Get set for spring with Phil Mosley’s bike-focussed sprint – and Olympic – distance triathlon plan…
If you’re serious about improving your cycling, a power meter is a must. Over the last few years they’ve really come down in price, with models by Stages and Garmin now retailing at around £600. In addition, more and more gyms have Wattbikes and several home turbo-trainers can measure power. Power measurement is within most people’s grasp, but the problem is that people don’t know what do with it. That’s where this plan comes in.
It’s a winter/spring triathlon training programme for beginner to intermediate athletes looking to race at sprint and Olympic distance. It includes regular swims, runs and bike rides, with a focus on using a power meter intelligently to improve your Functional Threshold Power (FTP). The basic ideas in this plan can easily be adapted to suit longer distance triathlon or duathlon events too.
You’ll see that the first week includes a Critical Power 20-minute bike test (known as a CP20). This involves riding as hard as you can sustainably manage for 20 minutes. Make a note of your average power for the 20-minute test – this is known as your CP20 wattage. You’ll need to multiply this by 95% to get your Functional Threshold Power (FTP) in watts. Once you know your FTP you can start using the Training Zones box on this page. At the end of the six weeks there is another CP20 test so that you can see how much your power has changed. Providing you’ve followed the plan, gains of 10-15 watts are not uncommon.
There are two mid-week bike workouts, designed to improve your FTP. It’s easier to do these on a static bike, but not essential. The run workouts should help you improve too, and are at one of three intensities – easy, tempo and hard. For these sessions it’s helpful if you have some idea of your current race pace for 5km and one hour. The swim sessions are prescribed in terms of your perceived exertion out of 10, with 1 being no effort and 10 being an all-out sprint. However, you’ll improve quicker if you attend coached group swim sessions.
There is also a Key to help you understand abbreviations. Listen to your body and if you feel excessively fatigued or sore, take two days off completely and reassess before you resume training.
IS THIS PLAN FOR YOU?
Goal – Improve CP20 by up to 10 watts
Timescale – 6 weeks
Start point – Cycle 1hr 15mins, Run 35mins, Swim 1500m
Level – Beginner to intermediate
6 Week Plan – Training Zone Guide
Z1 Active recovery %FTP <55
Z2 Endurance %FTP 56 – 75
Z3 Tempo %FTP 76 – 90
Z4 Lactate threshold %FTP 91 – 105
Z5 Vo2 max %FTP 106 – 120
Z6 Anaerobic capacity %FTP 121 – 150
WU Warm up, MAIN Main set, WD Warm down, FC Front crawl, PULL Front crawl with a pull-buoy float between your thighs, KICK Kick with a float held out in front, SECS seconds, BACK Back stroke, BREAST Breast stroke, FIST FC with clenched fists, SINGLE Single-arm FC drill (triradar.com/training-advice/ triathlon-training-perfect-single-arm-stroke/), Z1 Training Zone 1, Z2 Training Zone 2, Z3 Training Zone 3, Z4 Training Zone 4, Z5 Training Zone 5, Z6 Training Zone 6