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How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours?
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As the title already says I am looking for a way how I can get my 70.3 time below 5 hours.

Last weekend I did a HIM in 5:12 which was around the correct time according to my current fitness level. My A race for the year is 70.3 Ruegen in September.

I know that a lot of people have the goal to improve their 70.3 time and this thread won’t be helpful for everyone, but I’d like to get some input and ideas on my private situation. I also believe that my situation is not so unusual and maybe others can benefit from this discussion.

First let me give you some information about myself. I am 25 years old German college student who started tri last year. I am 1.85m (6’1”) and weigh around 82kg (180lbs) right now. 5 years ago I was around 135kg (300lbs) and for the last 2 years I was around 90kg (200lbs).

I have no background in sports at all and started running 3 years ago. After some knee injury in the same year I got a road bike. In January ’17 I decided to set the goal of a middle distance triathlon in the summer in Frankfurt and joined the local swim club.
I had some injuries and inconsistencies in training I 2017 but finished the race. The distances were 2k swim, 80k bike and 20k run and I finished in 5:25 (splits were 38min, 2:43, 1:50).
In October I started my training for this season and it went pretty well so far. Really consistent, lost 10kg (22lbs) and made progress in all 3 sports. See my PMC below:



So my current fitness level is as follows:
Swim: 1-2 times per week 3-4k/week. 1.000m test was 17:25 (400m test in 6:55)
Bike: Until March only Zwift. Afterwards almost all outside expect the little 7x3min VO2Max Zwift session every now and then. I did a few 100k+ rides and averaged 6-7 hours/week since outdoor season began. My (virtual power) FTP is 245W.
Run: My winter was run focused and I ran a HM in March in 1:37min. Because I lost a few more pounds and I ran a 20:30min 5k 4 weeks ago I would assume my current open HM time would be around 1:34. Since March my mileage decreased to around 25k/week with usually 2 runs.
Overall training around 9h per week including one strength/core workout each week.

My race this weekend:
The swim was in a canal and I came out of the water after 35min which was pretty much what I expected. My watch showed 2050m so I think I have to work on sighting. (Place 138/500) https://www.strava.com/activities/1615698343

The bike was in 2:45 on a real flat but windy 30k loop. I drove consistent with all 3 loops within 1 minute apart. I rode a standard road bike with clip on aerobars. Unfortunately I don’t have a race pic with me in aero position, but this from the side of me on my way back to T2. (Place 289/500) https://www.strava.com/activities/1615659493



The run was okay until 5k to go when my stomach and knee did not want to continue. Had to walk through the aid stations and get some more calories and coke in. I finished the HM in 1:43 and lost around 2-3 min due to walking and slowing down the last bit. (Place 142/500) https://www.strava.com/activities/1615698668

My overall goal was actually 5:10 which would have worked out without the bad last 5k.

Now I have 14 weeks left till my A race for the season. What are your ideas on my training besides the “train more”, “train harder” or “buy aerodynamic bike parts”?
Just in comparison to the rest of the field it appears to me that my bike is the lowest hanging fruit.
Sorry for this way too long post and I am really happy for any input you guys might have for me.

Chris
Last edited by: chrissie1993: Jun 4, 18 10:14
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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I feel like in 14 weeks, you could probably cut:

1' from the swim
10' from the bike
4' from the run

My hot take is that you walked a bit on the run because your bike fitness was lacking. Dropping 3-5 more kg will get you those run gains on "equal" effort, and then some. Keep swimming hard and you could see another 1' of improvement, but focus on the bike. 2:30-2:35 with a decent position should be possible in 14 weeks from where you are starting.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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From looking at your workouts and hearing your race report, I would suggest a few things.

