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The LTHR is a moving target correct? It should rise with training. How often do you suggest testing to "recalibrate" training zones? If one trains at that threshold intensity how many beats can one expect LTHR to move per training cycle? Will it drop if you are fatigued at the end of a cycle? It seems like making educated guesses, if possible, would be more convenient during the intense part of training season.


Hi Joe,

Should I do the bike 30m TT test using HR on the road or the turbo?

I only ask as I find my HR on the turbo is alot lower than on the road for the same RPE. Doing this 30m test on the road my LTHR is 182bpm, but on the turbo I can ride with the same RPE and my legs are really hurting by the end of the 30m TT and im sweating buckets but my LTHR ave is 163!

I always struggle to get my HR up on the turbo so I dont know how to set my zones, if I set them as per the road then I will struggle to get in the right zones on the turbo, and vis-versa. I always do a 10m warm-up which involves intervals and im always sweating by the end of the 10m, ive read that having a fan helps but ive tried this test with and without a fan to see if it makes a difference and there was no different, any advise?




Joel, Thank you for this helpful post. Would you clarify how to make the calculations based on a 60 minute race? I'm not clear how to adapt the instructions. This is the part I find unclear:

At 10 minutes into the 30-minute test click the lap button on your heart rate monitor (in a 60-minute race don't worry about this). When done look to see what your average heart rate was for the last 20 minutes.


Joe, thanks for providing this info on your blog. It is a great suppliment to the info I'm learning from your Training Bible. How close to the 60min race duration is needed for determining LTHR? Will a recent 86 minute Race work?

Joe Friel

Josh--86 minutes is too long. Plus or minus perhaps 10 minutes woul be pushing it.

Joe Friel

Chris--Just look to see what your average was for the 60 minute race. Simple. (It's 'Joe' by the way.)

Joe Friel

Si--It's up to you. Personaly, I wouldn't want to do it on a trainer.Too much mental stress.

Joe Friel

Rich--LTHR varies a bit from day to day (and within a worout) due to fatigue. But when rested and in reasonably good shape it varies so slightly as to say it's stable. Mine has been the same, season after season, base or build period, for nearly 30 years now


Hi, Joe, thanks for the continued great posts! I've been training using the methods you've put out in the Cyclist's Training Bible since about 2000 and really feel it's an effective methodology and love the self-coached, menu-driven style of it. I purchased an SRM about a year ago, I think right about the time the latest (4th) edition of the Bible came out. I was real excited, but then a bit disappointed, when I recieved my new copy right after publication because I was hoping that the use of a power meter would be more interwoven into the methodology than it had been in the prior versions (which came out before power meters really became as prevalent in the amateur ranks as they are now). In your book you address and discuss the use of a power meter, including determining CP's and stuff, but all the workouts in the back of the book still only reference heartrate.

Is there by any chance a new set of workout descriptions that discuss how to conduct them with a power meter? I'm guessing that some of them are still best performed according to heartrate, but I would also guess that many of them could/should be conducted according to both heartrate and power, or even according to power alone.

I have read not only your books but also "Training and Racing With A Power Meter", and while the discussions in the Training Bible and in Hunter Allen's and Andrew Coggin's book give me a bit of knowlege that allows me to make some educated guesses as to how to conduct the workouts via power, I'd love to get power-based Training Bible workout descriptions straight from the source!

Thanks for the help!


Hi Joe, First, thanks for your mtb book, its great. Living in a city I haven't found a good 30min tt location, and instead use the stationary bike watts test at the begining of each season. This has set my LT at 170. I compare that to my average 2hr race HR of 167-170 and consider it done.

Given what you told a commenter above about deriving LTHR from a longer race, I am worried that if I average 167 for 2+ hrs (1:13 in zone 5abc 30/20/23 each in case it helps)) a LTHR of 170 seems a bit low. Comments?

Joe Friel

Mark--That's undoubtedly low.

Joe Friel

Brian-Good idea for a book! Thak!

