How to Export Your FasCat Training Plan to Your Bike Computer and Smart Trainer

Isaiah Newkirk

With the new era of technology-driven training becoming increasingly more common, we have been getting at lot of inquiries on how best to transfer workouts from our training plans to bike computers and smart trainers. While there are numerous systems out there, we’re going to walk you through most common ones we see.

All of the interval workouts in our training plans can be exported through the workout builder feature in TrainingPeaks by clicking the “Export Workout File” icon in the upper right.

Click “Export Workout File”

Garmin- Manual Export

There are several ways to export workouts to a compatible Garmin device, one way is to manually drag & drop the exported workout to your bike computer. In the Export Wokout File pop up screen, choose the FIT option for Garmin.

Export as a FIT for Garmin

Once downloaded, plug in your Garmin device, locate the “Workouts” folder of your Garmin, and proceed to drag and drop the FIT file you just downloaded from Trainingpeaks.

Drag & drop the exported workout file to the Workouts folder of your Garmin

Then start your workout by going to the “Workouts” folder on your Garmin device and selecting the desired workout.

Get ready to ride!

Garmin- Connect IQ TrainingPeaks App

For this option you will first need to sync your compatible Garmin device through Garmin Connect, then download the TrainingPeaks Daily Workout IQ App to your Garmin and authorize it to access your Trainingpeaks account via the Garmin Connect phone app.

From here, go make sure you phone is connected to your Garmin, then click on the IQ icon. Then select TrainingPeaks (you may need to authorize it one more time).


Sweet Spot 3 x 8 downloaded via Gamin Connect IQ app

Start your Garmin, select the desired workout, and go!

Zwift Export

Next, the newly popular computer app, Through the same “Export Workout File” button in TrainingPeaks, choose to export the workout as a ZWO file.

Export for Zwift

On your computer, find your Zwift Workouts file folder (Documents/Zwift/Workouts) and drag and drop the ZWO file into the Workouts folder. Then open Zwift and click on “Select Workout” at the top.

Click “Select Workout”

Finally, select the workout you wish to do from the “TrainingPeaks Custom Workouts” tab.

Choose your downloaded workout & get pedaling!

Wahoo Export, including KickR, Elemnt and Bolt

Wahoo has made uploading workouts very simple through their Wahoo Elemnt Companion App for your smartphone. Once connected to your Elemnt or Bolt bike computer, go to “Profile” and click on “Linked Accounts,” then authorize your TrainingPeaks account to sync with the app.

Next, click on the “Ride” tab in the app, then go to “Planned Workout.”

Select the desired workout (don’t forget to refresh the page to tell the app to sync if you don’t see the workout!), then click “Select Workout Plan” and get ready to ride! If you’re using a KickR, you’re ready to go!

If your’re using an Elemnt or Bolt, pull up the settings tab on your computer, scroll down to “Planned Workout,” then click on the desired workout and press Start!

Select your workout from the menu


Hit the Start button and get riding, indoors or out!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

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FasCat Coaching, a cycling coaching company in Boulder, CO.  To talk with a FasCat Coach about your indoor training please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.

Adjusting the Swim Workouts in your Triathlon Plan

I designed the off-season and sweet spot triathlon plans with 3 levels of swimming workouts built into every level of training plan so you can match the workout to your swimming ability-

Unfortunately, this means swim days look pretty crowded in TrainingPeaks! It’s easy to pick the swim workout that matches your ability and then delete the other 2. You’ll need to have the Premium level of TrainingPeaks to delete future workouts so make sure you’ve applied the 30days of free premium coupon code you received after purchasing your plan!

