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Joe Friel

Martin C--You're joking, right?

Lona (Cape Town)

Hi Joe
Thanks for the grumpy ;-) explanation. The confusion I have is that I was going as hard as possible and I blew 18min into the test. Full-on come to a standstill, throw up, faint, blue in the face implosion! Could not even muster up a minute cool-down (luckily it was on the indoor trainer). I was going TOO hard. So I still think, SOME pacing is required other than "as hard as you can possibly manage at that exact moment"?

Joe Friel

Lona--It should be fairly obvious that if you are doing a 30-minute TT that you have to pace yourself. It's just like you were doing a 20k TT. No different. As hard as you can go means taking into consideration that you still have x minutes to go. It exactly like racing a given distance. No different.

seattle chiropractor

Thanks for the review and I'm glad I came to visit your site because I learned a lot about this subject. Keep going! :)


Hello Joe.
I want to ask you why you recommend for testing on an indoor trainer (in the cold winter) the graded exercise protocoll (with an increase of for example 20 Watt every 1 or 2 minutes till exhaustion - i think its not easy to find LTHR) instead of the 30minutes TT. What is the reason why you don't want to do the 30min-TT on an Indoor Trainer or whats better with the Step-Test? Chris

Joe Friel

Hi Chris--You can do either. Most people find 30 min all out indoors to be a real challenge. But some can do it ok.

Jolon Sabo

I did the LTHR - 172BPM and my FTP was 252w for the last 20mins. The first 10 mins of the test I had values of LTHR - 171 and the FTP was 279w. Was that a successful test even though my power was 27w lower in the 20min section of the test?

Joe Friel

Jolon Sabo - For power you use the average for the entire 30 minutes. Only for HR do you drop the first 10min.


I did the time trial outdoors alone. Average HR for first 10min was 192bpm and 199bpm for the last 20min. Is this okay? I've measured my HR across several other monitors, and it does run high.

Joe Friel

amateur--If that's what you got, that's what it is.


Thanks, most people kept telling me it's too high. I'm currently reading your book only at chapter 4.

Charles Luther

I just did the 30m TT running test. I'm quite confident I followed your directions properly. I'm curious in that my average HR during last 20m was 185 which is 3 bpm lower than my max 188. I'm 37yo and I've never been able to get my HR over 188 no matter how fast or long I sprint. Does it make physiologic sense that my lactate threshold HR is so close to Max HR? Does this mean anything? Or am I obsessing too much over data? Thanks for your help. Charlie

Saurabh Sharma

Hello Joe. I recently got your book "The Cyclist's Training Bible". Based on that I did an LTHR field test today. I went as hard as I could for 30 minutes on my bicycle and took the average heart rate of the last 20 minutes as the LTHR. This was done afer a 15 minute of easy warm up. But that average Heart rate came out to be 199. My maximum heart rate on the Bicycle is about 204 as seen a couple of weeks ago when I was racing uphills with my friends. Even when racing with friends my heart rate stayed between 194-199.
Now from what I am reading around an LTHR of 199 with the max heart rate of 204 seems too high (Although I have seen my max heart rate go to 214 when I am running). This 30 minute trial was an all out effort. I felt like I could have thrown up towards the end. All through the time trial I had an eye on my heart rate monitor and it stayed between 196 and 202.
So does this seem really abnormal to you?
I am 27 years old and have been into sports since I was 12 years old. Mostly running.


Hello.. and best regards from Mexico city...
following your book my LTHR is 188, but my HRmax is 183... It is safe to train with this LTHR?

Joe Friel

Emilio--that's not possible. Are you using a formula to come up with max heart rate? If so, don't. In fact, don't even worry about it. Of no use.

Sarah Jansen

Hi Joe - first, I just wanted to say "thank" for your Training Bible. I've used it to coach myself successfully to the pro level. Structured training has really paid off for me!

