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Jay Talbott


Nice group of articles. Maybe an article about how Jeannie Longo prepped for the TT yesterday at age 52. Maybe come up with a catchy magazine title and condense it into an article for a magazine. Something like:
Practice speed to keep it speedy.


Joe Friel

Hi Jay--Thanks. Yeah, I'd like to know more about her physiology and training also. Anyone out there have a source of such for Longo?



This has been a great series for me (age 54). An x-runner, replaced with cycling 7 years ago due to an achilles tendonitis problem and got hooked. I'm starved for more age-based training info and hope you do follow through with a book. Question: For us older athletes, any harm (or extra benefit) with doing a weekly Zone 4 workout (such as your 10-8-6-4 pacing workout described in your May 20,2008 post)throughout the off-season and through the Base periods?


Joe Friel

Hi Jeff--Thanks for your comment. Physiologically I don't see any reason why you couldn't do sub-anaerobic threshold workouts year round. For some it may become mental drudgery. It would for me. I like somewhat less structured workout intensities in the early base period especially. But if you enjoy such training then it's ok.

Peter Karlsson

Joe, many thanks for your blog, superb info, I'll buy your book when you're ready. Until then, could you possibly give some feedback?

I've just started training my aerobic system (3 months) at the age of 40, after almost never before in my life. I've been active though, lifting weights for 20+ years, and enjoying bicycles since child age, just not training on them.

I've bought an old cheap tempo bike with a power/pulse meter on it, love it! I'm doing 2 aerobic workouts/week, plus some usual weight training. It's laidback. Sometimes bike+run at once.

Now, my rest pulse is maybe weird? Between 31-38 when starting out, not measured it since then. I've done some max pulse tests, reached 181 at most, both bike and run, don't think I can get it higher.

When starting out 3 months ago, I could maintain 160/89% for an hour maybe, and 170/93% maybe a minute; a total pain. Now I'm at 170/93% for half an hour during an hour workout, feeling good. I get "decoupling" (I think) at that level; running pace starting out at about 15 km/h, going down to 13 km/h.

Watts average about 230W over 20 km @ 38 km/h, 168/92%, everything roughly, pretty flat roads.

Does this tell you anything I should know? Any advice? Am my rest pulse something to be alarmed about? I'm not getting dizzy, I feel good.

Many thanks Joe /Peter, Sweden

Ali Edwards

Thanks for more great insight Joe,

In regards to VO2 work - where I race the standard distance for a Masters TT(my main goal) is 20km(12.5mi) so usually 25-28mins on courses with short climbs of 1 - 3 mins. I usually do 2xL4 sessions a week in Build 1 then 1xL4 and 1xL5(VO2 Max)session a week in Build 2 figuring power will always be around 10 percent higher on the climbs and thus VO2 work should help. Does this make sense or would you think perhaps to reverse this with 1xL5 and 1xL4 sessions in Build 1, and 2xL4 sessions(around CP30) in Build 2.



gwendolyn oguin

Hi Joe: this series was just great.Not unlike yourself the years are adding up but I would like to say that I am still beating my younger 30-40 yo in TTs and winning my age group. Would love to see a new book on this topic, we have so much to learn. I feel a portion of aging and slowing is mental probably to a point...but which point. Hope you are well, Hello to Joyce.

Jim Wade

Joe, Thanks for this series. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am looking forward to your new book. I began as a runner and at age 60 switched to alternating running with cycling every other day. I used your Cycling Past 50 book as my bible to integrate cycling into my routine.

Now that I am pushing 70 I am more focused on being able to maintain my fitness and be able to function as well as I can now as I age, rather than to try to compete. Although, I do schedule races, even if I may not enter them, to set goals and get me out the door. I also try to incorporate weight training, core exercises, flexibility exercises, etc. into my routine to attain this.

Time to go do some cruise intervals


Jeanine Murphy-Morris

Joe -

Being 50 now, I read your excellent articles with much interest. I dabbled with half-iron distance triathlons this year, and while I enjoy the excuse to go slower, I want to be more competitive at short races next year. How about us older wanna-be speed demons? I hope your book addresses us as well.