From the default Calendar view in TrainingPeaks, click the 3 line menu button on the swim workout you want to remove to bring up the delete option, then click ok to remove it. In this example, I’m going to keep just the Intermediate swim workout:

Have more time to spend in the pool? Sweet! Instead of deleting the swim workouts you don’t want, you can move one of them to another day for some bonus yardage! Click on the swim you want to move, then drag & drop it to the day you want:


And just like that, there’s some another swim on Saturday that can be done before or after the run workout! Now you’re ready to train!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

Nadia Sullivan is a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  To talk with Nadia or a FasCat Coach about setting your multisport training and swim workouts please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Additionally, check out any of  Nadia’s FasCat Multisport Training Plans for only $49 that include field tests where you can set your training zones.


Leadville 100 Training Tips

Leadville. An old mining town turned outdoor mecca. Listen close and you’ll hear whispers of legends past. The likes of Dave Wiens’ win over Lance Armstrong in the Leadville 100 is just one legend of many. Dig deeper and you’ll learn of Baby Doe Tabor and “Unsinkable” Molly Brown whose own tales of enduring the impossible just might inspire you in your own epic journey in the Leadville MTB 100.  If you dare, here are our Leadville training tips:

The Leadville 100 features 3 major climbs on the out & back course: Columbine, Powerline, and St. Kevins. The St. Kevins climb is your first chance to rev your engine but you’ll need to play it smart and hold yourself back to Tempo, you’ve got a lot of riding and even more altitude yet to come. From the top of St. Kevins, you’ll get to catch your breath and let your HR come down again as you go into Turquoise Lake.

The Powerline climb goes up Sugarloaf Pass and is a solid climb going out, but the steep descent on the backside will require full concentration to navigate the ruts and rocks. Don’t expect to get a lot of recovery after that climb until you hit the bottom again and can follow the pipeline into Twin Lakes.

The 10 mile climb to the Columbine Mine is steady forest access road for the first 8 miles. You’ll want to settle into your Tempo or Sweet Spot climbing effort and make sure you’re fueling well. The last 2 miles go from service road to steep doubletrack or even singletrack and depending on your home elevation,  you may find it easier to hike-a-bike to the top as the altitude gets over 12,000 feet! Grab a bite to eat and refill your water at the top because you’ve only got 50 miles left and the first 10 are all downhill!

High Altitude

If you’re lucky enough to live high in the Rockies, you’ll have a big advantage with the altitude of this race! If not, you’re going to need to pace yourself by heart rate on those climbs. As the elevation increases, your effective FTP decreases. On the Columbine climb alone, your FTP could drop 6% from bottom to top. And if you are from sea level, your FTP could be 18% lower than what you’ve been training with at home. But your threshold heart rate will remain the same no matter the altitude, your aerobic system just has to work harder as you get higher. So while it’s great to train with watts, it’s better to pace the Leadville 100 via heart rate.

If you want to read more about how altitude affects your racing, check out Coach Jake’s in-depth article here.

Gear Considerations

With a starting elevation over 9000′, the weather can be unpredictable for Leadville! Expect cool to cold morning temps down to freezing, even in August, and midday temps in around 60-70 degrees F. Mountain weather can change quickly that high and winds and rain are not unheard of in the afternoon so make sure you dress in layers!

I recommend starting with a mid-weight sleeveless base layer that will help keep your core warm in the morning and dry in the heat of the afternoon. Arm warmers are essential and black ones will soak up the heat from the early morning sun to feel even warmer. If you aren’t acclimated to the cooler mountain temps, knee warmers are also essential. And speaking of the sun, you’re closer to it at 9-12,000 feet so bring sunscreen and sunglasses! A vest is handy for the cool mornings and helps keep you dry in the case of a passing afternoon shower. I prefer it to a full rain jacket because it keeps your core warm without turning you into a sauna, but if you aren’t comfortable with wet arm warmers in the rain, grab that rain jacket just in case.

While many riders will opt for a hat or beanie at the start of the race, I prefer to use a piece of rip-stop nylon cut to the shape of the bug net of my helmet as a liner between the net & my lid. It blocks the wind and light rain and it’s super easy to pull out and stash without having to remove the helmet. Plus it weighs almost nothing! And if you don’t have enough hair to pull down over your ears, a Velcro ear band can be worn over helmet straps for faster removal when it gets warm.

