Not so fast…unless you want the suffering , then i would say if you can estimate how much further you could progress the sessions you did, then you could work back from there (what you think the end point would be) and work out target numbers from that. These days, I find checking my breathing and how many syllables i can speak, works fine. The thing with having an FTP for the TT bike is, are you setting up a mental limitation as to how far you can go? But like i said, you get into opinion, rather than facts. Am I right to assume that Doug no longer coaches you?
The one other thing i can think of to improve your position (not technically) would be to add a bottle between the bars (assuming it’s allowed) as it fills in the gap between your arms and would also help hide the garmin. You don’t have to actually drink from it during the race (or even fill it up!)
For the triathlon, I think it’s not hard to guess that for someone who couldn’t swim more than 25m freestyle before dying from lack of oxygen when he started, that that remains the problem. Also, for such an adult style learner, you get the problem of changes of pace. I can run/cycle at many speeds depending on condition, but swimming is just all-out and normal pace - if i try to go slower, i just get inefficient, and it would probably take me just as much effort to try and swim like that, given the extra time it would take. So at the moment, i just hope i have enough to complete the distance.
Easy solution is to swim more, but then you get into the scheduling, and motivation issue.
Scheduling - it’s not part of the commute like cycling or running (i often cycle for a bit, get off, and run/push the bike), and it’s not something i can do at home or from home. (I should try stretch cords)
Motivation - swimming in a 25m pool is not that exciting/interesting, so hard to do more than 2x a week with any regularity.
And yes, stimulating a race is hard, as whilst i’m used to cycling then running, persuading yourself to go to the pool, then come out and cycle in your wet clothes isn’t so easy…plus you really have to take the car to do that, and there’s nowhere really safe or non-stop to ride 40km from the pools in town. (I run to the pool, swim, then cycle home, but not non-stop). Even if you go to the triathlon practices at the beach, it is finish the swim, take off wetsuit, rinse it, have a slow change, something to eat/drink…so no real race simulation.
Anyway, for this year, it doesn’t matter - 2 bouts of bronchitis meaning no swimming for 2 months this winter, and then shingles, which has left a kinda residual fatigue (first swim for a month this week), so taking it at a steady pace, or the fatigue might resurface (the only interval sessions i do, are the breaks in between the easy efforts, but getting more energy back), so not taking this year seriously. Signed up for the same race i did last year in June, so see how it goes.