Personal Profiling

Personal Profiling identifies your current ‘triathlon numbers’ in swimming, cycling and running. These numbers will then give you your training zones, that will then ensure that whichever of my training plans you’re using then become personal to you.

Performance Profiling

Performance profiling is working out your triathlon strengths & weaknesses, which can then be used to guide your focus and energy output for training e.g. if you’re a weak swimmer, you will need to focus your energy on improving your swim.

Time to test yourself


Below I have given you all the information required to work out your ‘triathlon numbers’ and have included a video showing you how to input your training zones into the Training Peaks platform where my training plans are managed.

After you’ve done your testing have a look at the Training Peaks info video below to set-up your training zones to get the most from my training plans.

Click on the + sign next to the test you want to find out more about.

Swim Profiling

This can be done in any pool but a 25 or 50m pool is best.

Warm-up (see swim warm up video):

10 – 15 minutes, then from a dive or from a push start (some pool s will not allow diving), so long as you record if it was dive or push and you replicate that the next time you test.

Then complete a 200m-swim building to just above the pace you will try to swim your 400m at (get a feel for your pace judgment).

Finally, make sure you are recovered and ready to swim the main test swim.

What to record:

Time taken to complete the 400m swim.
If you can, it’s good to record each 100m split (to see if you go off fast and then fade).

Bike Profiling

What if I don’t have a power meter?

1. You can do the same test on a gym/ Watt bike with power
2. You can do a 10mile time trial (conditions need to be similar each time)
3. You can set you bike zones based on your maximum heart rate (220 – your age = you maximum theoretical hear rate) or on your rate of perceived exertion (RPE).

Go through the bike warm up and replicate the same warm up each time you test yourself.

NB: Make sure your power meter is calibrated.

If you are carrying out this test live (outside on your bike), the course needs to be flat (don’t want any free wheeling) or a continuous climb (you do not want to be stopped by traffic/ lights etc).

Once you are warmed up, do your best 20-minute effort.

Also record:
• Average heart rate
• Maximum heart rate
• Average cadence
• Average speed
• Average power
• Left / right balance
• Normalized Power

Be sure to get in an easy 20 – 30 min cool down too recover.

Once you finish your ride you need to find out what your ave power was for the 20mins and subtract 5% from it… this is your FTP and what you should be able to sustain for 1hr.

In order to work out where you stand in the world of endurance bike riding, you now need to work out your power to weight ratio in Function Threshold (FT). We measure our FT using a functional threshold test (FTP) over 20mins, this will give you you 1hr time trial time. To reduce the physiological/ psychological drop off rate that is associated with a test indoors, we do the test over 20mins and then subtract 5%.

Get your weight in Kg’s, divide this number by your ave wattage numbers from the 20min FT.

75kg male holds 300 watts for 20mins – subtract 5% = 285 divided by 75 = 3.8 w/kg = Moderate cyclist

Classification Males WKG 

  1. World Class (International Pro)  5.9 – 6.4
  2. Exceptional (Domestic Pro)         5.4 – 5.8
  3. Excellent (1st Cat)                          4.9 – 5.3
  4. Very Good (2nd Cat)                     4.3 – 4.8
  5. Good (3rd Cat)                               3.7 – 4.2
  6. Moderate                                         3.2 – 3.6
  7. Fair                                                   2.6 – 3.1
  8. Time to Train!                                2.1 – 2.5

Classification Females WKG

  1. World Class (International Pro) 5.2 – 5.6
  2. Exceptional (Domestic Pro) 4.7 – 5.2
  3. Excellent (1st Cat) 4.3 – 4.7
  4. Very Good (2nd Cat) 4.8 – 4.2
  5. Good (3rd Cat) 3.2 – 4.7
  6. Moderate 2.7 – 3.1
  7. Fair 2.2 – 2.6
  8. Time to Train! 1.7 – 2.1

There are two ways to improve your power to weight ratio 1. lose weight or 2. Get stronger on the bike.

Run Profiling

This test is best done on a 400m running track, however it can be done using any device that records distance.

If using the track, place cones at every 50m between the 100m markers, so recording your distance is more accurate.

Have an idea in your head the sort of pace you think you would like to run at, because if you can physically run 90 sec per 100 and you go off at 80 sec per 100 you will fail to reach your distance as you will blow up.

As with all time trials, it is a great way to learn about pace judgment.

When to re-test


Once you have worked out your base personal profiling it then becomes a fine balancing act as to when to re-test. The body needs to be well rested prior to re-testing. You need to replicate the same conditions (if it’s windy on the track last time that needs to be recorded and taken into consideration).

That said, prior to going into your preparation phase, you need to know that you’ve pushed your number up and that you’re hitting the time/pace/power required for your current fitness levels. If you’re a seasoned athlete and you’re looking to compare results year-on-year you need to also make sure that you test at the same time of the year.

Inputting your Training Zones


Now you have a clear understanding of your ‘triathlon numbers’ you could just write down those numbers on a piece of paper in your diary etc. Or, with my training plan that you’ve download, we give you the option to input your training zones into the plan using Training Peaks.

Inputting your training zones into Training Peaks is not a necessity, however, it’s a cool thing to have linked in. This video from Training Peaks will take you through the steps of how to do it.

Performance Profiling


Analysis of your current Triathlon status

You can add as many segments to your profiling charts as you feel fit. Below you will see 12 key areas for analysis of your current triathlon status.

Level L1 = poor – to L10 = best in your age group/ class.

1. Swim (Back 1 – 3 / mid 4 – 7 / front of pac 8 – 10)
2. Bike (Back 1 – 3 / mid 4 – 7 / front of pac 8 – 10)
3. Run (Back 1 – 3 / mid 4 – 7 / front of pac 8 – 10)
4. Strength (are you strong enough?)
5. Injury rate/ robustness (are you always injured?)
6. Psychology (lots of different areas here but do you feel mentally strong?)
7. Transition (fast & smooth compared to your peers?)
8. Nutrition (do you eat well/ healthy?)
9. Lifestyle (do you rest well, are you stressed, do you socialise? Are you happy?)
10. Technology (Is it helping of hindering you?)
11. Bloods (look at iron, Hematocrit, magnesium, zinc)
12. Physiological (Vo2max, lactate, economy, fat consumption)

Sign-up to my newsletter to get a free copy of my Profiling and Goal Setting spreadsheet shown above.

What you chose to profile is down to you, as you will see it is a great way to ensure you are continuously working on your weaknesses, and positively moving forward.


Once you have gone through profiling & know your current level, you can follow it up later in your career by breaking down individual disciplines, e.g Swim:

1. First buoy pace
2. Rounding buoys
3. Staying on feet
4. Sighting
5. Pace judgment
6. Endurance
7. Robustness
8. Getting out of trouble in open water
9. Exiting water
10. Running to bike

‘One of the biggest breakthroughs an athlete can have is when they honestly and critically analyse their performance’.