Lightweight shoes are great, but it’s a good idea to have some that are comfortable for walking too as you may prefer to hike the top of the Columbine and Powerline climbs. Make sure your socks are up for a little hiking too, a 6-inch light wool cycling sock can help protect your calves from errant pedals if you have to hike and keep you warm at the start.

The Leadville 100 is a long day in the saddle so make sure you’ve got your most comfortable shorts or bibs and favorite chamois creme! Be sure to try out both in your long training rides so you know you and your shorts will still be friends at the end of the day. Stash some extra chamois creme in your pack too, you may need it. And ladies, don’t use your guy’s chamois creme, go with one specific to women!

Lightweight long finger gloves are a must but if your fingers take a long time to warm up, consider layering up with a cheap pair of knit gloves over your mtb gloves. You don’t want numb fingers off the start!

It goes without saying that you’ll want an awesome hydration pack for this race. Make sure you use one that is comfortable to wear all day and fits well, you don’t need it sliding up on the Powerline descent! And make sure it’s easy for you to use. Side pockets aren’t any good if you can’t reach them from the saddle.

Tires are also a big thing to consider. The trails are mostly dirt or eroding granite so leave your sticky rubber at home. Choose a tire that’s got sturdy sidewalls because the granite’s not very gneiss (that one’s for you geologists!). Better to have a slightly heavier tire than to have to stop and patch a sidewall!

Nutritional Considerations

The high altitude means you’re going to dehydrate faster than usual, on and off the bike, so make sure you are constantly hydrating before, during, and after the race. It can also mean headaches from altitude sickness so bring along some of your favorite headache remedy, just in case. Caffeine can also help but it will depend in part on your daily intake & personal tolerance. If you lose more sodium in your sweat than you can replace with your favorite sports drink, bring some salt pills. You can pre-hydrate a day or 2 before the race with extra sodium too.

The general rule of thumb for endurance events is to take in 300 calories per hour. The terrain at Leadville will make sticking to such a formula challenging so consider setting a nutritional alarm to remind you to bite & swallow some sports chews when you can’t manage something more solid. It’s also a great idea to pack a special treat that you will be looking forward to when you’re 5, 6, 8 hours into the race. That could be a PB&J, Snicker’s Bar, whatever food you know will motivate you! Use the long training rides to get all of your nutrition dialed, including that special treat!

Pack more fuel than you think you’ll need because the aid stations will be crowded and you don’t want to rely on them. If you have your own crew, you can carry a little less because you know they will seek you out & make sure you’re taken care of.

When you’re high up on the Columbine climb, listen closely and you’ll hear the winds whisper of those who have come before you, from Baby Doe to Rebecca Rusch. Leadville brings out the fierce determination in all!

Between the gear & nutrition alone, there’s a lot to consider for Leadville! You can make it easier on yourself with a training plan for only $49. You get a free TrainingPeaks Premium account with a mobile app so you can see your data and always know what to do each and every day for six weeks leading into Leadville.

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Coach Nadia is a Colorado native and a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  She’s raced and ridden her bike all over the state and loves to “earn her turns” on long climbs and descents. You can buy FasCat’s six week interval Leadville 100 training plans designed by Nadia here.


Training for the Triple

Whether you’re doing one day of the Triple Bypass or going big for the Double Triple challenge, the key to having a successful ride is endurance, endurance, endurance! You’ll need the muscular endurance to grind up the long mountain passes and the aerobic endurance to power your legs at those lung-searing altitudes.

The first climb to Juniper Pass is a moderate 4% grade and you should be riding a Tempo to Sweet Spot effort here. The grade can make you want to ride harder, but remember, you have 2 more high altitude climbs to tackle! It’s important to hold a steady effort with a more aerobic cadence, as much as your gearing allows. This is not the place to treat the ride like a race, keep to your own steady pace!

