The Top 3 Triathlon Metrics Most Triathletes Ignore But Shouldn’t – Part I

Swimming, biking, and running without the use of metrics may produce some improvements for the triathlete in training, but only to a moderate extent. If there’s one thing that’s been proven in the sport of triathlon, it’s that aimless training is substantially inefficient.

Ultimately, numbers do have meaning. Their trends and patterns offer invaluable insight.

The more triathletes can correctly interpret and utilize data, the more likely they are to reach their full potential. However, the sport produces so much data! How do you know which metrics are the most important?

It’s probably easier to answer this question by looking at three key metrics triathletes shouldn’t ignore:  Functional Threshold, Bike-to-Run Factor (B2R) and Race Execution Percentage (or RaceX %). These metrics offer tremendous training benefits. Here’s why:

Functional Threshold

Functional Threshold, for the purposes of this blog post, is a fairly broad term.  What we’re talking about is similar to lactate threshold (LT) and functional threshold power (FTP). 

LT refers to an intensity in which lactic acid begins to accumulate in your blood stream and is produced faster than you can clear it. FTP, on the other hand, is the highest average power you can maintain for a given period of time, which has been widely accepted as 60 minutes and this value is used more often in cycling. 

In both threshold values, staying below the LT or FTP intensity means maintaining a physiological steady state and allowing for more sustainable energy. The athlete’s goal, obviously, is to increase these thresholds so he or she can finish the required distance faster and with less effort.

TriDot determines an athlete’s Functional Threshold (FT) via field tests, which are in the form of time trials for each discipline: Swim, bike and run. These assessments reveal an athlete’s threshold heart rate, power, and pace, which are the basis for an athlete’s TriDot score in each discipline.

By linking this threshold data with your TriDot Score and physiological data (“Physifactors”), TriDot delivers a superior triathlon metric, which focuses your training on the disciplines that will offer the greatest potential for improvement.

Tomorrow, we’ll discuss the next triathlon metric most triathletes are ignoring but shouldn’t: Bike-to-Run Factor (B2R). Stay tuned!


TriDot’s predictive analytics approach ensures you account for functional threshold, one of the three key triathlon metrics often ignored by triathletes, to ensure you have the best race day performance possible. 


What other triathlon metrics have you seen triathletes ignore that they really shouldn’t?

JARED MILAM is a professional triathlete, TriDot coach, and member of the Tri4Him Pro Team. He has 16 years of competitive running experience and 11 years of competitive triathlon experience with a half Iron PR of 3:59 and a full Iron PR of 8:30. Coaching under the TriDot system since 2011, Jared loves working with aspiring triathletes of all ages and performance levels.

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