Watts per/kg needed to qualify for 70.3 worlds and Kona

Wondering what users think would be a good target watts per/kg to qualify for 70.3 worlds and Kona. I realize this question is multifactorial and contingent on swim and run capabilities as well; however, what do typical qualifiers average?


Really hard to tell because depending on the course W/cda might be the more important metric. Also, to qualify for worlds the run is extremely important, so “only” going for a certain w/kg is not enough. That being said I don’t know of a single qualifier below 4 w/kg in my immediate circle of mates and I think the Kona qualifier on the podcast were all close or above 5.

If you’re interested I did an analysis on what it takes to go to 70.3 worlds in terms of finishing time and position a while ago for a few races in Europe (M30&M35) here.


This TR blog gives some insight. 4.4W/kg in this case.

Quite reassuring for me. 4.5 seems quite achievable. 5W/kg on the other hand…hmmm!


n=1. For my 70.3 this past year (M40-44), I was really limited in training time on the bike and had been off the bike almost entirely for about two years prior to that, and had not yet discovered TR. I did not qualify for Nice, but was in the running (about 8:00 off), while riding a 2:29 bike split at 3.5W/kg riding NP at 83% of FTP. I think I could’ve pushed 85% of FTP and had plenty left for the run, but BBS had that at about 2:26-7. I needed to be around 2:20 on the bike to qualify at my event.

I’m a smaller guy and BBS estimates of my Cda based on road tests are pretty good… not @Jonathan good, but pretty good. FWIW, BBS was less than two minutes faster than my actual split, but that also included some transition time, so it was damn close.

Running BBS with my current FTP for the same conditions, my estimated split drops to 2:20, which would’ve had me within one minute of the qualifiers with same swim and run. I’m currently 3.76 W/kg.

So I think 4.0 is a good estimate to be right up there, at least in my category, assuming your swim and run splits are also quality. I think if you’re 4.5 or higher, you’re contending for the fastest bike split in your category, especially for those of us over 40. I was just too damn slow on the bike this time. Enter TrainerRoad.


Emmet is one of the faster guests that they’ve had on there. I think they mentioned how he finished this past year and it was quite well. He is running really, really well off the bike. Sub 3 hours is really strong.

Also I posted a chart in the 5w/kg thread… most of the really good pros are in the 5w/kg range, so no it doesn’t take an age grouper 5w/kg to get to Kona unless you’re very light.


Recommend you get Jim Vance’s book Triathlon 2.0. He lays out those specific numbers and much, much more.

Under 40 male qualifiers were 4.0+ w/kg with an FTP of 290+
Over 40 male qualifiers were 3.75+ w/kg with an FTP of 270+
Over 60 male qualifiers were 3.0+ w/kg with an FTP of 200+

Of course, you also have to take into account the run and the swim. He did not have metrics for the swim leg, though.

Under 40 male qualifiers had a rFTP (running FTP) of 15.5+ kph, over 40 males 14+ kph, and over 60 males 13+ kph.

Again, these are for the qualifiers to 70.3 worlds and/or Kona. He provides all the numbers for podium, championship contenders, elites, and finishers for both male and female.

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also sort of interesting in this context


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What is your age?

Hi Dmachado,

I have that book, but I ddn’t find those data to read around. Can you please say page/section? Thank you.

You’re asking what you need to ride at in order to have an honest chance or watts/kg at threshold? That’s a very different question and I think some here are mixing that up.

Majority of KQers are not riding 4.5 watts per kilo in an IM…you need to have a good aero position, train to hold it, nail nutrition, and be able to run off of it. Now I’m willing to bet most have a threshold north of 4.5, especially if on a road bike.

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I think there’s a difference between Kona and 70.3 worlds with Kona requiring a higher level than 70.3.

I qualified twice in 2019 for 70.3 worlds (I qualified in June for Nice 2019 and in October for Taupō 2020).

I’m 3.6w/kg (at Racing weight).

I’m M40-44

Swim is my weakness
Run is my strength.

3.6w/kg would not of got me there without a run that’s close to the top of my AG.


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I’m on the same boat as @dtaylo2 with the difference that i’m close to the top of my AG on the swim. Not really the best runner.

Around 3.7w/kg and qualified for Taupo in Waco this year on the M35-39. It was a big surprise for me, I made it to the podium on 5th place(20s behind 4th). I never though would be able to qualify with a podium finish.

On the flip side, i’m sure that my w/kg isn’t high enough for kona, unless I find a way to become a top runner.


More in common than you realised - got my Taupō slot at Waco too!



That’s cool. It was a nice race! A bit rough ride but I had fun on the run. Congrats!!

This could have been my post except for the race venue.

3.6w/kg, weak in swim, strong on run, qualified for Taupo in M40-44 category in Bahrain.

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This seems pretty accurate…what age group you are racing in is a major factor.

I qualified for Chatty Worlds (twice) in the 50-54 and my FTP is right about there…set the fastest bike split in one race and was top 3 on the other.

But I also have a really good position, which helps significant,y. As someone else noted, Watts / CdA can be a bigger factor than watts / kg, depending on the course. Both races where I got slots were pretty flat.


What run times were you strong runners doing?

1:35 at Waco - that course is a little long (In 2019) and has a killer set of hills.

I did 1:33 at a few other 70.3 courses this year, but I think the 1:35 at Waco was the ‘best performance’ given the hills and temperature.

I’m probably in 1:25 open half marathon (flat) shape (I did a 1:27 right at the start of my training year, but never did any more opens once I got into training properly for the year)



I went 1:39 and 1:41 for my two HIM runs where I qualified for Chatty. (Remember, I’m 50-54 :wink:)

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I think context is important when looking at FTP data, race day intensity factor and age group placing.

I have often seen anecdotal race reports with high w/kg combined with a low race day intensity factor. I am sure that there are some of these reports where the athlete intentionally keeps race day bike intensity down to really be fresh for the run. However, I suspect that there are instances where the FTP quoted is from their road bike in an upright position and then on race day in the aerobars, the race day intensity factor is artificially low. In this hypothetical scenario the athlete would probably have a lower FTP in the aerobars and if this is accounted for race day intensity factor would probably be more in line with the typical range.

I believe that when enquiring about FTP in the context of triathlon, it should be stated if the FTP data is specific to the triathlon position.

Probably better than reverse engineering from other people’s reported data, it might be better to use a resource like bestbikesplit.com to first estimate your CDA and then play with the numbers to see how many watts it would take you to achieve the time range which has shown to be competitive for the athletes in your age group in the recent years at your target race.

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