NYC Tri result + question about optimizing bike/run efforts during a race | 80/20 Endurance

NYC Tri result + question about optimizing bike/run efforts during a race

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  • #13267
    twengerd
    Participant

    I placed 10th out of 119 in my age group at the NYC Tri this weekend (swim canceled though). 2nd tri done, and I’m already looking forward to next year. Thank you so much for your plan and for responding to my questions!

    I placed 8th on the bike and 31st on the run. I probably made the rookie mistake of overcooking it a little on bike, but regardless, I’m a better biker than runner. My avg power on the bike was 91% of FTP. My avg run power was 90% of FTP.

    My question: Are you aware of any research to suggest how to optimize race pace power levels to minimize total time? For example, given that I’m a stronger biker, could I have done better by biking at 80% FTP, which may have allowed me to get into the 90s % of run FTP? Since drag increases exponentially, I may not have lost that much time on the bike by backing off to, say, 80% FTP on the bike.

    #13269
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    Congratulations on a fine result. We cover this topic to some degree in Chapter 8 of 80/20 Triathlon. I’m not aware of any studies that provide the specific kind of information you’re looking for. What I can say is that the best racers pace primarily by feel, which stands to reason because 1) each athlete’s performance limit is determined by perception, not physiology, and 2) each race is unique. As Jan Frodeno has said, “On race day all the numbers go to shit.” No one ever seems to like this answer, but I strongly encourage you to feel your way to the best bike pacing strategy for you.

    #13271
    twengerd
    Participant

    I bought one of your running plans and I’m going to use it for the rest of the summer to set a PR for a 5K.

    Any general advice on what to do improve the run without neglecting the bike by next summer?

    #13272
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    I’m not sure if I’m understanding your question. Are you asking for advice on what to do after this summer?

    #13273
    twengerd
    Participant

    I’m not planning to do another tri until next July. I am wondering if you have general advice for what to do from now until next March when I’ll re-do your Level-2 power-based tri training plan. I need to make progress on running & swimming without backtracking on the bike.

    I’d like to set a PR for a 5K, so I am jumping right in to one of your plans for a September 5K.

    Also, if you want a marketing blurb or review somewhere from me, I’m happy to help.

    #13274
    Matt Fitzgerald
    Moderator

    Multisport training is a tricky balancing act. Most participants are weaker in one or two disciplines and want to gain strength in it/them without losing their advantage in their strength. The upshot is that, whether you are weak in every discipline strong in every discipline, or weak in one or two and strong in one or two, the best way to optimize race performance is to give due attention to all three.

    Single-sport focus phases like the one you’re engaging in now are the best way to shore up a weakness. But these intentionally unbalanced periods should only occur when there’s no race on the horizon. As soon as there is a race on the horizon, you need to restore balance. Don’t worry about losing the gains you’ve made in your weakness(es). That’s unlikely to happen.

    There are targeted measures you can take to emphasize one discipline within a balanced training structure. These include working on your swim technique with an expert swim coach and doing short transition runs after every bike ride.

    #13277
    twengerd
    Participant

    Excellent. Thank you so much!

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