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Fabiano Araujo

Joe, it seems like the chart link is broken. Thanks.


Thanks for this reminder Joe, I tend to try to make and follow plans too closely. I noticed that in your Power Meter Handbook you also suggest the use of Normalized Power in the calculation for EF, but in your Training Bible (chapter 4 I think) you suggest the use Average Power (not normalized). Does it matter?

Joe Friel

Fabiano--It's not a link. For some unknown reason that wouldn't work today.

Joe Friel

Buzz--I don't recall that in any of my Training Bibles (which one were you referring to?). But, regardless, it's NP/AHR.


I may have misread. It was in the Cyclist's Training Bible, 4th edition. Now that I think about it, I believe it was in the same section where you described decoupling, so you would have stated that VI wants to be below 1.05. If I keep my VI below 1.05 my AP should be close enough to NP that I could use AP, right? Reason I ask is that Strava doesn't provide NP.

Mike Hardy

Hi Joe, always love the wisdom dished out here, thank you. I assume measurement of EF for running would be something like NGP/AHR as opposed to AP/AHR or similar? Most of mine are on a treadmill at the moment so doesn't matter for me but just curious

Also curious if you have any silver bullets for measuring stuff in the water. Only HRMs that work there and record seem to be either the older Sxxx Polars or the pricier current R models, and neither of those know anything about swimming, where the Garmin 910XT knows swimming but uses ANT+ for heart rate and that can't go through water...

Joe Friel

Buzz--Yes, you're right about low VI. aP and NP are about the same.

Joe Friel

Mike H--Yes, correct about running. Don't have any good ways in the pool yet.


Hi Joe, is it a safe assumption that most peoples AeT is also in LOW zone2? I'm doing most of my base riding at the upper end of zone 2 POWER which is a lot more difficult than lower zone 2 POWER if I do it for long enough (3,5h @ 215 watt is way more taxing than 3,5h @ 195 watt...).

Would you say that's worth it or would I get the same benefit if I stayed in the lower half of zone2? THANKS

Joe Hamilton

If you are measuring pw in training peaks is it also necessary to measure the EF?

Thanks Joe

Joe Friel

Joe H--TP does the EF determination for you. It's on the race graph page.

Joe Friel

Triprentice--I like to have athletes use low z2 in the early base period. Aerobic threshold is assumed to be, for this purpose, about 30bpm below LTHR. Testing with gas analysis would be a more accurate way of determining AeT.


thanks for your answer! you did no longer rides of 3h+ as recommended in your books. aren't they THAT necessary as long as the total weekly volume in that zone is appropriate? I'm curious because I can't ride outdoors in base1+2 due to weather conditions and several 1-2h rides on the trainer are no problem but 2-4h is mentally impossible for me... ;-)

Joe Friel

Triprentice--Well, I can guarantee you that I wouldn't be doing 4h rides indoors. I've done them, many years ago, and it wasn't any fun.


and what is your opinion on doing short&hard trainer sessions in the winter and just do the long rides as soon as they're possible outdoors? As far as I can remember you mentioned in several of your books that it's counterproductive to do ME workouts before AE is fully established...is it really so critical? my hope would be to train the "cycling legs" with low cadence threshold intervals and let the other workouts (swim, run, XC skiing) take care of the cardiovascular system - only until I can do long outdoor rides again

Joe Friel

Tripe entice--Threshold and sub-thresh work is ok.


Joe, I listen to the TB podcast every week and have read your training bible. Love them. I have two questions:
1. Did I read in your "bible" that it could be advantageous for some new athletes to train in the base period for up to three years?
2. How does Maffetone fit in your base plan and/or AeT?


Joe Friel

Gene--A newbie may need to 2-3 seasons to build a good fitness base given how little volume they can manage initially. Maffetone and I often see things the same way I've found. But not always.


Thanks Joe. If I understand you, my MAF puts me in zone three. You would suggest that I back down a few beats to develop a good base, right?

George Coffey

Joe, I really enjoyed this timely post. How do you figure in a rest period during a longer ride with regards to decoupling? Yesterday I went out for 3 hours. Minus warm up and cool down I rode for 1:13 with NP @ 84% of FTP while HR was 86% of ATHR and Pw:HR was 4.35%. After a mini cool down, 5 min off the bike to eat a bite and a 3 min warm up my trip back took 1:17 with NP @ 75%, HR @ 88% and Pw:HR @ 0.35%. I have two fairly good periods, but if I include the rest period my Pw:HR plunges to 8.4%. If the rest period is included, I have a ways to go to get my decoupling down. If it's not included, which period would you give more relevance to, the harder first period or the easier 2nd period? With regards to the subject of this blog, if you are in early Base 2 and staying coupled at the longest distance/time you expect to race, should you add some Base 3 workouts and basically do 6 or 7 weeks of Base 3? Thank you very much for your answer.

Joe Friel

Gene--Well, of course it depends on whose z3 we're talking about. A good estimate of the number is to subtract 30bpm from your LTHR.

Joe Friel

George--I'm afraid I don't fully understand. Your decoupling was well under 5% both before and aft the break you took. But you say something about it "plunging" to 8%. That's kind of high and wasn't reflected in the numbers you gave me. I'm probably missing something obvious here. As for second question, I really can't say how much base 3 an athlete should have as there are several variables.

George Coffey

Joe, I'm sorry I wasn't more clear. What I was trying to determine was whether it's more accurate to look at decoupling for two separate steady state efforts or to look at the two efforts plus rest period as a single long effort. As far as base 3 training it's not how much, but like in your example using your AE as measured by EF, if you reach the goal of base 1 and 2 (remaining well coupled for the maximum time you intend to race)would you recommend moving into base 3?

Joe Friel

George--Regardless of whether you call it two sessions or just one, it is still only one or two data points. It takes many such data points to make a decision about whether or not to move on in your periodization. So I don't think it's significant. Once you have achieved all you intended to achieve in a period/block its time to move on to the next. That's an easier decision in block training as there is usually only a single focus, such as aerobic endurance. In traditional periodization a period has several abilities to focus on, such as AE, muscular force, and speed skills. So such a decision is just a bit harder to make.


I've been tracking decoupling for 6 months now. My decoupling (np/hr) varies from 1.19 to 1.45. If I really spanked it on a hilly it would be more like 1.60. So I think this needs to carry a health warning that to interpret this as meaningful data you really need to ride the same flattish route with similar wind conditions, temperature and similar NP. Even when I do that, I'll get 1.3 one day and 1.4 on another day. Or perhaps restrict it to turbo (I don't use turbos or rollers so thats out). Still I'm always looking out for decoupling PB's and if its a highish figure, or if the 1.4s start appearing more often, thats a positive, but qualitative, subjective, not quantitate and objective !

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