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Joe Friel

Casey--I don't know. Never heard of their metric. Seems every company has something unique.

AJ Thompson

Hey Joe

Got fantastic results with your half Ironman plans - more progress in 3 months than in 3 years of Ironman training/racing.
I'm now using Olympic Build/peak power based plan and need to know what CP power levels (which I've not used before) are in relation to Coogan (which I am very used to). I found some reference above to CP5, CP 30 and CP 60 vs Coogan. Could you tell me CP 1, CP 90 and any others vs Coogan.

Joe Friel

AJ--Does this help...

Coggan’s power zones as a % of FTP/CP60 (Friel HR and CP zones)

PZ1 (HRZ1, CPallday) <55%
PZ2 (HRZ2, CP360)56-75%
PZ3 (HRZ3, CP90) 76-90%
PZ4 (HRZ4-5a, CP60) 91-105%
PZ5 (HRZ5b, CP6) 106-120%
PZ6 (HRZ5c, CP1) 121-150%

AJ Thompson

Thanks Joe - thats exactly what I needed


Hi There,

Thanks for the guide on training with HR. I just had both my running and cycling HR zones tested and they turned out to be exactly the same. I thought the running ones would be higher. Do you have any insight on why this is or experience with athletes who have the same zones for each discipline? I am told it is not usual...


Joe Friel

Tamsin--It _is_ unusual. I've never seen that in 30 years of working with and testing athletes. Some have been close (<5bpm diff) but never the same.

Ary Vilhena


I am about to race Ironman Brazil after a 16 week plan bought from you.

I never did my CP Test for the bike, but I can ride at 180W at my ATHR and keep it for many hours.

What if I start my test and I am pushing too hard and have to reduce my power by the end? Should I consider the average for the test? Should I start with less power and push it little by little?

Joe Friel

Ary - This is really a question that can't be answered without knowing a lot more about you, and, esp, your long rides done at IM power. I'd just be guessing. Sorry I can't be of help here.

Aravind Immaneni

In your book, Your Best Triathlon, you give a second option for doing a FTPw test... where you start 80 watts lower than your approx FTPw and ride 4 min intervals with 1 min rest and steadily increase it by 10 watts until you reach your LTHR. My LTHR is 178. I did this test and the approx power at that HR was 215 watts. I did the test on a CompuTrainer.

My question, does this test usually give a FTPw that is a bit higher than the standard 30 min TT test?



Joe Friel

Aravind Immaneni - Those who have done the test and reported their results on my blog indicated it was quite accurate compared with other more common markers.



How i can find accurate Maximum HR and Aerobic Threshold?

Joe Friel

Rafael--You don't need max heart rate. Use lactate threshold heart rate as explained above.


Do you have any training plans that incorporate the power based zones and workouts from your new book, "The Power Meter Handbook"?
Thanks for your help.

Joe Friel

Chip, yes, go to www.trainingpeaks.com and click on "plans" in top menu.

baris yetkil

A little confused after reading Cyclist Training Bible. Should i divide 30min all out workout by 1.05 to find LTHR. Or take it just as LTHR approximation since it is not a race,it is only a workout?

Joe Friel

Baris--The last 20 minutes of that 30 min time trial effort is a good approximation of your LTHR.

L Springett

Hi joe, thanks for the detailed breakdown.

I'm still a little lost I. That many sites a visit reference your zones but on state 5 zones?is this simply a case that zone five is 5a,b,c combined or that zone four is 4/5a and zone 5 is 5b/5c

For example,strava calls zone four (threshold) and zone 5 (anaerobic), so my thinking is leaning more to the later when trying to set my zones on their.

Thanks in advanced and merry Xmas :-)

Joe Friel

L Springett--In my zone system z5 is anaerobic. So 5a, 5b, and 5c are often clumped together.


