It seemed to work well and with a few longer rides nearer the full distance triathlon I was targeting I was on for a solid ride until I DNF’d with a mechanical 3/4 of the way round the bike :disappointed:

Ironically after the DNF wanted another race and entered Maryland with 8 weeks to go so decided to fit in the High Volume Tri Speciality Plan bike rides in that time and while on the face of it a 4:38 ride time was decent I was a little disappointed and felt I should have been quicker on that course - but that of course might be down to a long season rather than the Tri Plan per se.

This year because of injury and being advised not to do any hard riding I sacked off the High Volume Sustained Power Build I was planing in favour of 4 weeks of the High Vol Traditional Base 2 and a slightly adapted 4 weeks of Traditional Base 3 with some longer rides added into both so I’ll see how that plays out :grinning:


Holy shit; that’s an insane bike time. How long did it take to get to that point? Was it a lot of just base and sustained power builds then? I thought my half bike times were decent but you must be sub 2 houring your half bike splits to hit that time.

What swim and runs are you sourcing from? I actually wonder if your training style is more like what I should consider doing. I find myself doing pseudo trainerroad plans but Frankenstein it a bit; this year I might try doing swimming on my own just because I have to get up so early and my masters group ends slightly too late for me.

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I joined TR when it started that was and IIRC did the base, build and 40k TT plans a couple of times. I wish there was a repository of all the older plans so I could see what I actually did and how the plans have changed!

In recent years I’ve generally done the Base/Build leading into the year and then ‘maintained’ during the TT season. I’d definitely do what I did last year again using the Climbing RR Speciality plan over double the time. It worked well for me, PB’d at all the TT distances and that carried well into the triathlon. I am primarily a triathlete though and use the TT’s as training so may have a slightly different focus than the OP.

As far as combining TT’s and triathlon as @AndyLearmonth is doing I think the Speciality Plans are good for focussing on one event. I think they can potentially not be such a good fit for a period where you want to retain a ‘peak’ for a period of months. Over how long a period of time is the TT series and then the triathlon? That can make a big difference as to whether it’s more appropriate to look for a couple of proper peaks or whether a longer period of staying in good shape might be better.

Swimming I do a Masters session and the other swimming on my own. I have used Swim Smooth stuff but really take the sets I swim all over the place. Running I like Pfitzinger based plans but have used Greg MacMillan plans as well and to be fair there is a good amount of similarity between the two.

Not sure about that! I’ve never ridden a ‘fast’ 70.3 bike course, I rode a 2:22 earlier this year on not so fast course but I’ve ridden 1:47 for 50 miles and 3:44 for 100 miles TT’ing so on a quick 70.3 I might ride 2:05-2:10 maybe and still run OK? My ride in Maryland had an 8 minute stop to repair a puncture so the 4:38 ride is a 4:46 in the results - Best Bike Split had me riding a 4:33 at an effort level which I thought was realistic to run well off but I probably pushed too hard after the puncture (which came only around 6 miles into the ride) and suffered a bit on the second loop so I could probably have paced it a bit better.

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I’m just working through SSBI before starting the 70.3 plans, you’ve just scared the sh!t out of me with those intervals!


Never look ahead! Just get the next one done and call it good :grinning:

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I scared the sh!it of out of me, too. To be fair, I failed the easiest version - the one with 3 minute recoveries - twice, and only completed it once, and in an upright position. (It’s 7’ and not 8’ at 105%, my bad, but predictably not a big difference). The more challenging ones - Sierra with 2’ recoveries and Sonora with 1’ recoveries - I didn’t even try. And I considered myself to be spinning fairly well above FTP relative to my endurance at lower intensities…

Then I biked like a motherfucker in my A race, and ran just 3 seconds per km slower than planned, meeting my <5h goal despite only once exceeding 76 km in training, and covering the 90 km only once this year, in an earlier 70.3.

That’s why I think most people need to use a bit of creativity backed by experience with these plans. Understand what a workout does and how it’ll affect you, and what can you substitute for it.

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