The second climb, Idaho Springs to Loveland Pass, can be broken down into 3 steps: Idaho Springs to Georgetown, Georgetown to Bakerville, and Bakerville to the top of the pass. The first leg to Georgetown is really a false flat so join a group and work a draft! You can go fast and keep your cadence quick to save your leg muscles. From Georgetown, the climb kicks up to 3% and you’ll settle into your climbing Tempo again but keep your cadence up, things are going to get steeper! From Bakerville to the top of Loveland Pass, the average grade is over 5%. This is where you’ll be grinding your lowest gear and relying on your leg strength to power you to the top.

Catch a breather on the descent into Keystone and let your heart rate come down. The final climb up Vail Pass is slightly more than a false flat at about a 2% grade so if you’ve paced the other 2 passes well, you should be able to hold a steady low Tempo effort to the top!

That’s a lot of Tempo riding and even more altitude so it’s important to spend time training for both! Tempo and Sweet Spot rides during the week are key as well as long days in the saddle on the weekend. As July gets closer, the weekend rides are best done at altitude to help prepare your body for the challenge ahead. And Sunday Muscle Tension Intervals after long Saturday rides will get your system ready to endure the steeper grades on Loveland pass when you already have some fatigue built up on the ride.

High Altitude

Unless you live in Eagle or some other alpine hamlet, the watts you’re riding in training at home aren’t going to be the same watts you’ll ride in the Triple. As the elevation increases, your threshold effectively decreases. You can see how this well-trained athlete’s heart rate increased with the altitude on her way from Idaho Springs up to Loveland Pass even though her watts were holding steady. In a high altitude ride like the Triple, it’s much better to pace yourself by heart rate than watts.

If you want to read more about how altitude affects your racing, check out Coach Jake’s in-depth article here.

What Goes Up…

It’s important to be confident in your descending skills for this ride! Make sure your brakes are well tuned and learn to relax in your drop bars because that is where you are the most stable. Bend your elbows and relax your arms, those are your shock absorbers! Push your sternum to your stem to lower your center of gravity and center your weight between your wheels. For even more stability, clamp your bike’s top tube with your knees. And most importantly, breathe as you enjoy the fruits of your labor! The more relaxed you can be on the descents, the more energy you will save for the next climb!

Don’t Forget- Nutrition & Weather!

The Triple Bypass is a very long day in the saddle and at high altitude that can mean anything from early morning frost to warm summer temps to freezing rain. The long weekend rides at altitude are a great chance to test out your clothing so you know exactly how many layers you’ll need to bring to be ready for the unpredictable mountain weather.

Those rides are also a great time to get your nutrition dialed! If you aren’t used to eating & drinking on the bike, get in the habit by setting an alarm to go off every 20-30 minutes as a reminder on your long weekend rides. Even on event day, you don’t want to rely solely on the aid stations. Try to eat about 300 calories per hour and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! The higher altitudes will dry you out faster, even at cooler temps, so it’s important to get ahead of that. You really want to start a day or 2 before the ride so your system is topped up & ready to go! That goes for eating too!

That’s a lot to plan out which is why I’ve designed a training plan to guide you to success for only $49.  You get a free TrainingPeaks Premium account with a mobile app so you can see your data and always know what to do each and every day for six weeks leading into the Triple.

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Coach Nadia is a Colorado native and a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  She’s raced and ridden her bike all over the state and loves to “earn her turns” on long climbs and descents. You can buy FasCat’s six week interval Triple Bypass training plans designed by Nadia here.


Lake to Lake Triathlon Training

With a longer bike course that climbs up the beautiful foothills of Northern Colorado, the Lake to Lake Triathlon is not your typical olympic distance race. Over 1000 feet of elevation are gained & lost on this course and the climbs get up to an 8% grade. With long climbs like this, staying steady doesn’t always work if you want to avoid drafting penalties, and the steep sections mean you’ll be out of the aerobars.