1. try to make that at least consistently 2x's a week and sometimes 3 for the swim. People tend to think the swim doesn't matter as much because its the shortest part of the race. In reality, it pretty much sets up your whole race. Your run off the bike is quite close to your open HM time which is great. I would maybe bump the run volume back up to where it was before March for at least a few weeks. As for the bike, you have a descent FTP. Maybe look into a bike fit. You're a tall guy and a lot of time can be lost if you aren't tucked and positioned correctly. Also, I would try to get more intervals in on the bike. Your time commitment to the bike (6-7 hrs) doesn't seem to be reflected in your time. A bike fit could save you tons of time.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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In my opinion, you just have to give it a go and see if you can do it.

Your swim will be what it will be. The room to try to pick up time is on the bike. Go about 15 minutes faster on the bike and then hang on like hell on the run.

Could you blow up? Quite possibly.

The question is: how bad do you want sub 5 hours?

Fitness-wise, you're in range. I believe most people don't approach their potential. They play it too safe.

If you make it, great learning experience. If you blow up, then that's a great learning experience too. You'll learn from it, train for another year...and be that much stronger next year.

You'll have to "go for it" sometime... why not now?
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [Conky] [ In reply to ]
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Conky wrote:
As for the bike, you have a descent FTP. Maybe look into a bike fit. You're a tall guy and a lot of time can be lost if you aren't tucked and positioned correctly. Also, I would try to get more intervals in on the bike. Your time commitment to the bike (6-7 hrs) doesn't seem to be reflected in your time.
\His FTP is at 3.0 w/kg. This might sound harsh, but that's pretty mediocre for someone who is devoting that much time to the bike. I think that's worth investigating.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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With some work on the bike I'd expect you'd break 5.

Raising FTP will help, but closer to 70.3's I start focusing on extending it with long simulations at target power (ie 2.5 hours @ 80% all in position)

Good luck
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [SteveM] [ In reply to ]
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You're already doing pretty well for sure. The faster you get though the harder the incremental gains become. There's probably some low hanging minutes to grab in transitions (are you spending 4-5 minutes in there or 1-2 minutes?) and optimising your aero - Are you planning to race on your road bike or a TT bike with deep section wheels for instance?

Concentrating on the bike is always worth the time. Don't underestimate how useful focused training can be and just how (endurance)fast it's possible to get. Have a look at the Trainerroad plans and imagine workouts where you are holding 85%-90% FTP for 30 minutes at a time, or longer like 75 minutes - that kind of thing translates really well to a 70.3 bike course. You have to be able to go reasonably hard, and just not get tired.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [SteveM] [ In reply to ]
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The bike is weak.

A dedicated block of sweet spot and ftp would make a big difference.

Also tri bars and dial in your position to get more aero
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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I'd recommend getting a coach.
I am one, but not advocating for myself.

You would be a lot better served by someone you are paying to pay attention to your very small details that will follow you along and tweak each week of training to get you to your goal if you are serious about it.

You will get some solid advice on the forums, but having free suggestions from a forum vs recommendations from someone that knows your training and history intimately that you hired will get you there faster, safer and more efficiently.

Just my 2 cents.

Ryan
http://www.SetThePaceTriathlon.com
http://www.TriathlonTrainingDaddy.com
https://setthepacetriathlon.com/offseason2019b - sign up for my off season webinar
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Sign up for Augusta 70.3.

That’s a joke btw if you are unfamiliar with that race.

First of all, I think you should be very proud of yourself. You have done a great job so far.
I think pretty much biking is where you will see the most benefit.
Looks like you’re on a road bike. If you can get yourself a tri bike, that by itself is prob 5-10 min difference over the road bike with clips.

