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Joe, I hate to beat this dead horse, but are there any scientific studies that support what you have found to be "roughly the same" (30 minute solo pace/power = 60 min race pace/power) ?

And I guess the corollary to what you have found would be that in a 20 km cycling time trial (or about a 30 minute race), up your pace/power about 5% ABOVE what you can maintain in your solo 30 min effort. Ouch.

Joe Friel

Fred--I know of one study that confirmed the 30-min test as a way of determining LTHR and LT pace (or FTPa) in competitive runners. Read the abstract here: http://tinyurl.com/3hwm8zm


out of respect Joe, I witheld my question, but I guess, after reading this one, I should go ahead and ask....

How do you KNOW its REALLY a 30 minute effort?



A while back I had my blood lactate levels tested through the more scientific ride - sample blood - ride harder - sample again - etc. until exhaustion. The results showed a LTHR of 163 (95% of HRmax... I'm 58). A couple days ago I did the 30-min test and the results were 164. Conclusion: my N=1 study confirms this as a reliable way to estimate LTHR!

Mark Roberts

I'm almost afraid to ask this now but...

Considering you should do one 30m test for running and one for cycling should you also do one test for riding your road bike and one for your TT bike?

I've observed that for low effort levels my HR seems a little higher on the TT bike than the road bike, but for high effort levels HR is actually slightly lower on the TT bike.

Unfortunately I don't have (and can't really afford) a power meter to compare and contrast with the HR data.


Dear Joe,

I can confirm your answer 100%. I did the 30 minutes LTHR test you describe in your book and last weekend I raced in a 40km time trial (which took me one hour). My heart rate was in both cases 186 bpm (in the last 20 minutes each).

Robin Smith

Could it be that the confused are not really racing, so never understand what flat out means.

I've noticed this in some riders. They never ever push it. Each to his own.

If true, like anyone else, looking for a free lunch. But this is sport, the playing field is level, that will never come. Yet they keep asking for the silver bullet.


Admirably restrained, Mr. Friel.

Joe Friel

Mark Roberts - I suspect the HR difference between the two is not significant enough to test each separately.

chris masilon

I'm seriously gonna snap if i have to read another question about running or riding as hard as you can for 30 minutes. how many different ways can you say the same thing!!!!!! you have been much more patient than i ever would have with this topic...

Leonardo Alvarado

I made the 30 min test to estimate LTHR and average for the last 20 min was 169 for running. I read about a formula to estimate the LTHR the formula is LTHR =180-Age, I'm 40 years old and the by formula my LTHR should be 140. As you can see there's a big difference between the two LTHR. I usually exercise (at least three time a week) but I'm not a elite. I 'm wondering if 169 is to high or is ok for me. Thank you

Joe Friel

Leonardo Alvarado- Forget about using a formula to determine anything about your HR. They are more likely to be wrong than right. Testing is the only way to know.


I made a diagnostic by an expert and I made the 30min test. Finally I can say that the 30min test had a difference from 2 beats by me. The result is amazing, but by the way I made the test only for running.

In the future I will do the test all 2 months so the expensive professionel diagnostic will be done only 1 time in the year.

best regards from Germany!

Steve Watson

Hi Joe,

I've come across your book [MTB Bible] after a recent succession of MTB races and looking forward to future training and a plan built around your suggestions but....

I did the 30 min test on my road training bike [I don't race it] and came up with 137AHR ... I'm 66, thought I went hard, but it looks soft?

Over the past month I've done;
National XCO champs 1:27mins @ 150AHR 92% [very tough course]
100k @ 5:56min @143AHR 86%
50k @ 3:21min @142.5AHR 80%

Obviously I'm going harder at race intensity than I managed in the TT.
Maybe I'll get better at it [the TT] but for starters is 142 a better LTHR to work off?

Steve Watson

Sorry those last two should read @ 88%
100k @ 5:56min @143AHR 88%
50k @ 3:21min @142.5AHR 88%

My Max HR is 162.

Joe Friel

Steve Watson --There's no way for me to know either. Keep collecting data points from workouts, tests and races looking for clusters. Good luck!

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