Sub 13 in 2021

Okay if I’d had any balls I would’ve started this thread when I set the 2021 goal, but I don’t and race day is seven weeks away, I hope, October, crap, 3rd.

From CoachCox, IM Barcelona 2019, Average m45-49

S 1h12
B 5h26
R 4h27

My performance from 2020

Half: 2h37 virtual bike 203W, Run 2h10
Full: swim 1h09, 5h44m Virtual bike 176Np/157ap, Run 5h59

From 2019
Full: 1h06 swim, 6h37 bike 167np/146ap, Run 6h30
Full: 1h09 swim, 8h31 bike 156np/135ap, Run 5h39

In 2021 I’ve only done 2x Olympic and a sprint, but both I think indicate I’ve improved a bit all-round and reflect the my average training week is up by a couple of hours on 2020 and stellar by comparison to 2019 and before. 241np/242ap at the London olympic and I ran comfortably/easily until the sprint finish.

So, working backwards this is going to be all about the run and another 6hr marathon ain’t going to cut it. I won’t miss that last hour at all, either. I need to be seeing 5h at worst, 4h30 at best.

Bike, I don’t really know the course and BBS hasn’t been a good for guide, so really I just need to settle on a reasonable target power - do I go with last years 176np which felt hard, 190 which could be possible, or ease off a bit? Under 6hrs would be good enough and get me potentially closer to 12h.

Swim, I think another 1h09 is conservative.

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I think being more conservative on the bike would be best.

In general, I think there is a tendency to get an FTP figure from a ramp test or 20 min effort and working out IM power target from that. The person rides to that power then has a poor, or poorer than expected, run and cannot see why. IMO your more likely to get too high an FTP from those short tests and the error is compounded with the IM power calculation. Ramp is a MAP test, so why people do it for FTP I really don’t know.


Are you doing Barcelona? If so, it’s a fast bike, and with a reputation for the D-word. So. you might find your time is tidy, based purely on it being fast, and you may not be able to avoid getting an advantage here or there in packs?

Like you say, it’s all about the run. Get a good run/walk strategy!


Was going to say similar. Always see quick bike times from Barca.

Play the bike safe, don’t go as quick as perhaps you ‘could’ and keep your powder dry for the run. Surely even in October the temperature will be in the low 20s and may be a shock to the system.

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I guess because evidence across thousands of athletes has shown it is as good approximation as any. But that’s going off topic!

Completely agree with this. I’d never contemplate re-testing in the lead up to a race and then suddenly shifting race power goals. I’ll test early season to see how I’m fairing versus prior years, and then use the key phases of the build to extend out the duration of holding target power goals I have for race day. And as part of that process I’ll infer along the way as to whether those goals are realistic or not.

Ultimately, in terms of the key question, I think being conservative is key as everyone else has said. The time gained on the bike for 1 or 2 more percentage points in IF is minimal. But if it’s a fraction too high, the impact on the run can cost you bucket loads. When the potential range in run is anywhere from 4:30-6:00, I would think you need to be riding with the sole goal of getting as close to that 4:30 time as you can. Even soft pedalling the whole way around on a fast flat course isn’t going to cost an hour and a half in the bike split


Yeah I’ve ‘ratified’ my FTP with 1hr/40TT on the turbo, a variety of activities support my score but I’m think of power numbers I’ve put out rather than ftp percentages at the moment.

Hopefully the course will make it easier to hold steady power than other courses I’ve done.

I do have a penchant for testing prep, so I could do a 90km virtual bike on the Barcelona Rouvy course at 220W, then see if I can break 2h on a 21.1km run. That would indicate I can do 190W bike and 4.5h run

I could also simulate/sabotage the IM run at Brighton Marathon, 3 weeks before IM Barcelona either trying for a 3h45 or a 4.5h run/walk…:grin:

Personally, I’ve always derived my target IM power from my 100 mile training rides on my TT bike (around 4 of them). Based on a course with a similar profile (if not the surface!).#

220w is quite a high number given your goals; what w/kg (and IF) is that?

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I did 0.89 for the last Olympic.

That’s for half distance sim yeah, 0.81-0.84 depending on what my FTP is at the time.

190W would be 0.7-0.73 for full.

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So what’s a good one? :sweat_smile:. I always planned walk breaks because I’ve never ran a marathon anyway, usually 9min run 1 min walk, although I tried 5mins run 30s walk at Lanza. Eventually I am fucked whatever I do.

At Switzerland I gave up the scheduled breaks and just continuous running until the aid stations, got a stone in my shoe and got shocking cramps trying to get it out - walked the next 10km before trying to jog again. 6h30.

In the virtual Kona last year I’m struggling to remember but I think I ran the first 10km continuous, aid station was my house then in the second loop of 10km my left leg started to blow up going up a steep hill (my stupid route choice) then I descended into a fearful protect-the-leg mode…5h59

My longest run this year is a few 2hr runs, my longest brick will be later this week 4h + 1h.

