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In your Cyclists training bible you mention that in build 2 that the workouts should be either hard or easy, but you have also mentioned that Aerobic Threshold rides should be done once every 10 days, I think. So since AeT rides are moderate, should I omit them in Build 2 (or even the peak periods) or continue to do them occassionally? Thanks!

Joe Friel

Nathan--Once every couple of weeks is _probably_ ok in Build for AeT.


Hi Joe! I’m riding in a 120 mile hilly sportive which has 3 long climbs in the first week of June. I’m still in base 1 at the moment. In your book you say that by the end of base 3 the longest workout should be at least as long as your longest race. Based on my performance last year, I envisage this to be over 7 hours. With my annual training hours at 500, in base 3 I would be using up half the weekly hours in one day. Do I need to be doing this or will a shorter (more realistic) 4-5 hours suffice? Do I continue with this length during the build stage and at what intensity should I be working at during this stage and on race day? Lastly, am I correct in thinking that my main priorities are Endurance, Muscular endurance and force?

Joe Friel

Ryan--Good question. There are certainly limits to how long the longest ride should be relative to your race. If someone was doing RAAM they certainly would not do an 8-day workout. Shorter is fine for your event. Good luck.


Hi Joe, excellent post again and right on time. I'm currently in the base period preparing for an ultra-distance cylcing-event in june. My weekly training hours so far are roughly based on your chart in the Training bible with reduced volume and increased intensity later in the build period. Now if you recommend doing so called “reverse periodization", in which amounts would you increase the weekly training hours in the build period? And does this also affect the peak period?

Joe Friel

Martin--In Build the intensity should begin to more closely resemble that of the targeted race. In Peak the intensity would be the highest you anticipate in the event (hills? wind? etc).

John Biron

I'm a 51 yr old Cat 1 mtbiker who regularly podiums and occasionally wins. I’ve worked hard the last few years to increase my aerobic endurance and have good muscular endurance. I’m looking to improve my top end and win or at least be there at the end more often. I feel I need to improve both anaerobic endurance and power, but I have trouble recovering from more than two high intensity workouts a week. Is it ok to train these abilities once a week each or is it better to focus on one for a block and then turn to the other?

Thanks, JB

Joe Friel

John--Excellent question and one I will write more on at a later date. I think that for advanced athlete focusing on 1 of these in a 3-4 week block is more effective. But it's also a bit tricky as you don't want to lose fitness gained in one ability when you move on to the next.


Hey Joe

When doing the build period M.E intervals for triathlon, do they need to be done in the aerobars or can you just do them in the standard road dropbars?
I was just wondering whether the different positions work different muscle groups?


Joe Friel

Tim--The closer in time that you get to your race, the more like the race the workouts must become.


Hello Joe.
Could you please explain a little more about S5 form sprint training in the build period.It says power/rpe should be in zone 5b i assume only for the 15 second sprint,followed by 5 minute recovery,would the recovery be in the 1,2,zones as it says on page 144 of CTB fig9.1 that this workout is of low intensity.
Thanks for your help Joe.



Do you offer 7 week Build-Peak-Race training plans? My targeted A race is in April of this year. Thanks.

Joe Friel

Frank--I do. See them here by sport- http://tinyurl.com/29t3q6m


Thanks Joe- I see the 11 week plans. I guess I can tailor them to fit a 7 week target.


Hi again Joe,
I am starting my first build period this week. Following your bible, I am not doing Anaerobic Workouts during my first year of MTB training. I believe this is to prevent/reduce burnout.

My question is, since I am skipping AnE, with what do I fill this training time with? Should I continue to include Speed and Force workouts, (which appear to be typically in base periods) or should I just include more Muscular Endurance and Power workouts, or both?


Joe Friel

jonw9--You'll get a lot of benefit from musc endur training now.


Hey Joe
What are the optimum heart rate zones to train in for olympic distance racing for both the bike and the run? And what pacing zones for the swim?


Joe Friel

Tim--It depends on your race goal/ability. Mostly 4 zone but for a 4h race we're talking 3 zone probably.

Tim Racette

Hi Joel, the way my calendar works out I'm looking at a 10 week build period is there a benefit to breaking that up into 3 build periods as apposed to two 5-wk build periods? Thanks for the advice.

Joe Friel

Tim R--(I should stop answering questions for people who call me "Joel" but I won't.) How long your build blocks are depends on how often you need to recover. There is no one answer here that fits everyone.


Oh man, that's embarrassing. My apologies Joe. I appreciate all of your research.

Joe Friel

Tim--No problem. Just kidding you. I've almost gotten used to it.

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