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Joe, How do you recommend determining dose intensity? From this past season, three widely different workouts , not counting warm up and cool down, are 30 min long and they all have similar IF, average HR and NP. Neuromuscular has only 3 min of work, V02max has 15 min of work and FTP has 30 min of work.

Again, dose intensity. Two 30 min V02max workouts with 15 min work. Both use the same wattage at work and recovery. One is 30 repeats,30sec x 30 sec, the other is 5 repeats of 3 min x 3 min. Metrics are almost identical for both.

This is my first season and don't have a good feel for how hard a workout is and how much rest I need. What would you look for in a WKO power chart to determine relative intensities for workouts?

Thanks, George


Thanks for putting together this series Joe - good stuff. Are the 3 high dose days in the 9 day cycle targeted for a single sport like cycling? If so, how would you lay out high does days for both cycling and running?



Great series of aging articles. What is the longest a microcycle could be extended to ? e.g. is two weeks two long? If you're doing triathlon that is 3 sports and if you want to do a long , tempo and speed workout per sport per microcycle, that is 9 workouts to tick off so if you don;t have the time to do two workouts in a day and want some recovery/rest days as well you are virtually up to 14 days which for weekly planning would be very convenient. But then if you only hit a specific workout once every two weeks is that too long too really expect any benefit from it? In terms of the benefits and how long you retain them from different types of workouts could you sensibly assign long/tempo/speed workouts on different repeat cycles ie weekly vs bi-weekly. ie maybe do long weekly to keep base up but hit speed bi-weekly?

Joe Friel

GeoCof - Wow, lots of detail there. Could write a book on this. In fact I did - The Power Meter Handbook. Bottom line, I look at the IF for each interval rep and determine the combined average for them. I also compare that with max HR for each of the VO2max intervals (avg HR for longer intervals). For VO2max intervals I aim for ~15 min of total rep time in a session. 40min in a muscular endurance/LT session. 60 min in a tempo workout. 90min in an aerobic endur workout. Hope that answered your questions but if not let me know.

Joe Friel

Dcontrico - Some triathletes are able o manage 2 high-dose session in a given, but perhaps not every third day. Others can manage only one on each of those days. There are too many individual variables to give you an answer that fits all triathletes.

Joe Friel

MJE - Once you've established a substantial level of fitness in any given fitness marker (such as VO2max) you can maintain it with infrequent session. Perhaps once every 2 weeks. But to build to that level of fitness requires greater density. The details of what that requires is, once again, dependent on who we are talking about. Some are fast responders, others slow responders. Slow probably requires greater density. Which are you? Only experience can answer that.


Joe, Good series. Thanks for the answer above. I have the Cyclist's Training Bible, I'll order your Power Meter book today. I don't feel like my body tells me when I'm over training. Last season I did hard intervals 3 days a week and rode long and hard on the weekend, taking Mon and Fri off. It was hard not to ride on Mon and Fri. And I was working a lot in the threshold and V02max range, not endurance and tempo. But following a mid March crash that put me off the bike for a month, I never improved, even with that hard workout schedule. So, I'm assuming that my lack of improvement was at least in part due to not resting enough. I don't have any of the usual signs of over training. How do you determine how much rest you need if your body doesn't tell you it's time to rest?

Joe Friel

GeoCof--Bottom line is that I don't know. But interesting topic. I've heard of people who can't tell when they are hungry, ostensibly because they have spent so much of their lives denying hunger in order to lose weight. They apparently lose sensitivity to it. I don't know if that could be the same thing with overtraining. Or perhaps there is some trigger mechanism missing. I've never seen such topics discussed any place so can't offer any help.

Willem J Martins

Joe, great information. I did a 75 mile race this Saturday, with huge improvement, losing weight with Paleo and doing high intensity close to what you recommend.

My base is very strong as I really focused on that, providing a foundation for fast recovery.

The question is if I want to peak in April next year, how long do I continue a program as suggested in this post, before going back to base training as per your cycling bible? Or do I just continue with this?

Joe Friel

Willem J Martins - You still start your base period as you have in past. Tweaks are explained here- http://www.joefrielsblog.com/2013/10/aging-a-clarification.html

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