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Willem J Martins

Great article Joe, from a study of your training bible and many years of training and competition, that makes good sense.

For me, the most difficult part remains knowing when I have recovered to the extent where a high TSS session is needed. In other words, when am I doing too much, or when is it not enough. My body does a terrible job of telling me when it is tired.

Interesting to see you limit the TSS 200, or crash training sessions to a minimum. Is that because too much intensity and time hurts to the extent where full, or over-recovery is not possible?

Also, typically would a competitive century exceed a TSS of 200?


Hi Joe, a somewhat random question :-)
I just finished the Power Meter Handbook (fabulous) and have a question about base training which I'm just startiing.
I was recently tested and my measured aerobic threshold HR is 106 (soo low!) so I think I should be training around there.
But the HR zones in your book would suggest 118 to 130 based on my measured anaerobic threshold HR of 146.
Which one should I use? Is it REALLY that important you stay just right? In other words, is anywhere between 100 and 120 (say) "good enough"?
Thanks for any advice. Time for me to get back to the cyclists Training Bible!

Joe Friel

Matt--gosh, that sounds really low for aerobic threshold. I assume you had it done in a lab as gas analysis. I find some issues from time to time with lab definitions of what are AeT and AnT and even with calibration. Not saying that's what happened as I don't know what you had done. But I'd suggest trying a 2 hour ride at about 106 to see what it feels like. If it feels really easy like you could do it all day, then I'd suggest going to zone 2. Good luck!

Joe Friel

Willem--I'm unable to frequently do 200 TSS workouts. Once a month or even fewer is about all I can manage. Much rather do several 100s. A century is typically significantly more than 200 TSS. 250 or so more reasonable.

Stuart Lynne

I'm happy to see that thinking in terms of total TSS for workouts (along with target Zone) is a valid methodology. I've been doing that for years... One of the reasons I really liked my old Ergomo's was that it displays TSS, IF, etc so that you can keep the ride going until you know you have reached your target.

Now that Garmin has that in their head units it will easier for everyone else as well.


Thanks Joe. Yes, it was on a gas exchange setup (not blood testing) so is estimated rather than truly measured. I did a 3 hour ride at 108 and though I felt a bit sore in the legs later it wasn't a terrible strain. I'll ramp up the pace over the next few months - I have a long base period planned :-)


Thanks Joe, its interesting to see how other people train, especially when they have the sort of experience you have.

Just one question. One reason TSS was devised was to help judge your training fatigue and plan recovery. As you know WKO can use it to calculate your Training Stress Balance (TSB). I have found this quite useful. You don't mention it, do you choose not to use it and if so why not?

Joe Friel

Martin--Yes, you're right. That's an oversight on my part. I do use TSB to help with making decisions. But ultimately the decision still comes down to how I feel.

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