Training Bible Studies with Joe Friel
Joe Friel is author of the successful “Training Bible” series ofbooks, a regular columnist for VeloNews and Inside Triathlonand the founder of www.ultrafit.com.Friel also offers answers to a selection of questions in this weekly column here on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Friel in care of VeloNews.com at WebLetters@7Dogs.com.(Be sure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)Question – My name is Juan and I’m a fan of your web site. I’m amountain and a road biker. I really love the bikes. For that reason I tryto do my best when I’m training, so please I want (if you can do it) somehelp from you. I need some information about how to convert my effort duringmy training in watts. I mean I know what my heart rate is and my speedand distance, but I don’t know how to put together those things to knowhow many watts I’m doing. If you know some mathematical formula or whateverto help me please let me know it. I really appreciate your help. Thanksand sorry for my English.
JuanAnswer – You really can’t use a formula based on heart rate,speed, and distance to determine watts. You’ll need a powermeter to accuratelygauge power.
Joe FrielQuestion – I am training an 18-year-old boy for road racing.My question is, after his daily workout program he complains of not beenable to sleep at night. Any suggestions? Also is it better to eat a fullmeal after your daily workout program or before?
AngusAnswer – His inability to sleep may be related to training hardlate in the day. This is common. It could also be that he is overreaching—becareful since he is still developing. Overreaching is normal and expected,but if it is allowed to develop into overtraining it could ruin his entireseason. Inability to sleep might be an indication of advanced overreaching.It’s best not to eat a heavy meal right before a ride, especially ahard one. Immediately after a hard ride it’s also best to eat a light meal,one that is rich in high glycemic index carbohydrates. A recovery drinkis generally best for these. Before or after an easy, recovery ride anathlete can eat more and have less concern about what he/she may eat. Butthere may be some individual factors that have to do with tolerance forfood relative to a workout. Only trial and error will answer this.
JoeQuestion – I’ve been following the training plan from your booksince January, and am now in my Build 1 period. I’ve had great resultswith it so far but I’m concerned about some things. I believe my lactatethreshold heart rate (LTHR) to be around 172 bpm. I did not do any realtesting so I’m basing that on a Max heart rate time trial that I did thatmaxed out at around 195. I’ve also tried to base it on my own feelingsof perceived exertion and breathing. Anyway, last week I was in a critand 5 of us broke away (I know I shouldn’t have but I couldn’t resist)and rode very hard. My heart rate was always in the upper 180s and quitea bit of time in the 190s. I took 2nd in the sprint. This was on Sunday.Then on Wednesday I went on a VERY hard group ride. Again my heart ratewas up in the 180s and 190s all the time.Two questions: Is it too early for me to be putting in this type ofintensity (is it detrimental)?? And second, should I be able to ride inthe 180s/190s with an LT of 172?
StewAnswer – An LTHR of 172 seems reasonable given a max you’ve seenof 195, or it may be just a little low. But more than likely your max isalso higher than 195. It takes a ‘gun to the head’ motivation to get atrue max. I suspect it’s somewhat higher given the other things you’vetold me about these recent efforts. When in very good shape you shouldbe able to hold within 5 beats or so of your max heart rate for about 4-6minutes.Should you be going this hard in Build 1? Yes, it’s OK given that youneed some racing in this period since there are only a few weeks untilyour first A-priority race. Be sure to replace what would have otherwisebeen your hardest workouts in these weeks with these ‘races’ and then getadequate recovery time following them. This usually means at least 48 hoursof easy riding.