Check out the hilly part of the course from Glade Road around Horsetooth to Shields, with power, cadence, heart rate, elevation and speed data:

While the heart rate was steady for this racer, the watts spike more, partly from the terrain and partly from passing other athletes on the climbs. What’s really telling is the cadence, which is steady for most of the climb until the steeper grades, like the highest point of the course, where it drops. With the fast descents on this course, having a low gear ratio just for those parts of the course could cost you speed over the rest of the ride. Instead, you’re going to want the muscular strength to tackle the steeps in a little bit larger gear so you can hit the high speeds on the back side! Greater leg strength is also beneficial for when you need to pass another rider on the climbs to avoid a drafting!

So how do you train for those extra bursts of power? With low cadence efforts mixed into your steady state aerobic intervals! That’s why I’ve included workouts Sweet Spot Smash intervals along with steady state Sweet Spot and Threshold efforts in this plan.

And if you aren’t able to pre-ride the course, I’d recommend you brush up on your cornering skills too as descending speeds can get really fast on this course and there’s always a turn or two that you’ll have to navigate! Make sure your brakes are working!

The good news is the swim is in a small lake which means flat water and the run course is also flat (and shaded!) so the training for those sports is more typical of other olympic events. But the run from the lake shore to the transition area is unusually long so there’s transition work to mimic it. This workout’s a great one to get your kids involved too! There’s also Brick Repeat workouts with varied bike and run efforts to ensure that your legs are ready to run after all that climbing on the bike. And if you can’t get much time in the open water before the race, there’s drills you can do in the pool to get you race ready. Just make sure you bring your dark goggles for the race since you’ll be squinting into the sunrise!

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Nadia is a multisport coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO. Nadia and the FasCat Coaches have been designing training programs for coached athletes for 15 years and have introduced the very same training programs for only $54 in 2017. You can buy Coach Nadia’s six week interval Lake to Lake Triathlon training plans here.


Finding 20 minute power

Setting Up the Performance Manager Chart

The Performance Manager Chart (PMC) is the window to your overall fitness and race-readiness. Get it set up properly and it can be your most powerful training tool!  They say a picture is worth a thousand words and this couldn’t be truer to coaches and athletes. Maybe not 1,000 words, but how about 50 watts? Yes please.

In this training tip we’ll tell you how to set up your Performance Manager Chart in TrainingPeaks and then explain what the numbers mean.

3 Steps to Set Up You Performance Manger Chart in TrainingPeaks

From the default Calendar view in TrainingPeaks, click the Dashboard header to get to your Dashboard where you can add multiple charts to summarize your training.

Once in the Dashboard, go to the left sidebar to open the Charts Library. Scroll down to the Performance Manager Chart, then drag & drop it into your Dashboard and boom! Now you can see how your fitness has progressed over time!

Next, click the menu icon in the upper right corner of the PMC and you will get a menu for adjusting the parameters of your chart.

Selecting Constants (Parameters)

Fitness (CTL) is based on a rolling 42 day average that is supported in the sport science literature.  Keep yours at 42, we’ve never changed this.


Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

Nadia Sullivan is a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  To talk with Nadia or a FasCat Coach about setting your training zones please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Additionally, check out any of FasCat’s Training Plans for only $49 that include field tests where you can set your training zones.


Finding 20 minute power

Setting Up Training Zones

Setting up training zones for heart rate and power in TrainingPeaks is easy to do with 20 minute Field Test data. Once the athlete has uploaded their file, we go into TrainingPeaks and find their 20 minute Normalized Power and Average Heart Rate.

In the opened ride file, we click on the Lightning Bolt in the right hand data bar to switch to Peak Power, then scroll down to Peak 20:00 min. That selects the 20min effort and we can see the Normalized Power and Average Heart Rate from the test.

By keeping the warm up, test effort, and cool down all in one file, we can see how the athlete did on the rest of the ride and if that may have affected their test. Plus we get a full Training Stress Score (TSS) for the day’s ride.