Hi Joe,

I am not sure I understand it correctly. If one is not supposed to use the 220 - age, how do you select which zones are right to begin with? In other words: Which heart rate zones are appropriate to use, when you are determining your lactate threshold?
I mean, most heart rate monitors are using 220 - age, but that you cannot use, according to you.

regards Karsten

Joe Friel

Karsten--Yes, that's correct: Forget about 220-age. The research shows it could be +/-12 bpm off. That's a 24 bpm swing. Not too accurate, huh? Find your lactate threshold HR (LTHR) as described above. Then use the table for your sport (bike or run) multiplying by the percentages to set up your zones. Note that they vary by sport. Good luck!

Alex Lau

Hi Joe -

I ran your LTHR test last night, avg HR for the last 20 minutes was 188bpm.

Split 1
Time: 10:01.9
Distance: 1.50
Avg Pace: 6.39
Avg HR: 169bpm
Max HR: 182bpm

Split 2
Time: 20.00
Distance: 2.97
Avg Pace: 6.43
Avg HR: 188bpm
Max HR: 193bpm

With a resting HR of 62bpm. From my TrainingPeaks acct, I auto calculated my" Joe Friel for Running (7)" zones as:

Threshold: 188 bpm
Zone 1: Recovery 124to159bpm
Zone 2: Aerobic 160to170bpm
Zone 3: Tempo 171to179bpm
Zone 4: SubThreshold 180to187bpm
Zone 5A: SuperThreshold 188to191bpm
Zone 5B: Aerobic Capacity 192to199bpm
Zone 5C: Anaerobic Capacity 200to208bpm

As I had calculated my zones before using Digifit's tool, these 85% of LTHR are much higher than what I've been running, but they do make a hell of a lot of sense to me. My original zones had Z2 130-143bpm and Z3 as 143-165bpm.

Original Calculations - http://www.digifit.com/heartratezones/training-zones.asp?MaxHR=193&Age=41&RHR=62

My question is, my zones just seem so much higher than most. I'm not a lifelong runner, started 3-4 years ago. I run marathons, triathlons, cycling, etc... I'm in great shape, but my zones are always higher than everyone else. Is that just "how I'm wired"?

Are these zones basically set in stone? My understanding is that I'll be able to influence them a bit but that they probably won't change a whole lot.

Thanks again, this info is huge. Now I just need to rest up for your Cycling Training zones + Power.


Joe Friel

Alex Lau--Please read this... http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2011/03/high-heart-rate-questions/comments/page/2/

Lukasz Bajda

Hi Joe
Have a question regarding LTHR. I recently did fitness testing on univeristy lab, where they took blood samples while I was excersizing and all that and results were as follow:

- My Blood Lactate Threshold (so the point when lactate first came up in my blood sample) was identified at 170 BPM
- Lactate Turnpoint (point when lactate reached the highest level) at 193 BPM.
- My Max HR is 203.

Now I wonder which of these two would be actuall LTHR you described? 170 sound a bit low for me, as Ive no problem cycling for over 2h with Avg HR around 170 or over. So would it be 191? I'm a bit confused here with the whole "lactate threshold" naming and it wasnt properly explained to me during testing.

Joe Friel

Lukasz Bajda--It's probably the 193. The problem I see is that is awfully closed to your MaxHR. So either your physiology is unique or one of these is off a bit. I'd confirm it by doing a solo time trial as described in this blog post.

Mike Beadle

Hi Joe,

I do my own blood lactate testing and use 4 mmol/l as my turn point to set HR training zones.

So at 4 mmol/l my HR is 150 bpm. Then I use you're Bike LTHR zones (below) to set my HR zones. Can I still use these percentages for power? My power threshold at 4mmol/l was 245 watts? if I used these percentages for power it would mean my zone 5c (106%) would be 260 watts which seems to low for zone 5c. So should I be using different percentages for my power threshold?

I know about the 20 minute FTP test. But I prefer to do the blood lactate test and then be able to set me power zones from that.


Bike Zones
Zone 1 Less than 81% of LTHR
Zone 2 81% to 89% of LTHR
Zone 3 90% to 93% of LTHR
Zone 4 94% to 99% of LTHR
Zone 5a 100% to 102% of LTHR
Zone 5b 103% to 106% of LTHR
Zone 5c More than 106% of LTHR

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