TT vs Half Distance Tri Plan

I’m getting back into tri after 5 years off and my goal is to just finish and nail nutrition. I want to have a good bike leg as that’s what I’ve been doing the past few years. So I plan to just chill in the swim, ride a smart bike, and jog a comfortable run.

Last year at this time I was in a plan for TT and I was doing a lot of SS this time of year and my FTP grew nicely over the first couple months and into the summer. This year I’m using the Half Distance triathlon plan for an event at the same time as last year’s. I’m in a Build phase a lot sooner than a year ago, more intensity. My FTP is not progressing like it was last year. I get the weekly TSS is probably assuming I’m getting more work in via running and swimming so that’s why my bike specific work isn’t as high. But I really want to get my FTP up.

For someone who doesn’t really plan to follow the swim and run workouts in the Half plan, does it make sense for me to plug in my race as a TT instead of a Half? I am still running and swimming but it’s mostly just Z2.

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I am currently running an experiment to kind of answer this exact question! I have a 70.3 as my A race, so naturally Plan Builder put together a multisport training plan. I am ignoring the prescriptions for running and swimming, and mostly just doing both in Z2 (I do the form drills in the swim workouts as well, but that doesn’t really change the intensity I’m swimming at).

I think there are two notable differences in the plans that make the Half plan better, but only marginally so: the bike workouts assume the additional stress of running and swimming like you note, but they also focus on practicing that 70.3 bike leg intensity / duration, which will be a bit different from the intensity / duration of a 40k TT.

With Adaptive Training, I would expect over time that you’d hit the right amount of stress based on how well you are recovering / adapting with the added stress of running and swimming, or the fact that you require less recovery from the easier running / swimming. However, Adaptive Training won’t adapt the specific targeted intensity / duration from 40k TT to half bike leg. At the same time, I feel like that the specificity of that difference is a marginal improvement vs. overall fitness, so if you feel like your FTP isn’t improving the way you want, maybe it’s better for you to focus on just that - and mix in some long rides in aero on your own.

Thanks for the response.
I agree about the race specific work being different between the two plans. I’m considering adding a SS/SP phase for a few weeks then sync back up with the Half plan. There’s no short cuts to raising your FTP, but I feel like the Half plan is more content with a prolonged approach compared to other programs due to the other 2 disciplines being mixed in.

Sustained power build is a good alternative for triathletes if you have the time and recovery sorted.

as a newbie and 70.3 athlete i am currently in the market for a new plan. I come from Trainingpeaks but listen to Trainerroad podcast and would like to try the concept.
Would you recommend it.
My A Race is 70.3 Cervia Italy in September, but i also love to race sprint and olypmic…
would you recommend trainerroad as a training system

You can plug all your races in and designate “A”, “B” and “C”. I like TR because that’s all you need to do and the system will tell take it from there. I can’t really speak to the run and swim programs but the bike plans are great.

I should do a similar experiment myself sometime. I’ve never wanted to follow the run and swim plans provided so left my Tri races as TT category as well and just used TR for the bike training.

Maybe it’s age or nutrition, maybe life stresses or the nature of triathlon… but doing the above I’ve often been quickly into the category of fairly burnt out come any build phase. Part of me wonders if it’s my own swim/run (more run than swim) training bringing me in fatigued that TR doesn’t know about or account for… but even if that is the cause using the Tri plan with TR may not account for it yet here either.

Kind of a wasted reply other than to say “me too” and I’m curious what others have experienced.

thanks for your input…
bike is my strongest disziplin so that does sound good…but i wonder how TR considers run into it…i kind of have my own strategy regrding swimming…but i just do not want to drop dead because TSS is just too high with bike and run…

You might want to try the HV olympic if you have the time, I found it very good for my olympic goal and carried well over into long course

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ok, which volume is HV…can i see the programs without beeing in test phase?
i am a TR newbie, sorry

High volume. But I’ve just re read the thread, as you’ve had a five year break from tri and are new to TR, I would use Low Volume unless you are experienced with training indoors every day.

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hm, i am currently averaging 14 hours weekly, with skipping 2 swim sessions…

sorry, your reply was not for me,

i apologise for highjacking the thread :slight_smile:

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I was doing aquabike last year due to a knee injury keeping me from running. I trained for a half distance using high volume TT plan and following my own swim training. I rode a 2:35 on a tough hilly course using a road bike. Had to go back 20 years to find an equivalent split, which was on a pan flat course using TT bars. Plan on plugging in TT again for gravel tri nationals this summer.

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Ah sorry, half awake when posting. You should be okay with high volume if you are familiar with indoor training frequently.

Yes High Volume Olympic plan is pretty good I found when averaging 10hrs for a season. I prefer shorter frequent sessions and switched to long course speciality after for 6 weeks with longer runs and bikes.

Have you joined us on the Ironman Training thread yet? Plenty of middle distance athletes there.