From Joe Rider’s 224 watt Normalized Power, we subtract 5%, and enter the 213 watts in our FasCat Zones Sheet to calculate hi training zones. We’ll also add in his average heart rate of 168bpm from the test.

To keep everything accurate, we then add those numbers to his Power and Heart Rate Zones in TrainingPeaks. In Joe Rider’s Account Settings, we input his calculated 213 watt FTP, choose “threshold power” for the auto calculation and use Andy Coggan’s zones from the drop-down menu.

Lastly, we add the all-important 83-97% of FTP Training Zone, Sweet Spot!

Now we can go into Joe Rider’s files and see how much time he’s spent at Sweet Spot or other zones in a group ride, race, or hill repeats!

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Nadia Sullivan is a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO.  To talk with Nadia or a FasCat Coach about setting your training zones please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Additionally, check out any of FasCat’s Training Plans for only $49 that include field tests where you can set your training zones.


Open Water Pool Drills for Triathlon

Open Water Pool Drills for Triathlon

Maybe you’ve just signed up for your first triathlon. Maybe you’re just looking to get more comfortable in the chaos of water swimming. But even if you are part fish, you’ll still want to sharpen your open water skills if you do all of your training in the pool. Here’s a list of some drills you can do in the pool to get you more comfortable in the chaotic and claustrophobic conditions you may encounter in your race. Just grab some friends and head for the pool!

Sighting in Rough Water

Find a strong swimmer who can swim the butterfly stroke and have them swim down the lane in front of you while you practice sighting a water bottle or other object on deck. The butterflyer will create a lot of waves that are a great simulation of rougher open water! If you don’t know anyone who can swim butterfly, ask the lifeguards or swim instructors at the pool if they can suggest a volunteer for you!


With a swimmer of similar ability or speed, do a few laps trying to stay right on each other’s feet without running into them. When you are both comfortable with this, try moving up to the other swimmer’s hip for an even stronger draft effect. Make sure you’re breathing toward their hip and not away from it so you don’t get a mouth full of water!

Corkscrew Swim

This is a technique that you can use to switch quickly & gracefully onto your back if you need to catch your breath or you can incorporate it into open water turns! To swim the corkscrew, swim with 1 arm doing a freestyle stroke and the other arm doing a backstroke stroke. This will cause you to spin through the water like a corkscrew. Try to keep the pulling effort even in both arms so you stay straight as you go down the pool. Then switch arms. Be careful not to swim this stroke too far, it can make you dizzy!

Closed Eyes Swim

This is just like it sounds- close your eyes and try to swim a length of the pool. If you can’t make it without hitting a lane line then you need to work on keeping your stroke more balanced. If you pull to the right, you may be crossing over on your left arm or have a weaker pull on the right. If you can have someone take video of you doing this drill, it will be easier to see what you need to wfix in your stroke. The easier this becomes for you, the more likely you will be able to stay in a straight line in the open water & keep the course distance closer to what it’s supposed to be!

All in One Lane

Get your group of friends all to join you in the same lane. Have everyone swim to the other side all at the same time with the slower swimmers in the front and the faster ones in the back chasing the front. This drill is better with more people, just make sure you all agree to be friendly! If someone gets nervous from the close quarters, they can just duck under the lane line into the next lane.

Tandem Swim

This is a fun one to do with a buddy and helps you both work on being comfortable near other swimmers while working on your core strength, body positioning and breathing. Have one person swim in the front doing the arm stroke while the other person grabs their feet and kicks. The person kicking will get a lot of practice breathing in rough water and the person pulling will have to stabilize their core to hold their hips up. Be sure to swap positions!

6 Weeks to your first Sprint Triathlon

Beach Starts & Exits

If you have a zero-entry pool, you can practice running and diving into the water just as you would in a race start from a beach. You can also practice exiting the water like it’s a beach! Just don’t run completely out of the water and onto the slippery pool deck!

