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Robin Smith

My training partner says that he "races to train". He does every race he can and says it makes him faster.

Sometimes there will be 6 weekends back to back with races.

During the weekdays he does some light spinning and perhaps one high intensity workout.

Is this a good strategy in the build period. After all nothing is more race specific?

Alexandre Perez


In the training bible you mention that during the peak you should also do a racelike effort each 72 to 96 hours. I have a group ride on Sunday so that part is covered but for mid week I have nothing.
Do you have any suggestion of a combo of workouts to simulate my race which is road race during 2 to 3 hours. I thought of doing something like a treshold ride followed by some anaerobic intervals and finishing with some sprints as a race simulation but I am not sure if I am in the right direction. Thanks,


If you train 2-2½ hours 4 times a week, and your races are appoximately 2-2½ hours long... would that mean 1-2 key workouts a week including fx. race? What about tactics? My tactic is always early breakaways ... because eg 25 Surge in 10+ w/kg. zone turns me of. I'm better off with 5+ w/kg. for several minutes followed by stabilization around FTP. In this case it means of course a lot of VO2-max workouts, and not so much sprinting power based training ...

Dan Martel

So if I'm only doing criteriums that are about 45 minutes in duration,do I really need to do any long endurance training?I train with a power meter and focus on a lot of threshold and VO2 max workouts.


Hi , Joe
I have a question , how should I train between races? I mean, I take part in a race series consist of 7 races , each about 80-90 km long and 2500 - 2800 total ascent. Apart from that I take part in a xc series consist of another 7-8 races which are short – abot 70 minutes long but performance a maximum effort ( z 5). These days I have one race each week: one week a marathon ( 5-6 hours, z 3 and 4 mostly ) and next week a xc race. So, my question is how sould I train, what kind of workouts should I perform and at what zone? How much time should take recovery?
Thanks for an answer and Your Bible.


This post is just in time. I was getting worried, because race season is here, and since I am racing (B and C events) on the weekends, my hourly volume has fallen well below my scheduled times.

Joe Friel

Mike--I wish I could tell you. There are just too many things I don't know about you. This is a hard question to answer even when I've been coaching someone for a long time. Good luck!

Joe Friel

Dan Martel--I'd suggest doing a 150 TSS workout once each week. Emphasize intensity on these rides.

Joe Friel

Alexandre Perez - Yeah, that's the right idea.

Joe Friel

Robin Smith - Each to his own...


Joe –
Do you have any training suggestions for riders who don’t have an “A” race in particular, but want to have a more extended period of solid performance? Would you just stay in “Build Phase” and not move to Peak until the end of the season?
My main goals are improving year to year and having strong performance for several races (e.g., cross season in the fall). I’m not going to win any major race, so targeted peaking isn’t a major priority.


Hi Joe - What's "race-like" if you're training for a marathon?

10km and half-marathon races, or 2-3hr runs at marathon pace?


Joe Friel

John-The last suggestion is quite appropriate. How long and how much racelike intensity depends on the time the athlete expects to be racing. For ex, a 2:10 marathoner would not do a 3h run at race pace.

Joe Friel

Tom--That seems like a reasonable solution.



I am training for my second Ironman and have a question regarding pacing during race like training. How do I find my race pace given my LTHR? I use your training plan from "Your best triathlon" and do my long AE workouts in Zone 2. Is the pace during these workouts what I can expect on raceday or should the intensity be higher come raceday?


Joe Friel

Tom--I wish I could tell you but I'd have to be there with you to know how you're responding to it. And as mentioned, HR is not a good tool for pacing in a race.


Hi Joe,
I'm training for a 20km time trial on a course very close and easily accessible on a daily basis. I'm currently in the Build 1 phase of training. Based on what you indicated, I believe my best approach would be to do cruise intervals (Zone 4 - 5a) on this course. I was thinking of doing 5 x 7.5 minute intervals for my workouts maybe twice a week and on Saturday perhaps drive up to a more hilly area and work on force/strength. Other than maybe a recovery spin here and there, do I need long Zone 2 rides during this phase? Your book seemed to indicate it was still a rather important part of the Build phase. Or, should I just try to focus on race-like efforts exclusively?

Thanks in advance,

Joe Friel

Adam--Sounds good. I frequently have riders do a 20-30 min steady state in z3 after such an interval workout just to maintain aerobic endurance.

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