« Your Next A-Priority Race | Main | Tri vs Roadie Peaking Power Distribution »



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

Dominick Stanley

You should checkout a book by Darren Hardy called the Compound Effect. It talks about applying this same concept to your overall life. Small actions over time compund to larger results. I didn't realize till now that was the same idea when it comes to tri training. Thanks for the key insight. I can tell you the mentality that really takes away from these concepts is that doing only a small amount is going to take forever. While it may take awhile you will be successfull because you can stay the course.


I continually find it amazing that the best advice in life almost always takes on a zen-like quality. Consistency over time provides great results. Mathmatically, I think it is called 'compound interest'. Seems like the same principle.

Joe - I enjoy your blog. Please keep up the good work. Never seem to hear about you coming to Edmonton, Alberta Canada though. Depending on the time of year, triathlon up here includes skating and cross country skiing!


Hi Joe,

I couldn't agree more with your post and I often tell team mates (Masters athletes) that they could be doing a bit too much.

It hasn't been that long when I had the more is better approach and ended up having to take four months off the bike.

Last year, in preparation for my biggest challenge, I concentrated on recovery, nutrition and approached my training with moderation and consistency (based on your Training Bible programs).

It worked for me, I got the result I was aiming for and more importantly, I was still fresh to keep going for the rest of the year...


Now, I have to concentrate on doing the workouts, I am more inclined to just get out there and ride...

Thanks for all the info!

Matt B.

Great post, Joe. I often find myself frustrated by Thursday that I'm off target for my weekly hours and calculating what I need to do on Fri, Sat & Sun to reach my goal. What I need to do is ask myself if my training sessions are addressing my limiters and other areas most impactful to race performance.

Thanks for bringing the big picture back into focus.


I totally relate with Matt B's comment.

Mr. Anderson

For me, as a self-coached, newbie athlete, the key challenge is how to actually control this desire to train more and more. How to convince myself to refrain from putting more load than initially planned? I started my Prep and Base1 period on the conservative side, as prescribed in Joe's book. Each week i'm improving significantly and on the other hand I have this feeling of not pushing myself too hard. And that's the dangerous situation cause you immediately start thinking - train more, improve even further. In my situation what is really helping me to "resist the impulse", is on the one hand having clearly defined long term goals and training objectives and knowing exactly what the penalty is for training too hard, on the other, as one of my knees get injured very easily.
I came to this sport to achieve my long term goal, which is successfully finishing ironman. Thanks to Tri Bible, I understood that, it would take me a couple of years before being ready for that challenge. I also need consistent and uninterrupted (by injuries) training. Whenever I feel that urge to do additional workout, I ask myself whom I want to be in a couple of years. An IronMan who enjoys being fit and healthy, thanks to training without an injury? or frustrated coach potato that didn't have enough patience to make his dream come true? I'm still quite young and generally very impatient but amazingly when I visualize both options, it always works!
Moreover, I found that the SCIENCE of training is to be found in external sources, like "Tri training bible" but the ART of training can be mastered only by me, based on the understanding of my specific situation. I believe finding the right balance between the training load and recovery is the very art of training. This makes planning so exciting and gives me additional motivation to moderate myself.
Thank You Joe, because only after reading you book I realized, that becoming a great athlete is a very intellectual task in fact.

Joe Friel

Mr. A--All very good points. I like your way of thinking about training consistency.

John Cutler


I'd be interested to learn how you can apply this advice when selecting a reasonable CTL ramp rate. When I started by fall build up for 'cross, I swore I'd keep the ramp rate around 3pts. But it was almost impossible to complete the workouts prescribed by my coach while keeping TSS within the correct range.

Instead, I was hitting ramps rates of 4,4.1,4.6, and, gasp, 6.8.

The interesting thing is that you'll inevitably fall back. This week, I couldn't manage a ramp of more than .5pts, but this was fine with me. I needed the rest.

How to do view CTL ramp rates? Do you look at the 4 week average including the rest week? Do you have it settle down to a reasonable number after the rest week, or just keep it consistent, and dip slightly if rest is in order?

Thanks for the post!


Joe Friel

John--I treat it as an individual and unique metric that takes some time to learn. It also depends on what time of the season it is, how training has been going, how long until the next A race and probably a few other variables that escape me right now.

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