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Thanks so much for elaborating on these points. For those of us who like to know the “why” behind the “what to do” it is invaluable insight.

With respect to Mistake # 5, for road cyclists planning for 30-50mile long road races relatively near to home, the entire race course can be ridden as a workout in the weeks before the event, with points of potential separation presenting themselves as they would in the race. In such circumstances, do you think it is most advantageous to rehearse the whole course in those last three weeks – (which sounds like it would include the Peak week)? Or better to narrow the rehearsing down to just the KOM, say, or other separation points with fresh legs?

If the point is to shed fatigue in those last weeks, at a certain TSS, full race rehearsal seems less desirable. But if the point is to accurately simulate specific segments of the race, then addressing the real physical challenge of the end-of-race KOM with fresh legs and replete glycogen stores seems to miss the simulation mark.


Hi Joe,
I think there is a new concept in the Mistake #6 comments: the “key workout”. May I be wrong, I will review the Cyclist's Training Bible for such a workout definition.
Regards from Chile,


Hi Mr. Friel

I have noticed that my heart rate never comes back down to my recovery Zone 1 after an interval effort while I am riding. The only time it would come down to zone 1 is if I get off the bike or I am coasting down hill.

Is there a reason for this?

Joe Friel

Hi Tom--I really can't say why. I don't know anything about you but there are some possibilities. If new to sport or have been out of training for some time recovery will be slow. Perhaps your diet (e.g., caffeine) is contributing to this. Maybe you have your LTHR wrong. Or maybe it's really cold there and you are shivering on descents. Probably lots of other possible reasons. Good luck.

Joe Friel

Roberto--I have also called it a "BT" workout.

Joe Friel

Madeleine--I'd suggest doing only portions of the course that are critical to your success. Gradually reduce the durations of those workouts.


I'm a young mountain biker (23) in my second year of serious training who has significant experience with weight training.

I see that in the weight section of MTB Training Bible you said that during the MS phase an athlete should not exceed the recommended goal weights even if he achieves it before MS is scheduled to end, but instead increase the reps. I'm wondering why doing more is not recommended. Is it the risk of injury, potential for increased muscle mass, or does greater strength simply not have a significant effect on performance?


Joe Friel

Blake--All of your suggested reasons are correct.


What are your thoughts on daily training volume for half ironman racing? Is it possible to train 3 times a day or is it best to leave it at 2 times with more recovery?
Also, in Going Long you have outlined a bike plan for ironman race day. Do the heart rates and intensity in the four sections increase if the race is a half ironman? And if you should wait until the final 10km of the marathon in an ironman to race, is it still the final 10km of a half ironman event?


Joe Friel

Tim--Lots of questions. I'll take a stab at them. Frequency of training is determined entirely based on the individual. Are you a pro or a novice or in between? How many sessions in a week depends largely on your capacity to handle a workload. There is no single answer that fits for everyone doing a 70.3. Yes, HRs are higher for 70.3 training. When do you "race" in a 70.3? Probably in last 5-10km depending, once again, on the athlete. Good luck!



Thanks for the quick response.
Just in relation to the raised 70.3 HR's on the bike leg, does that mean that while you spend most of the full ironman bike leg in Zone 2 with short periods of Zone 3 while climbing, you would spend most of a 70.3 in Zone 3 with small periods of Zone 4?


Joe Friel

Tim--Yes, exactly right.

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