One important aspect to remember is that there isn’t always a direct correlation between what you do in training and race results. Some things just need more time. You’ll gain more time by losing another 5-10kg. But your body is still learning to be this race engine. Metabolic efficiency and race experience come with time. You’re 25 and have a lot of time to improve. Enjoy the training and you’ll see the times drop. I wouldn’t be surprised if eventually you end up around 4:40 in a few years.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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I wouldn’t get too hung up on hitting a time target, especially at Ruegen. I’ve raced there twice, in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 the weather was cool and with a consistent wind. The swim was absolutely brutal. It’s an out, parallel, in swim. Swimming out I remember not being able to see the first turn marker buoy most of the time because there was a 5-6 foot high wave in front of me (the previous year, which was its first, the swim was cancelled and the event turned into a duathlon. I genuinely think that they only ran it as a tri in 2015 because they couldn’t face cancelling the swim two years in a row).

The bike is pretty fast and flat with good surfaces. When I raced in 2015 I was a shade under 80kg, FTP around 285, on a tricked out P3 with disc, and rode 2h 38 or so (overall time was 5h 04m). The run has a very steep hill in it which you go over twice. 300m or so at 11% and back down the other side. And then back over it and back again. It is tempting to walk up but if you can run it you will take time out of your competitors.

In 2016 it was hot and windless with the sea like a mill pond. I went slower that year partly because I was a bit down on bike training and a lot down on running, but also because of the heat.

So, the take homes: be ready for the weather. Cold and windy could lead to a tough swim and hot could lead to a tough event (depending how you cope with the heat). Practice running up some hills, starting now. Work on your sighting whilst swimming because the buoys are set a long way apart. And don’t get hung up on hitting a time, because there are too many variables.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Chrissie:

Suggestions for a couple of different approaches. Focus on the bike for the biggest time chunk drop of +12 minutes while gaining more power with some weight training, improved aero positioning, and consistent output. If you are an Uber biker, not a bad strategy. Or go a balanced approached of reducing time across the race. You could get a savings gain of 5 minutes on the bike with weight training, aero position, and consistent output. If you lost so much on the run in the last 5K due to stomach issues you could get 3 minutes back with proper nutrition on the run alone and probably another minute or two with proper fartlek type speed workouts (4-5 minute drop). Do at least one brick workout a week if not currently in your training plan. Add a third day of swimming with interval training to drop a minute at least off your swim leg and make you stronger for the bike and run splits that follow (gain 1 minute savings). Really know how to get in and out of the transition areas quick and clean. Potentially a minute savings in each, especially when factoring in the run portion of water-to-bike and bike-to-mount line and dismount line-to-rack (a minute savings for T1 & T2). That is 11-12 minutes combined. Overall nutrition can give you at least another minute savings if nailing that down across all three legs (12-13 minutes). If you train early in the morning for more than 2-3 hours depending on (S-B-R distances), you can train your body to burn fat after the sugars are depleted. Helps minimize complex nutrition needs on half-iron race days. Also will drop overall body weight if diet modified to establish optimal body make-up. Finally, compete in 2-4 shorter races before your A-race. You're relatively new to competing in triathloning. Racing is different than training. Some of the best trained athletes just do not know how to deliver their best performance on race day or more importantly for their A-race performances. Try different tactics to go faster in the shorter races to learn what is best for you, how others respond, and how you need to respond to beat them or reach your desired time goals. Improved racing tactics will easily give you the addition 1 minute savings to get you under 5 hours. And that provides you time to enjoy your High 5 parade down the finisher's chute. Good luck.


https://www.palmtreesahead.com/

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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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I love to see stories of people who have changed their life with triathlon...dropping 50kg you have probably extended your life by many years and will be around to enjoy family, friends and complain about changing bike standards for a long time!

I didn't see much mention of cross-training and given the problems you had on the run, I'll offer a suggestion that worked for me.

Keep a pair of running shoes near where you store your bike and when you come in from a ride, practice a transition and go out for a short run. This is separate from a true structured brick workout ( which is also very good to work into your schedule) - but just to get your body accustomed to running after you bike, maybe 2-3 km. I had my best season doing this ( and broke 5 hours for a 1/2) and I felt like the 1-3 extra transition runs per week were very helpful to my race day performance.

My favorite brick workout BTW was ~30k Bike - 5k run - 30k Bike - 5k run. When I could do that workout feeling good, I knew I was race fit.

" I take my gear out of my car and put my bike together. Tourists and locals are watching from sidewalk cafes. Non-racers. The emptiness of of their lives shocks me. "
(opening lines from Tim Krabbe's The Rider , 1978
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [sjn] [ In reply to ]
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First thanks to everyone who responded. So many great ideas and new points to think about for me.


RCCo wrote:
You're already doing pretty well for sure. The faster you get though the harder the incremental gains become. There's probably some low hanging minutes to grab in transitions (are you spending 4-5 minutes in there or 1-2 minutes?) and optimising your aero - Are you planning to race on your road bike or a TT bike with deep section wheels for instance?

Concentrating on the bike is always worth the time. Don't underestimate how useful focused training can be and just how (endurance)fast it's possible to get. Have a look at the Trainerroad plans and imagine workouts where you are holding 85%-90% FTP for 30 minutes at a time, or longer like 75 minutes - that kind of thing translates really well to a 70.3 bike course. You have to be able to go reasonably hard, and just not get tired.


My transition time was 5+2,5 minutes this past race.
At the moment I just have a powermeter which gives me crap power readings and I will return it. Trainerroad doesn't have something like Virtual Power, right?



sjn wrote:
Conky wrote:
As for the bike, you have a descent FTP. Maybe look into a bike fit. You're a tall guy and a lot of time can be lost if you aren't tucked and positioned correctly. Also, I would try to get more intervals in on the bike. Your time commitment to the bike (6-7 hrs) doesn't seem to be reflected in your time.
\His FTP is at 3.0 w/kg. This might sound harsh, but that's pretty mediocre for someone who is devoting that much time to the bike. I think that's worth investigating.


Yes this is true. Since outdoor riding season began, most of my rides were 2+ hours and focused on endurance with the little hill every now and then. So I guess I need more quality for my bike.


Greg66 wrote:
I wouldn’t get too hung up on hitting a time target, especially at Ruegen. I’ve raced there twice, in 2015 and 2016. In 2015 the weather was cool and with a consistent wind. The swim was absolutely brutal. It’s an out, parallel, in swim. Swimming out I remember not being able to see the first turn marker buoy most of the time because there was a 5-6 foot high wave in front of me (the previous year, which was its first, the swim was cancelled and the event turned into a duathlon. I genuinely think that they only ran it as a tri in 2015 because they couldn’t face cancelling the swim two years in a row).

The bike is pretty fast and flat with good surfaces. When I raced in 2015 I was a shade under 80kg, FTP around 285, on a tricked out P3 with disc, and rode 2h 38 or so (overall time was 5h 04m). The run has a very steep hill in it which you go over twice. 300m or so at 11% and back down the other side. And then back over it and back again. It is tempting to walk up but if you can run it you will take time out of your competitors.

In 2016 it was hot and windless with the sea like a mill pond. I went slower that year partly because I was a bit down on bike training and a lot down on running, but also because of the heat.

So, the take homes: be ready for the weather. Cold and windy could lead to a tough swim and hot could lead to a tough event (depending how you cope with the heat). Practice running up some hills, starting now. Work on your sighting whilst swimming because the buoys are set a long way apart. And don’t get hung up on hitting a time, because there are too many variables.

Thanks Greg, you are right. I shouldn't get hung up on hitting a certain time. It's more that I want the fitness level that on most days I would get a sub5. If conditions are bad I am more than happy with a 5:05.


@all

I am going to ride my roadbike for all races. I just bought it last year and invested 3k+ for all triathlon gear.
This is also why I cannot afford a coach at the moment. My triathlon budget for the rest of the year is 300€.