Year to date, my weekly training volume is up from 8hrs/week to 10hrs/week, so +25% :slight_smile: but my run volume only averages at 2h45 where I was hoping for more like 3.5 - 4hrs. That said, I am faster.

Fellrnr was created a chart for Run/Walk strategies from Jeff Galloway method:

Unfortunately it’s in miles, so my conversions say for a 4h30 marathon run at 5:20/km for 2.5 mins walk for 60s is that a good strategy?

I could try that at Brighton mara or go a bit harder, say target a 3h45 mara which is 4:40/km for 4mins then 60s walking?

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I would ask someone like @Poet , as he has planned to do his IM marathons like this on many occasions iirc. I on the other hand, plan to jog the whole thing, then end-up getting cramp and have to walk some of it!

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I had a planned run/walk strategy, and had practiced in my long training runs. I was doing 3k run, 20-30s walk, so pretty aggressive versus a more traditional 9:1. The reason I did it was simply because walking through every other aid station seemed like a good idea anyway, so I got the benefit of not getting coke and other sticky crap all over myself, plus had the upside of the run/walk philosophy.

I think the two key points are:

  1. Do it right from the start. Just because you feel good early on and maybe don’t think you need to walk at that point, that’s exactly why you should. The point is to stave off the slow down as long as possible. It also breaks the run up. Thinking only a short block of time ahead until your next walk break makes time pass so much more quickly.

  2. You’re still going to be limited by your bike, and the nutrition you took on board there. I don’t know what you have done, or feel you are capable of, in an open marathon, but blowing up regularly to 6:00-6:30 marathons when you’re hoping for something starting with a 4 indicates to me that something isn’t quite right there on that front.


0.7 IF on bike is a good target, drink/eat, eat and eat some more while on the bike, it will make the run a whole lot nicer. 190w NP in Barcelona I guess will be sub 5h30

I have never walked in an IM Marathon, my first in Vichy I did run very slowly to a 4h20m. I think you should aim to run 6:30/km pace and walk the aid stations

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I think the thing to bear in mind is that designed short walk breaks have almost no bearing on your overall race time. What’s the killer is multiple minutes in a row walking. That’s what you need to avoid. I’ve been there in a standalone marathon, and you haemorrhage time so quickly if you reach that point.

As an example, this was my pace chart from Copenhagen. This indicates at least 17 walk breaks, and I still ran a 3:25. So you can still run “fast” (whatever that means for you) with a whole load of short and targeted walk breaks mixed in there.


I’m getting the hang of walk breaks in training recently because of trying to rehab my achilles issues but before that I really struggled to overcome the ego issues of being seen walking when all kitted out


Totally get that. Which is where the aid stations are helpful. Walking through there is both internally and externally more “justifiable”, not that it should really matter but I get that it does.

Thats why in my chart above, they’re a little bit sporadically spaced out, as I was walking aid stations whenever they cropped up. Early on it was every other one, but later on I upped it to nearly all of them.

I did also walk the hill by the fountain on the last lap. I vividly remember thinking about various @Toyota_Crown posts talking about slow jogging up steeper inclines achieving nothing but causing more fatigue, and I happily bargained with myself I was allowed to walk up that so long as I started running again at the crest


It took me a while - esp when that first break is just 9 mins from home.
But I really started to embrace it after a while. Broke long runs up no end.
I used the breaks to take nutrition every 3rd walk and sip of water on the other 2. Stretch out anything that was starting to play up.
I ended up enjoying long runs having previously found them a chore. I also found I had so much less fatigue from them.


Run 9 minutes easy
Walk 1 minute

I did all of my 30km runs using that this year.
HR barely came out of Z1 and pace was 4:48/km

0.7 IF for Outlaw bike, soft pedalled most of it.
Just didn’t get enough calories/CHO on board, due to dropping my bottle and their water tasting RANK.

Something hit me at 20km on the run, got chest pains, already 7 minutes behind target, humidity was stifling. Started just walking.
Came home on 4:17?

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as opposed to the ego issues of being seen walking because you are so totally fecked in the last part of the marafun that you have no other option :sweat_smile:


a) you are effectively already doing a R W strategy by sensibly walking thru the aid stations :+1:
b) you are being far too specific to you, who is obviously pretty fast: in between the walk breaks or aid stations, you should aim to run at a steady sustainable easy pace (or to a steady HR), whatever that may be for you!


Can’t really say why but I think 5:20-5:40/km is my good form/easy pace.

Maybe I should film myself running and have a look. Can’t remember the last time I saw myself running.

Is it better to do a continual run at Brighton, do a run walk, or not go at all? …I know I’d be better off not going at all but I think I am, and I want some kind of guidance from it for the IM three weeks later. :man_facepalming: