Which workout to practice for 70.3 triathlon

Hi all-

Doing my 70.3 / half distance triathlon on October 2nd this year in Amsterdam.

This evening I found out that for a fairly well trained athlete like myself, my FTP target for a 2h45 bike split (90 km) should ideally range between 78 and 81%.

Which 2 hour workout on TR would you recommend for this? I could find that Boarstone +3 - TrainerRoad comes close in terms of IF, but it is listed as ‘Not recommended’ for me.

Happy to take your advice here,

My go to race sim workouts are Leavitt and Echo +6- they’re each 2x60’ continuous intervals with 10mins at 80-85-90% FTP (Leavitt) and 10mins 85-90-95% FTP (echo). I target 85-90% FTP on race day, and I find that the slight changes in power are super helpful in figuring out what the best sustainable pace is and practicing fueling while putting out power. The pace changes are also great for practicing varying power for rolling/hilly terrain, where it’s more efficient to lift your power a little on uphills and recover on downhills.

Since you’re targeting a lower % of FTP, I think white is 75-80-85% of FTP which would probably be perfect for you. While you have time, I would definitely give Leavitt +6 a try to see how holding a higher % FTP feels. I couple each with 30’ run off at race pace with race fueling to see how the bike translates into run legs.

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Thanks man, awesome feedback. That’s a high FTP percentage you’re targeting!

The upcoming event is my first 70.3, after being delayed twice. I got the percentages from How to “Cheat” by Using a Power Meter in an Ironman | TrainingPeaks by Joe Friel, and the adaptation for 70.3 that I found on the TR forum.

Since it’s the first such distance followed by a half marathon, I’m going with this range. For context, I did 35+ average for an Olympic tri distance, and one time a 36,5 avg. on a 110 km ride - but that wasn’t solo.

Anyhow, going to try White (it’s 70-80% for 1h15) and Leavitt +6 might also fit the schedule (that one look tough…)!

Don’t automatically pidgeon-hole yourself into a certain % of FTP based on broad guidelines. They’re fine as a starting point but ultimately are just averages. My ability to hold higher is partially training but a big part genetics. I actually have trouble pushing myself over threshold on the bike for anything more than a couple minutes, especially in TT position. I’m all slow twitch muscle and if I am riding/running below threshold, I can hold that effort for a long time.

You still have close to 2 months until your race, use that time to experiment with how you feel coming off the bike. White seems like a good starting point, but work yourself up to the harder efforts. What you may find is that your legs don’t feel amazing getting off the bike but you’re still able to hold a similar run pace. It’s not about how good you feel, but about how fast you go.

I would also recommend adding just short 10-15 min brick run to harder workouts above your target race effort- for 70.3’s I really love 90 min efforts with sustained intervals (15 up to 40’) at 95-99% of FTP (though I run off at a high Z2/low tempo pace just to assess how the legs feel not build fitness). They’re not in the TR training plans but they’re so beneficial physically and mentally prepping for race day. They also help build the strength and confidence to allow you to push more power into rolling hills and not be as constrained to an exact power number.

I’ve always liked Polar Bear.


I have to agree with the post above. Polar bear is a great workout and when you can consistently hit that indoors you know you are ready for a really solid 79.3 bike split. I would also say that the first recommendations with intervals slightly higher than what your race target might be for an hour or so are very good too. I think getting used to holding slightly over what you plan to ride for 2.5 ish hours or so for 60 minutes at a time is extremely beneficial. Good luck!:muscle:

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Thanks all. Polar Bear indeed also showed up as a possibility when filtering for IF and duration.

Today did a random race sim, with Pioneer for the bike part, before running 15 minutes RPE 7-8. Went very well.

If you’re looking for specificity and training adaptations, then checkout the brick sessions in the Tri plans, of which Polar Bear is one.

If you’re looking for race simulation, I use Rouvy and the official Ironman courses they have.

I would go with Polar Bear +2 (105 between 88 to 93%).

Before my last 70.3 I did a race simulation day I was very happy with. Drove to the pool and swam 2500 yards as 500 WU then 4x500 steady. Drove home and got on the bike. It wasn’t a true brick since I had to get home from the pool but I had everything ready, so it was probably ~20 minutes. Did Polar Bear, then did an 8 mile brick run at steady pace. Great day and it gave me a lot of confidence for the race.