I had to do my LT test indoors, due to weather. My LT heart rate was a couple beats lower than in the past. Might this just be because I am doing the test indoors?

Does the LT heart rate get higher as one gets fitter, or does it stay pretty constant?

Joe Friel

Sarah J--HR varies a few beats from day to day just because we are humans. But LTHR will stay about the same once your fitness has reached a moderate level. Whether or not it really changes with age is an entirely different matter. I'm afraid motivation is a part of what explains the drop in MHR with aging. Mine has been the same since 1983 when I got my first HRM.


Hi Joe,

Thanks so much for all your contributions to endurance training literature and knowledge.

I just did your bike test and the average heart rate was 176 -- 20 to 25 bpms higher than my "guesstimate" lactate threshold heart rate from 8 months ago, which I calculated from an estimated max heart rate and a "beginner" RPE test. (Eight months ago was when I got back into triathlon after a multiyear hiatus from any exercise.)

I'm not surprised such guesstimates are so far from the test result, and I'll use the new test result as my new training/zone benchmark.

A question: Would high temps/humidity skew the test in any way? I live in Central America, and typically lunch hour is the best time for me to train. That's when I did the test. It's usually mid-80s to low-90s with a good bit of humidity and very strong sun.

Thanks and regards, Ross

Joe Friel

Ross--HR will stay the same. Power (or pace) at any given aerobic HR will typically be lower/slower.


Hi Joe,

Thanks for your reply! That makes sense. I don't much enjoy training in the heat, but given that I'll be racing in similar conditions, it's probably good for me.


Joe, would my Bolder Boulder (45:07) HR over the last 20 min (180 bpm) be a good approximation of my LTHR? I raced it all out. Thanks, Andy.

Joe Friel

Andytri--I expect it is probably quite close to 180. May be a little bit less but not much. That's _one_ data point. Continue collecting them to get it narrowed down.


Hi Joe,

I subscribed recently to TP Premium and just performed a 30 min test to set the paces and HR.

Pace was pretty constant although declining a little bit (starting 3'47/km, ending 3'57/km, avg 3'53/km). The "issue" is that my avg HR of the last 20 min is 186 (and I reached 190 at the end). Basically it grows very slowly from 184 reached after 8 min, to 189 after 22 min.

My max HR is 192 (never went above in the last 4 years, even during max tests).

How come my LT threshold is 97% maxHR?
And therefore how do I set the zones? since it's not possible for me to go 106% LT HR...

For info,

- my VO2max speed is 17.4 km/h (3'27/km), tested on the track, for 6 min, last week.
- my VO2max (measured in lab 2y ago) is 61. (in line with the VO2max speed *3.5 rule)
- my 10km time is 38'45 (3'53/km)... (in line with avg pace than the 30 min test)

- I always raced very high in HR on short distance
- I'm 34 and my background is 15y of triathlon long distance (and weak point is of course running ;-)

4y ago, I did a lactate test in a lab, and was measured 3.7 mmol/l at 178 and 3'44/km, but this was measured on a short test (step pace increase of 1.5km/h every 2 min). This is very close to the HR and speed I had during the first 8 min of today's 30 min test.

I'm really confused and not sure where is my threshold (around 178 as I though before, or higher as showed by the 30 min test...and my 10km races....). Therefore I do not really know at which pace and HR to train for marathons... (PB is 3h12)

Should I consider training based on pace (3'53/km threshold) and discard HR as it goes up constantly when running longer period at this pace?

Thanks in advance if you could answer theses questions?


Joe Friel

Philip--I can't say why. The body is too complex to boil everything down to one number. But what I can tell you is that you need to keep collecting info from tests such as this and more. It takes many data points to have a well-defined LTHR. Right now you have 1 data point.

Daniel J Méssem

I did the TT test indoors last night - average HR for the last 20min was 133bpm

This seems very low compared to others

Guessing I should do it again and push a lot harder - just answered my own question

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