« Age and Diet | Main | Missed Workouts »



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


If I expect my race intensity to be mostly zone 3 until the latter stages is it worth doing a lot of training in that zone or would I be better off developing zone 4 stamina and expect greater pace at zone 3 when I race? Thanks for your insights.


Joe - A question on workouts (read thru your book and am going back thru as I learn to create & manage my ATP) ... How does riding in the hills/mountains factor into workouts given that there is plenty of downtime when going downhill?

Joe Friel

ill--Climbing provides plenty of stress to make a workout in the mountains hard regardless of coasting downhill.

Joe Friel

Rich-Train both. Make the workouts increasingly like the race.


Very interesting read, but it raises a question.

I have been reading your cyclists training bible this year and picking up trainng advise and during the base period you advise people to do long zone 2 rides to build a good base, and raise intensity in build etc.

At present im doing 80 mile road races during spring and summer and will be doing these again spring summer next year and the year after, so im already doing the distance I need to do for my racing and at a race pace.

Do I still go back to doing zone 2 rides during the base period at the end of the year even though I can already cover the max distance I need to cover?

How would riding 80 miles in zone 2 make me fitter when I can already do this distance at race pace?


Joe Friel

Gav--I assume your Build period includes a lot of anaerobic endurance, muscular endurance and power training since that is what bik races demand. If so your aerobic endurance is fading somewhat. It needs to be periodically redeveloped. No single spect of fitness lasts the rest of your racing career merely becuse you did it once a long time ago.

rich t

hi joe
i am recovering from an injury and am close to race season. since my injury (hamstring tendinitis) required me to rest my legs (my base training was basically done through swimming long and slow), how can i shorten my base period effectively and do the intensity workouts to still be ready to race my A race in 12 weeks?

Joe Friel

rich t--I'd suggest getting in 6 weeks of base 2-3 training at least before moving on to the build period. It's generally better to take a big chunk out of build than base.

Ian Thomson

Hi Joe,
some coaches say that you should only work aerobically during the base period. I so things like power starts and sprints (7x12 seconds long), and I would do at least one LT ride (20minutes) every 2-3 weeks. In your experience do you think that this degrades the quality of base?

Ian Pamensky

Hi Joe, are the optimum heartrates to train at when training intensly? If your heartrate ave's say 80% , what could be the reason for ave increasing to 84-88% with the same intensity? Could this be from being sick? Love your column/ blog.

Joe Friel

Ian--Not real sure I understand your question. I think what you're asking is if HR if higher than normal is there a known cause? Is that right? There are probably lots of possibilities. Could be diet (caffeine for ex), emotional excitement if training with others, psychological stress, loss of fitness. And, yes, perhaps illness.

Joe Friel

Ian--No, I don't think some moderate intensity (less than LT) will have any significant effect on aerobic fitness building.


Thanks for the great info. I may not be in your target market because I mostly do these races just to complete them rather than to get a good time. I don't seem to have enough time in the day (2 kids, my own company, etc.) to train for better times but I enjoy the accomplishment of finishing. My question is if I'm training to only just finish, what role does intensity play? I recently did my first century ride and my basic goal was to finish an 80 mile ride (rather slowsly) for preparation just so that I could have the confidence that my body could do it. When I did the Alcatraz triathlon, I made sure I could swim 1.5 miles in the pool and in open water (again slowsly) just to make sure I could do it but not much more. Would high intensity workouts help me? Thanks!!

Joe Friel

Andy--Duration should be your major concern. Intensity will be most likely z1-3 for your races.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)


Subscribe via Email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner