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Quick question:

As a student, I can't really afford a power meter, so my only metric is a Garmin Forerunner with HRM and a GSC 10 computer. I just finished with Prep and am going into Base 1, and I did two 30 minute TT tests in Prep: one at the beginning and one at the end. I've found that my LTHR estimate has fallen significantly, and I was going a little faster than last time, which would seem to indicate that my aerobic fitness has improved a lot. But by my RPE, I feel like my Zone 2 estimate based upon the original test is still right. Which should I use? The new one, or the old one?

Joe Friel

Paige--I don't think I can help you here. There are lots of variables. I'd be inclined to work off of RPE, tho. Good luck.


Hi joe
This article is really interessant but please can you explaine how we can focalise on muscle works?
I think that the only way is to use a power metter...
Or not?


Hi Joe,
Power meters can be pricey and not every triathlete can afford to buy one. I know on a day-to-day basis HR and RPE will vary, along with the weather conditions when we are out on the bike. Then wouldnt HR be the next best way to go as far as training intensity along with RPE?

Joe Friel

Rob--It's always better to measure output (power, pace). But when that's not available input (HR, RPE) is second.

Joe Friel

Riccardo--Yes, a power meter allows you to focus on what the muscles are accomplishing. But primarily muscle-based training includes force reps, sprints, and muscular endurance.

Mick Mathews

Joe, I found your mistake #9 very interesting. I have a power meter and while it is nice to see my output, it sometimes puts me off of my training objective for a specific ride. Basically, on a given day, the muscles can only do what the muscles can do. Sometimes I think it would be better to turn the computer upside down so I can't see it and then do the training ride the way I feel it should be done. Of course, I've been doing this for over 30 years. A beginner would find it hard to "feel" the right intensity.


Joe, regarding item #10. What phase does weekly TSS typically peak in? Or should weekly avg TSS be constant through Base, Build, Peak, and Race phases? Thanks.

Joe Friel

Jay--For my athletes weekly TSS tends to increase through the base period and then stabilizes in Build.

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