Training

Training Bible Studies with Joe and Dirk Friel

Joe Friel is author of the successful "Training Bible" series of books, a regular columnist for VeloNews and Inside Triathlon magazines and the founder of www.ultrafit.com. Dirk Friel races professionally and coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates.The Friels also offer answers to a selection of questions each Wednesday on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Joe and Dirk Friel in care of VeloNews.com at WebLetters@7Dogs.com. (Be sure to include "Friel" in the subject line.) Dear Joe and Dirk Friel;I am 31 years old and from Copenhagen Denmark. I have been racing for two seasons

By Joe Friel and Dirk Friel, Ultrafit.com

Joe Friel is author of the successful “Training Bible” series of books, a regular columnist for VeloNews and Inside Triathlon magazines and the founder of www.ultrafit.com. Dirk Friel races professionally and coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates.The Friels also offer answers to a selection of questions each Wednesday on VeloNews.com. Readers can send questions to Joe and Dirk Friel in care of VeloNews.com at WebLetters@7Dogs.com. (Be sure to include “Friel” in the subject line.)


Dear Joe and Dirk Friel;
I am 31 years old and from Copenhagen Denmark. I have been racing for two seasons now, after more or less by accident discovering what joy it brings to ride a bicycle. I am definitely in this sport for life, be it as a recreational rider or as a racer. Next season will without a doubt be a race season with the aim to peak in the May and June races. As a rider type I am typical rouler/sprinter at 187 cm and 80 kg, which is pretty good considering the relatively flat country that I am living in.

I have bought your book just one week ago in order to train smarter and more efficiently, so I have not read through the whole thing yet. The proud father of two children, my life does and cannot center completely around cycling as family must always come first. But once that is said, I am still the kind of person that gets up at 05:00 in order to train for two hours before I go to work at 08:00 once or twice a week, depending on where in the season I am. In short I consider my self to be dedicated to the sport and willing to work hard under the given terms to be the best that I can be.

Now to my actual question: I have an 11-kilometer ride to work every morning and naturally have to cover the same distance to get home. I have a spinning bike in our company exercise room, so I can do morning workouts there as well, in the winter period.

Can incorporate my daily commute into my training schedule and achieve something with it or whether I should consider the commute as exactly that and just ride it as an easy recovery ride or as warm up to a spinning session? Naturally I would like to be able to incorporate the daily transport into the training schedule as time is actually my biggest limiter (My second limiter is loss of strength in the left leg due to a surgery requiring break last summer, but I think I have a pretty good idea of what is required to regain the lost strength to get up there in the sprints again).

I am looking forward to hearing from you and thank you for a very useful andsystematic book.Best regards
Martin Colberg

Dear Martin;
No problem. Feel free to incorporate your morning and evening commute into your workout plan. You can do quite a lot of work while on an 11km ride.

Consider doing force work to build your cycling strength. The opposite of force work can also be done. Spin drills can help with your economy and leg speed. Then, as the season approaches, incorporate more intensity within your commute by doing power sprints and intervals. Your work commute can be of great benefit to your overall race program no doubt, and doesn’t need to be looked upon as a simple warm-up or cool down only. – Dirk

Dear Friels;
You mention race-prep diet that may contain sodium phosphate. Where do you get the stuff? Are there risks or regulations? Where can I obtain more info? Also, it appears strange to me that only sodium phosphate would produce the effect. If other phosphate salts were taken (provided they were soluble) one would expect a similar effect. – JW

Dear JW;
Sodium phosphate is available from TwinLabs in a product called “Phos Fuel.” It is available in many catalogs, health food stores, and GNC’s.

Be careful, because heavy use will give you the same downsides as taking in too much sodium on your food including leaching of calcium and hypertension. I’ve seen no research that links any other phosphate with improved endurance performance as it does with sodium phosphate. — Dirk


Joe Friel is the author of “The Cyclist’s Training Bible.” Dirk Friel races professionally and coaches along with Joe at Ultrafit Associates. For software go to www.TrainingBible.com, and for coaching services and a free training newsletter go to www.Ultrafit.com. Questions can be sent to WebLetters@7Dogs.com.