Deep Water Starts

In the deepest side of the lane, move out away from the wall so you are treading water. Lengthen out on your side as if you are claiming your space on the start line. Give a big, strong sidestroke scissor kick to get you started as you pull hard & fast to get up to speed. Sprint halfway down the pool at a race effort, then relax & cruise the rest of the way into the wall. Do several of these in a row to get comfortable with that big starting kick.


These drills are great to do at the end of your swimming workout when you are a little tired because any errors in your stroke will be more obvious! Have fun with them and good luck in your race!

Copyright 2017 , FasCat Coaching

Nadia Sullivan is a Senior Coach at FasCat Coaching Boulder, CO and a lifelong competitive swimmer.  To talk with Nadia or a FasCat Coach about improving your swim, bike, or run, please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. Additionally, check out the Multisport Training Plans for only $49 that Nadia designed!


Coach Nadia Sullivan

Pacing the Bike for the Boulder Half Ironman Age Group Athlete

by Nadia Sullivan, June 2016

This year, the Boulder Half Ironman course was changed to 1 lap of the full course. That means athletes will get a chance to experience the rolling climb up Nelson Road that the 140.6 athletes love so much! And with that rolling climb, there’s a few fast descents and some long false flats to get you back to transition. So what does this mean for your bike pacing on this course? It means you shouldn’t be trying to hold a steady effort the entire way, even if you have the gearing for it!

So how should you ride it? Let’s look at an example male & female mid-pack age group triathlete. We’ll assume they’re on mid-range tri bikes with average wheels & a road bike helmet and we’ll pace them on the course using Best Bike Splits (BBS). To keep things simple, we’re going to say that they are from the area and are therefore adapted to the mile high elevation. Our example male athlete is 170 pounds and riding around an 80% average at 200 watts across the entire course. He may have the gearing to hold 200 watts at an aerobic cadence up the steeper sections of Nelson Road, but that means he may not have the best gearing for the fast descents on Highway 36. Using Best Bike Splits, we can plug in his stats and get a much better idea of where he can push the watts a little more and still maintain that 200 watt average over the course and still be set up for a solid run.

We can see that while a there’s a nice little hill right out of transition, our athlete keeps the effort only a little above his target average at 210 watts. The first jog down the Diagonal Highway is a false flat so he’s cruising below his target average to keep his legs ready for the longer climbs. When he turns back up toward Highway 36, the watts are now at or just above his target average, peaking briefly at 240 watts which is still below his threshold. Niwot Road is another fun false flat so he can get some rest. N.63rd St. has rolling hills so he’ll hit the quick ascents at 200-210 watts & relax on the quick descents. He’ll be spiking the watts shortly after the turn onto Nelson Road where the grade gets steep but he’ll still keep it below threshold and average about 230 watts back up to Highway 36. There’s still some climbing to get the to highest point on the course, but from there he can let his legs relax again and spin around 180 watts all the way down to 73rd St. where the terrain gets a little more interesting again. For the last 5 or 6 miles, he’s back up to his target average pace of 200 watts up the false flat of the Diagonal as he preps for the run.

For an average mid-pack woman at 125lbs, pacing will be very similar: relaxed on the long false flats and just below threshold on Nelson Road. But her time will be slower due to her lower power to weight ratio. Riding at 80% would have her averaging 135 watts, a little more than 1 watt/Kg lower than our example man. She’ll average about 18.5mph to his almost 21mph.

So if you’re racing the Boulder 70.3 this June, plan to take it a little easier on the false flats so you have more in the tank for Nelson Road. Just make sure you keep it below threshold because it’s tempting to stand up & hammer on some of those climbs but you’ll pay for those kinds of efforts on the run.

Good luck & hope to see you out there!

Copyright, 2016, FasCat Coaching

Sign Up for More Tips

Coach Nadia is a multisport endurance coach with FasCat Coaching in Boulder, CO  To inquire about working with Coach Nadia and pacing the bike leg properly of any triathlon, please call 720.406.7444 or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation.