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What I am beginning to hear you say is that endurance sport fitness does not tend to increase gradually year after year; rather it just goes up during the season and down in the off-season. If one trains the same way each year, one will obtain the same level of fitness each year, everything else remaining the same. The only thing one can do is train smarter during the season to achieve a slightly higher peak and then lose it all again if the off-season. That's kind of depressing if it is true.


Hi Joe, on my mostly flat base training route there's a gradual climb at the end back to my house that's not a killer but hard enough to require me to ride in zone 4. It takes me about 10 minutes to climb and has an average gradient of 5.5%. Should I avoid doing this at the end of every ride in Base 1 or is it not long or hard enough to be detrimental during Base 1. Thanks.

Joe Friel

Brenton--I have exactly the same situation. It's not a problem. A good sign that your aerobic fitness is progressing well is that you'll be able to climb the hill in a lower zone. Good luck!


Thanks. I'm fairly new to training with zones so I'm trying to learn everything I can. Your blog and book have been extremely helpful. I was looking at some SRM data from the tour de france, and found it staggering that riders had average heart rates in the 130's and 140's, with max rates below 180 even on days including category 1 climbs. It was particularly interesting that in last years Vuelta, Chris Froome averaged only 147bpm during a time trial where he averaged 50kph. Is this purely due to the immense fitness of professionals?

Joe Friel

Brenton--They certainly do have enormous aerobic endurance. I haven't seen the Froome data you report but make sure it doesn't also include his warm up. That sounds quite low for an all out TT regardless of aerobic fitness.


Hi Joe,

Today was my first MS session at the gym for the coming season. I chose the Step-Up workout for MS and used a weight that was 0.9 x BW (as suggested in the book).

The "problem" (not if that is the correct word) is that I was able to perform way more than 3-6 repetitions with that weight (around 12+ reps). If I increase the range to 1.2 x BW I can get around 6-7 reps per set but that seems too high from the recommended weight in your book. The height of the step is about 35cm.

So I wanted to ask you about the best alternative. I thought about 3:
- move to ME
- keep the 0.9 x BW with higher reps
- increase the weight to 1.2 x BW or above

Thanks a lot!


Quick question. If the day recommends S1,S2,S3. Would that mean to try and accomplish those all in one session for the recomendad duration and Intensity, or just to choose one.



Joe Friel

C_Nowlan - Select one.

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