I got a race day picture of my position from the side:


I am really surprised how not aero I am. I should work on my mobility I think. ( When I try to touch my feet with straight knees, there are still 10cm between hands and feet)
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Not sure if this is helpful for you or not, but i did Rugen in 2016 here's my results: http://eu.ironman.com/...tail=1#axzz5HXqb6qyl

The swim was ok that day other than the jellyfish which luckily weren't stinging. Bike is pretty fast course but quite windy in place, and I just checked and I rode 221w NP on a Cervelo P2 with deep front and disk wheel, aero helmet and castelli tri-suit. Run was pretty fast other than the hill that you have to go up and over 6 times.

To put into perspective back then i was 72.5kg, my FTP was 283 and about a 18:30 standalone 5km runner.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Try to knock off all the freebies/cheep upgrades. I don’t know what you’re running for tubes and tires but that’s more general maintenance than buying expensive parts. If you’re not already running something with decent rolling resistance like Conti GP4k get those. If you’re really looking cheap conti ultra sport 2 for $15 per a tire are actually pretty close to top race tires. Latex tubes as well that’s a couple free watts. I can’t see if you have a BTA bottle but that’s free, and if you’re not already shaving do so that’s free. Definitely work on your position. I saw the photo of you late in the post and you almost look as if you’d be better off using the drops.

On the bike, a couple years ago I wrecked and had only my older model Allez for about a year. I put some tri cockpit and bar end shifters and used it as a tri bike. Bring the handbars in, the seat up, and saddle forward.

I still lapped everyone on the couch!
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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"I am really surprised how not aero I am. I should work on my mobility I think."

Just on aerodynamics alone you could pretty much get there, but unfortunately some of that costs money. With your current budget, there are still some improvements to be made. Try and get lower in front, you're quite high. Aero helmets can be had relatively inexpensively, stay away from Rudy Project, Giro or LG aero helmets are better. Your top looks very loose, try to get something that's tight. Eventually if you're serious about the sport it will likely take a tri bike to get you into a really good position, and if you know what you're doing you can get a good one second hand for short money.

Your swim isn't great but it's adequate. Your bike fitness could undoubtedly use improvement but why does the power meter "give you bad sensations" and you want to return it? It's a great tool, and if you just don't like the numbers it's telling you that's not a good reason. Even if you're never destined to be a high FTP guy, if you work on the aerodynamics you can get a lot faster.

Seems like on the run your nutrition is a major factor holding you back and that's something you should work on.

Good luck.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [Jloewe] [ In reply to ]
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Jloewe wrote:
Try to knock off all the freebies/cheep upgrades. I don’t know what you’re running for tubes and tires but that’s more general maintenance than buying expensive parts. If you’re not already running something with decent rolling resistance like Conti GP4k get those. If you’re really looking cheap conti ultra sport 2 for $15 per a tire are actually pretty close to top race tires. Latex tubes as well that’s a couple free watts. I can’t see if you have a BTA bottle but that’s free, and if you’re not already shaving do so that’s free. Definitely work on your position. I saw the photo of you late in the post and you almost look as if you’d be better off using the drops.

On the bike, a couple years ago I wrecked and had only my older model Allez for about a year. I put some tri cockpit and bar end shifters and used it as a tri bike. Bring the handbars in, the seat up, and saddle forward.


Thanks for the tip. I will look into tire options. I use the Profile Design FC35 BTA bottle at the moment and used one bottle on the downtube with gels. The 2nd picture of late in the race was 20s before dismounting, so I guess not a learn to take away from this picture.



tttiltheend wrote:
"I am really surprised how not aero I am. I should work on my mobility I think."

Just on aerodynamics alone you could pretty much get there, but unfortunately some of that costs money. With your current budget, there are still some improvements to be made. Try and get lower in front, you're quite high. Aero helmets can be had relatively inexpensively, stay away from Rudy Project, Giro or LG aero helmets are better. Your top looks very loose, try to get something that's tight. Eventually if you're serious about the sport it will likely take a tri bike to get you into a really good position, and if you know what you're doing you can get a good one second hand for short money.

