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Hi Joe,

I completed my first IM in Aug and I have already signed up for IMKY 2011. With 10 months to train, how should I structure my training plan? Should I do back to back cycles of base training or would you suggest a different approach? My current plan is: transition - build - build - base - peak. My concern is that will develop a big, but slow aerobic base.



Great post as usual Joe.

In regards to the weekly durations you outline in “The Cyclist’s Training Bible”. Do these values include the time spent on recovery rides? For example, say my weekly target is supposed to be 10 Hrs according to your charts. I’m the type of rider that does better with a complete recovery day off the bike instead of the recovery ride you specify in your example week. Would I subtract 1 hr from the weekly total?

Joe Friel

Aaron--In this situation I like to peak athletes about 16-20 weeks before the A race for another race or even a Big Day workout if no races are available. A HIM would be perfect. This allows us to see how the peaking process works for this athlete and gives him/her a new focus early in the season. Then we would go back to a base-build-peak-race progression to prepare for the major race.

Joe Friel

Rob--Yes, I include recovery workouts (and weights and skill-development workouts and plyometrics) in one's training volume.


I'm a master category cyclist and i train using your "The cylist's training bible" book. My question is: can i change the daily training hours?

If i.e the recommended hours are: 4:00, 3:00, 3:00, 2:30, 1:30, 1:00, can i train: 5:00, 3:30, 2:00, 2:00, 1:30, 1:00, because i have more time available at weekends?

Thanks in advance!

Joe Friel

Christopher--You certainly can. Those tables are intended only to give you general guidelines, not ultimate solutions. Good luck!


I have been doing 70.3 distance races for three years. How many weeks of base training do you recommend I do for my next A race, which is not until 4/30/2011 (Wildflower Long Course)? I believe you recommend 11 weeks of base in the Triathlete's Training Bible but am not sure if that applies to every year. Thank you for your blogs.

Joe Friel

Jennifer--I take _most_ of the athletes I coach through about 12 weeks of base training. Some progress faster. But if you make a mistake here make it on the side of doing too much base work.


Hi Joe!
I bought your book the cyclist training bible a year back and have adapted your example 50 year male (im 51)... It's working I can tell you won some tt race:-)
Used 500h trainingplan as in the example.
Im thinking of going from 500h too 600h.
What do you think of that?
And another question, my weakness is in the end of the race, the finish...
How to improve the finish(spurt)?

Joe Friel

Mats--For most riders going from 500 to 600h would not be a problem. Don't know if you're like 'most' riders, however.

To get stronger for race finish sprints you need to do lots of sprinting early in workouts and then move them to the end of the workouts as you get closer to the race.


Joe, I'm a clydesdale at 270 (so far) and beginner to triathlon. I've plateaued at 270 after losing 40lbs and want to start with some sprints next year.My weight goal is still some 30+lbs away. Should I continue to focus on wieght loss (through tri training) or start a base-build as per your training bible? Earliest Sprint may be April 4-ish 2011 (if I havent missed registration).



Joe Friel

Hi Michael--You've done very well. And you have a worthy goal. I see no reason why weight loss and base training couldn't proceed at the same time. Good luck!

Luke Gosset

Hi Joe. I bought the training bible and am trying to work out my training zones ahead of the Henley Challenge Ironman in the UK in September 2011. However, I have only just started running again v. gently (less than 120 bpm twice a week for two-three weeks) after four months out due to an insertional Achilles tendinopathy suffered in mid May & don't feel ready to do the 30 min time trial to determine my LTHR. Pre injury my LTHR was 158 bpm in what I reckon was the build part of what was to be my first season in triathlon. Since then I've kept up my fitness up as much as possible by swimming three or four times a week (doing six open water races over the British summer including a 59min wetsuit 3.8k + an average 24m race condition 1500 metres) + weight training. I've also cycled at between 108 - 120 bpm (2-3:15 hr rides) for the past six-eight weeks. I like the idea of a single test run time trial to ascertain run + cycle LTHR but since I don't feel it wise to do one yet what do you think is the best way of working out my LTHR as it currently stands? Might you be able to hazard a guess at how many bpm it is likely to have decreased despite my swimming & cycling efforts since it was at 158 bpm in May? Surely not 7 per cent per three weeks? I certainly hope not! I'm guessing it might now be 152-155 but is that an underestimation of fitness loss? Any pointers would be extremely gratefully received ... Many thanks.

Joe Friel

Luke--Typically, run LTHR is 5-10 bpm higher than bike LTHR. That may help you narrow it down.


Hi Joe,

I am trying to build an aerobic base good enough that I can do a two hour zone 2 ride with no decoupling or cardiac drift. I ride 8 hours a week; 4 hour ride Saturday, 2 hours Sunday, 1 hour Tuesday, 1 hour Thursday. The Saturday ride is a group ride in zones 1,2 and 3. All other rides are on the trainer at zone 2. Do you think this is enough volume to build my aerobic base by the beginning to middle of December? I started the last week of October. Thanks!

Joe Friel

Blake--Yes that's enough to build aerobic endurance. Whether it's enough given the type/duration of race you're training for is another matter, however.


Hi Joe,

I have built my training plan from the Cyclist's Training Bible and have started my base period. Due to work and family commitments during the week I can only train on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and only for 1 hour at most each time, though I usually have 2 to 3 hours on Saturdays and 4+ hours on Sundays. I am training for rides between 4 and 6 hours duration. While I am sticking to long zone 2 rides at the weekends, I am wondering whether the shorter 1 hour rides in the week are providing enough benefit since I need to build endurance for much longer events. Should I do something else in the week instead of zone 2 endurance sessions?


Joe Friel

Chris--Given your restricted training during the week I'd suggest doing some tempo intervals/cruise intervals/sweet spot training (depending on where you are with your periodization on one of those days. And perhaps some force training on another. Maybe Tues-Thurs with wed a recovery or z2 ride depending on how you respond to the workload.


Hi Joe,
I have planned the year with about 700h of training.
As i started early with Base1, is there such thing as too much Base1 training ? i'm aiming at 2 or even 3 sets(months) of Base1 before i go into Base2


Joe Friel

PhotoBreak - It's not a problem to spend extra time in base 1.

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