Joe Friel

HI Jeanine--Thanks. I agree and have no intention of writing a book just to tell people how to race slowly. No fun in that. The blog post discussed this point quite a bit because that is what we older folk tend to do - go slow. It wasn't meant to suggest that's what everyone should do.

Joe Friel

Hi Gwendolyn--Thanks! Hope you're well.

Joe Friel

Ali--I think that's great. Keep it up.

Joe Friel

Peter--Thanks for your comment. Don't be concerned with HR. It varies considerably between people. My book Total Heart Rate Training discusses this variability and the inaccuracy of a formula for predicting what it should be when maximal. Low resting HRs are generally a good thing also. Keep doing pretty much what you are doing now. It appears to be working well.


Hi Joe, and thanks for the excellent series! I´m still 40 (tomorrow!) but keeping an eye on the subject already, great topic. I´ve been riding consistently for 25 yrs and racing competitively in road cycling for the last 6 or 7 and I love your blog.

I´m coming from a 3 week RR period after an eventfull season (lots of races and a nice L´Ètape du Tour in July which I finished in 7:20), and I was wondering if you think it´s OK for me to go back to VO² intervals right away or if I should do some kind of base training. Perhaps just a few adapting miles before upping the intensity in a more structured way? I´m already riding 5-6 times a week but only enjoying and "feeling" myself so far.

I´ve got 3 important and long races with lots of climbing and I enjoyed great fitness training with plenty of intensity work early this yr. I´ve gained only 2 or 4 pounds but I feel I´ve lost a little endurance and anaerobic capacity. I don´t want to burn myself out and I´ve got 5-7 weeks before those races but I´m uncertain about the best strategy for the rest of 2010 (middle-age crisis perhaps?).

Thanks for the blog and best of luck!

Joe Friel

Alex--Thanks for your comment. I'm working on a blog post now which I think may answer your question. But if not let me know. Check back in a day or so.

Darren Knight

Hi Joe. I have your triathlon bible which I flick through almost every night and also have Going Long which you co-wrote with Gordo Byrn. I have completed 3 sub 11hr Ironmans (5 total) all self coached thanks to your book. My question is do you propose say 2 blocks of Build and then finish off with a Base block (or 2) after that where you increase overall volume again when peaking for an Ironman or marathon. For example: Base 1, Base 2, Build 1, Build 2, Base 3, Peak, Race. With that final Base 3 a quality workout midweek with your "race pace" session on the weekend incorporating plenty of Zone 3 (rather than 4) with Z4 midweek. Hope question isnt too long! Thanks

Joe Friel

Darren--Yes, it could be done many different ways including the ones you suggest here. When it comes to IM there is little difference between Base and Build. The key, as always, is to make training more like the race the closer you get to the race. What you call it is really immaterial.



As a 38 yr old Cat 2 who trains with power, I am seeing consistent progress in my power profile despite the aging process. It is my hypothesis that, since I have yet to achieve my potential, I should not anticipate a decline in fitness despite the aging process because my improvement potential more than offsets the erosion from the aging process.

All of the above is predicated on a solid training plan with the appropriate intensity discussed in your blog, etc.

Tell me I am not too optimistic. After being whooped by Thurlow Rogers at the Boulevard road race last year, I figure I can't use age as an excuse!

Joe Friel

Mike--You know you're old the first time you use age as an excuse. :)

My experience has been that athletes improve their performances for about 10 years after they start serious training. The first 3 years or so is primarily due to rapidly changing physical capacity. The next 7 or so is primarily due to wisdom regarding training and racing. After about 5 years the improvements become increasingly smaller and more difficult to achieve every year.


Thanks for another great post. At age 49, after two years of cycling (and not much athletically before that), I had my VO2 max measured twice in a lab setting. The first was 67 and two months later was 69. Using your estimates of VO2 Max deterioration with age, it would seem that in my younger days my VO2 Max would have been, or could have been, in the mid-80s which seems awfully high. If true, instead of my misspent youth, I "coulda been a contender"-- or is it possible for VO2 Max to remain pretty static with age. Or is there something I am missing? Thanks.

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