Troy Restieaux

Hi Joe, love your work! Further to an earlier post about the use of power in workout descriptions can you clarify the relationship between terms CP5/30/60 etc and the appropriate power zones 1-5. Many thanks, Troy

Joe Friel

Troy R--Very roughly, here are the approximate equivalents for my CP and Coggan's power zones: CP5~upper z5, CP30~upper z4, CP60~mid-z4 (FTP).


Joe - please accept my apologies for moving the L from your last name! For years I've recommended to friends that great book by Joel Friel called Paleo for Athletes..... oops!




In this post, you recommend using the Allen/Coggan method of using power zones based on percentages of FTPw. In your "Joe Friel's Training with Power" paper, you recommend using critical power from tests (CP0.2, CP1, CP12, etc). Which do you recommend that we use? It seems that both are very similar but it'd be nice to know your thoughts regarding which is best.

Also, if using the Allen/Coggan zones, but doing the Training Bible workouts (which only talk about HR zones), I assume the power zones and HR zones are intechangable, correct?

Joe Friel

dustinflint--use Coggan's. They are similar to my HR zones.


Hi Joe,

Great post, it is really useful for me. Just a question on the last part of step 2 in the swimming pace section. You wrote

"if the set calls for you to swim 150 meters/yards at T-time + 5 you would swim the distance in 2 minutes and 24 seconds (96 sec + 48 sec"

Shouldn't you add the +5? Is this done by adding 5 sec/100 meters mening that in your exampample with 150 meters, you would add 7,5 seconds so the total would be 2 minutes and 31,5 seconds

Joe Friel

Tomas--91s + 5s = 96s/100. For a 150 it would be 96s (for the 1st 100) + 48s (for the 50) = 144s (2:24).


Would you write a post on the merits of training by pace versus HR zone? I'm strictly a runner now and running authors I read -- Matt Fitzgerald and Brad Hudson -- build their programs predominantly by pace. I see merits and limits to both approaches. Pace training seems to have strong psychological benefits in addition to physiological but a variety of variables could limit pace in a workout. (And I see why I want to compare pace to effort over time for assessment but I am concerned about weekly workout plans.)What you posted above regarding pace seems to be a pace benchmark for effort zones, not training by current or goal race pace. In the end, I wonder if organizing a workout around 1/2M, 10K and 5k pace has the same training effect as a zone 3,4 or 5 effort.

Lastly, would average HR in miles 4 an 5 of a 10K race (roughly minutes 18-30 for this 43 year old) be as good an LTHR indicator as a 30min TT?
Thanks for your wisdom.

Joe Friel

Rich--Thanks for the suggestion. A good on. See what I can do. As for the 30 min TT to establish FTPa... It has to be a _solo_ TT - not in a race. If in a race it must be about 60 minutes, no 30. Please don't sk me to explain why. I'v answered this qestion so many times in Q&A here that I can't bring myself to do it yet again. Please do a search on 'solo' to find my many replies to this questin. :)


Hi Joe, thanks for the post. For Century + longer rides, is there any formula / percentage for correct pacing or avg power using FTP.
I notice that on hilly rides my ride would be variable 1.2+ VI.
I guess you can't really pace well on hilly rides, right?

Joe Friel

Hi Roy--Yes, hilly rides typically will have a higher VI (variability index) than flat rides. For a century as with any stedy state racing the key is how long, not how far. Someone doing a century in around 4.5hrs will probably be in 4z. But doing century in 8hrs will put a rider in 1-2 zones. So it's time, not distance, that is the determining factor for intensity.

cmon myname

just my two cents, this is the closest thing that's been able to match my actual HR to my actual paces, especially for lower (slower) zones... they never match according to other zone guides(those not based on LTHR). guess my LTHR is closer to my maxHR than it's for most people.



I ordered a Suunto heart rate monitor in order to start using a lot of these principles. Can shed some light on how their Training Effect function fits into the concepts above. What is the optimal way to use that function? Does it add value to just allocating percentages of your training to each zone?

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