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.

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.