beginner triathlete training plan

  • Hi,

    I am a new user of maximum trainer and firstly have to say what I great system I think it is. I have only previously used sufferfest videos, which I really enjoy, so the additional of all of the metrics is cool.

    I have done the ftp test a few times. the first time at 200 was way too easy following the suggested zones.

    the result was about 230.

    I re-did the test a couple of days later at 300, which started off ok, but I died off about midway, so i'd say was not a good test.

    the result came back with 248.

    I did the test again at 248 and it seemed ok staying within the target zones.

    after the first couple of workouts in the option phase, I found the workouts very easy, with my heart rate not exceeding 110 in some cases, so increased to ftp to 288.

    this is better but I would not say it is killing me (like when I use sufferfest with no maximum trainer).

    am I doing something wrong here i.e. incorrect ftp test method, or expecting too much from optional phase.

    if anyone has any ideas/guidance on this it would be appreciated as I am not sure I am getting the most out of the workouts at the moment.

    I have a couple of triathlons later in the year(September/october) and have never used any real cycle training before, so am hoping maximum trainer will help with getting some good results.



  • Hey there!

    You seem to be doing it right. Doing the FTP test takes a couple of times before knowing the level that you can hold for 20min. If you did 300 watts for half of it, you can probably do 280-290 for the 20min to have a better FTP. Doing 300 half of it and dying in the middle will not estimate your FTP correctly (lower than it should be). On your first test, I would suggest not going to hard the first 5min then trying to increase the power if you feel you have the gaz for it.
    There is also a new test (FTP 8min) that you can try.

    The optional phase of the plan is made to be easy, for people who did not workout for a while. If you already did some Sufferfest workouts and other training, you can skip the optional phase right away. I haven't done much Sufferfest workout, but they seem to be really hard and hard to recover from. The workout in the plan are not too taxing and you can do 3/4 per week and get good improvement. You can mix Sufferfest workout here and there but I would not recommend more than 1 per week if you are starting. The Sufferfest workout also play well in the VideoPlayer so you can do all your training on MT. The important thing with the plan is to test often in order to readjust your FTP, check in the workout list, when there is a missing workout in the week, it means you should test.

    Let me know if you have any other questions,
    Good Training!

  • hi max,

    thanks for response.

    so i upped ftp to 290 without re-test and then did first interval session of week 2.

    this was just about right.

    then just now did he tempo set and it felt too easy. is tempo session meant to be easy?

    what do you think?

  • to add to above, I have just had a quick check on google, and from what I can see, a tempo session should be at 70 to 80 % of my max.

    at the end of a 5km running race I am usually at about 180-185bpm. so I think that is pretty close to my max. maybe 190bpm. i'm not sure if that is right, but somewhere around there.

    so for the tempo I should be around 150bpm.

    the session I did, I was about 115bpm average, so way off I think.

    would a lower tyre pressure cause this do you think?

    or something else maybe.



  • Hey @ecowrighty

    The workouts "Type" are classed like this:

    • "Endurance" is 56% to 75% of FTP
    • "Tempo" is 76% to 90% of FTP (Sweetspot specific workouts usually targeted at 87% to 90%)
    • "Threshold" is 91% to 105% of FTP
    • "Intervals" is 106% + of FTP

    The max Heart Rate on the run and on the bike are different. Bike usually lower. Also, if the name of the workout is "tempo", it means most of it is in the tempo zone, but the average heart rate of the workout will not be in the "tempo" zone because you have warm-up, rest and cool-down intervals that will lower your average. You should check for the average of the "tempo" intervals, not the workout itself.

    You should really use power (%FTP) instead of Heart rate, it's a much better indicator for your workouts.
    That being said, this plan was not designed by me and i'm not a coach, so if you have more question on it, this thread should cover it. Also nothing better than having a coach!

    Have a great day

  • Hi Max,

    OK sounds good.

    Thanks for the link. i'll have a read through to see whats what.

    Thanks again,


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