Your swim isn't great but it's adequate. Your bike fitness could undoubtedly use improvement but why does the power meter "give you bad sensations" and you want to return it? It's a great tool, and if you just don't like the numbers it's telling you that's not a good reason. Even if you're never destined to be a high FTP guy, if you work on the aerodynamics you can get a lot faster.

Seems like on the run your nutrition is a major factor holding you back and that's something you should work on.

Good luck.

What do you mean by my "top looks loose"? You mean my bike or my head?

I got a cheap powermeter and even after several iterations of calibration I don't get reasonable values. For example below is my power file for the race.
No way I can ride 32kmh with 140W and this crappy aero position.


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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:

What do you mean by my "top looks loose"? You mean my bike or my head?


Er meint dass dein Trikot zu groĂź ist
Last edited by: uk_bloke: Jun 5, 18 8:25
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [uk_bloke] [ In reply to ]
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Sign up for a race in the USA where our courses are shorter and cut off times more lax

http://www.coupleofathletes.com
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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From 300 lbs to 180 and 5:12 racer in only 5 years?!?! I’d say you’ve “won” already.

At this rate, keep your goal alive and you’ll be sub 5 in short order.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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chrissie1993 wrote:


tttiltheend wrote:
"I am really surprised how not aero I am. I should work on my mobility I think."

Just on aerodynamics alone you could pretty much get there, but unfortunately some of that costs money. With your current budget, there are still some improvements to be made. Try and get lower in front, you're quite high. Aero helmets can be had relatively inexpensively, stay away from Rudy Project, Giro or LG aero helmets are better. Your top looks very loose, try to get something that's tight. Eventually if you're serious about the sport it will likely take a tri bike to get you into a really good position, and if you know what you're doing you can get a good one second hand for short money.

Your swim isn't great but it's adequate. Your bike fitness could undoubtedly use improvement but why does the power meter "give you bad sensations" and you want to return it? It's a great tool, and if you just don't like the numbers it's telling you that's not a good reason. Even if you're never destined to be a high FTP guy, if you work on the aerodynamics you can get a lot faster.

Seems like on the run your nutrition is a major factor holding you back and that's something you should work on.

Good luck.


What do you mean by my "top looks loose"? You mean my bike or my head?

I got a cheap powermeter and even after several iterations of calibration I don't get reasonable values. For example below is my power file for the race.
No way I can ride 32kmh with 140W and this crappy aero position.

I meant that your tri shirt looks like it has a lot of wrinkles, which can definitely increase drag.

If your PM is single sided, it could be reading low because you're dominant on the side it doesn't read, which is why I'm not a big fan of them. That's possibly an inaccurate power reading, I've done 35.5 KM/H on 149 watts but that was on a pancake flat course with all the aero goodies and a good position. At your FTP 140 should be a pretty comfortable effort. If you were riding on a very crowded course, you could ride legally and still be getting a big benefit, that can make a huge difference, so even with your position it's not impossible. But you're probably better returning the power meter and getting a better one when you can afford it.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [tttiltheend] [ In reply to ]
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I would prioritize a tri-bike over a power-meter. Sounds like you have a bunch invested into this bike - you'd be surprised how cheaply you can get into a decent tri bike...I recently sold a 2013 QR Lucero Lite with a Powermeter for $1,300.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Quote:
The bike was in 2:45 on a real flat but windy 30k loop.



Pray for better weather. Lack of wind seems to make a huge difference on my bike times.
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Re: How can I get my 70.3 time below 5 hours? [chrissie1993] [ In reply to ]
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Funny I am in a similar situation since 2013 I have lost a little over 140 lbs starting over 325 and I am trying to break 5. I have hit 5:12 and 5:16 my issue is my run though unfortunately. I agree with what most have said bike will be the biggest gain for you it is pretty easy for me to come in about 2:20 on my bike on the 5:12 I did a 2:18. Nice work on the life change I know how difficult it was.
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