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Preseason Project


The Preseason Project (PSP) is a season-long triathlon training study that measures the incremental performance gains achieved through TriDot's triathlon training optimization.  Actual training and race data are used to determine triathlon race ability improvement between athletes who used TriDot and those who didn't (the "Baseline").

The 2017 Preseason Project comprised 3,332 athletes!  The project gets its name from the time of the season it kicks off--the "preseason" which is about 4-5 months before the race season starts.

Result Highlights

The 2017 season results are as follows:

  • TriDot users improved an average of 1:01:02 more than the Baseline athletes at the FULL IRON distance.
  • TriDot users improved an average of 27:19 more than the Baseline athletes at the HALF IRON distance. 
  • TriDot users were 2.5 times LESS likely to DNF (Did Not Finish) than Baseline athletes.  (2.8% compared to 7.1%)
  • TriDot users improved 8.6x more than self-coached athletes.
  • TriDot users improved 2.3x more than coached athletes (without TriDot).

Improvement Comparison

The season-to-date results show the following performance ability improvements between TriDot and Baseline athletes.  Times in parenthesis signify improvement or faster splits.  Times not in parenthesis signify loss of performance ability or slower splits.

Full Iron Improvements

Group Participants DNFs Swim Bike Run Total vs. TriDot   Weeks of Training
TriDot 106 6 (0:14:29) (0:48:02) 0:37:49 (0:24:42)     33.1
Baseline 406 28 (0:10:48) (0:08:22) 0:55:30 0:36:20 1:01:02 less improvement than TriDot 24.1

     Total Participants:  512
     Full Iron Events: 12

Half Iron Improvements

Group Participants DNFs Swim Bike Run Total vs. TriDot   Weeks of Training
TriDot 147 1 (0:05:08) (0:20:18) 0:05:08 (0:20:19)     23.0
Baseline 445 32 (0:02:43) (0:04:41) 0:14:25 0:07:01 0:27:19 less improvement than TriDot 23.8

     Total Participants:  592
     Half Iron Events: 20


"Baseline" is all participants who did not use TriDot.
The difference between TriDot and Baseline improvements would have been even greater if the DNFs had actually posted finish times.  DNFs were tabulated as no time.

Improvement Comparison by Training Design Option

The following chart shows average performance improvement over a 16-week training period for 70.3 athletes using the following training design options: 1) Self Designed, 2) Purchased (custom designed, without ongoing coaching), 3) Coach Designed and Monitored (non-TriDot), and 4) TriDot's Optimized Training.


TriDot produced 28:13 performance improvement at the Half Iron distance over 16-week training period which compares to other training design options as follows:

  • 8.6 times more improvement than athletes using Self-Designed training - 3:16
  • 2.9 times more improvement than athletes using Purchased training (custom designed, without ongoing coaching) - 9:35
  • 2.3 times more improvement than athletes using Coach Designed and Monitored training - 12:01

Before and After Race Ability

Half Iron Distance

  Initial Race Split Ability   Actual Race Splits
Group Swim Bike Run Total   Swim Bike Run Total
TriDot 0:47:05 3:11:17 2:10:09 6:08:31   0:41:57 2:50:59 2:15:16 5:48:12
Baseline 0:47:19 3:10:46 2:10:21 6:08:26   0:44:35 3:06:05 2:24:46 6:15:27


Full Iron Distance

  Initial Race Split Ability   Actual Race Splits
Group Swim Bike Run Total   Swim Bike Run Total
TriDot 1:35:14 6:53:34 4:24:31 12:53:19   1:20:45 6:05:31 5:02:21 12:28:37
Baseline 1:34:46 6:38:55 4:18:09 12:31:51   1:23:58 6:30:34 5:13:40 13:08:11


Participant Qualification Criteria

Participating athletes met the following qualification criteria:

  • Completed at least one triathlon of any distance (don't want to include easy 'beginner gains')
  • Had an Olympic, Half, or Full planned for 2017 season
  • Didn't have a triathlon planned before April
  • Hadn't used TriDot in prior six months
  • Not a professional triathlete or triathlon coach (focus is age-group athletes)


Below is a high-level description of how participant data was captured and analyzed.

  1. Initial assessments were captured for swim (400m), bike (15mile or 25k), and run (5k or 10k).
  2. Assessment results were Environment Normalized based on the elevation, temperature, humidity, etc...
  3. Normalized assessment values were used to compute Functional Threshold abilities.
  4. Functional Threshold abilities were used to compute normalized Initial Race Abilities for swim, bike, and run at the half- and full-iron distances.
  5. Actual race results were captured following each event.
  6. Actual race results were Environment Normalized based on the event's elevation, temperature, humidity, and elevation gains.
  7. Normalized Initial Race Abilities were compared to Normalized Actual Results for each race by each athlete to determine Performance Improvement.
  8. Performance Improvements of each Preseason Project cohort was compared to the others. i.e.  TriDot vs Baseline (non-TriDot); athletes who trained on their own, athletes who hired a non-TriDot coach, athletes who purchased a template plan, etc.

Prior Preseason Project Studies

Prior Preseason Project studies were conducted in 2011 and 2013.  (See 2013 Results Summary.)

<< 2018 Preseason Project Application >>